A Fine Fine Week

It is March! The smell of spring is in the air. A few white wispy clouds are surrounded by a beautiful blue sky. It is a fine fine week to begin ISTEP. Several thoughts come to mind about standardized testing. I write thoughts. I delete thoughts. I revise thoughts. I delete revised thoughts.. Again I write more revised thoughts. I have just decided I’m not going there. Books say it so much better. If you or your students are feeling any test anxiety these text choices will melt that anxiety away.

Don’t fret!” she said,

You’ve learned the things you need
To pass that test and many more –
I’m certain you’ll succeed.
We’ve taught you that the earth is round,
That red and white make pink,
And something else that matters more –
We’ve taught you how to think
Still feeling a liitle anxiety? Try A Fine, Fine School by Sharon CreechThis would be a great text to model for a synthesis focus lesson. The principal of this fine, fine school changes his mind about fine, fine learning.
This is a great real aloud for students getting ready for state standardized testing. Julio,  4th grade student, and his classmates are worried about the upcoming state standardized tests. They become more worried as they hear how other classes are preparing for the test. Such strategies such as using a new pencil and wearing your underwear inside out and even studying are making the rounds among students. A part of the book did bother me. The teacher explains to Julio that the tests are really about how effective she is as a teacher. At first I was bothered how Hurwitz approached this subject. Shouldn’t the standardized testing data be used to check the level of understanding that student has for grade level curriculum? Shouldn’t the process be used to observe the strategies that the student uses to think through a problem independently?  The teacher then can use this information to strengthen lesson plans and provide individualized instruction.  It does sppear that a shift is taking place. I think now Hurwitz is right on… the standardized test is becoming more about evaluating teacher “effectiveness”.  No matter. All the teachers I know are in this for the bigger stuff…making a difference in the lives of our students so then they can to make a difference in the lives of others.
Happy Testing 🙂
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7 Responses to A Fine Fine Week

  1. elsie says:

    Thanks for the ideas for read alouds. I am not familiar with Fourth Grade Fuss, I will have to check it out.

  2. the other ruth says:

    Wonderful list–at a great time! Thanks for sharing with all of us. It’s also great to see you posting again. I enjoy your blog. 🙂

  3. oh my gosh….i so totally needed to read your post! my state’s writing test for 10th grade students comes up on tuesday next week. i was going to have my students write themselves a pep-talk–just to remind themselves about what they’ve learned about good writing and things to remember about stress. but now, i can add the dr. seuss book to my plans! thank you, thank you, thank you!

  4. Linda Baie says:

    I enjoyed your ideas for helping with test anxiety–& just discovered your blog because of SOLS. It looks terrific!

  5. Ruth says:

    Love this: “I write thoughts. I delete thoughts. I revise thoughts. I delete revised thoughts.. Again I write more revised thoughts.”

    Love even more that I get to hang out with you in the blog world.


  6. Tam says:

    See, you know about the bigger stuff, Deb–making the difference in lives! Thanks again for more book titles.

  7. quilt addict says:

    Hey there Deb….I can’t tell you how many people I know have given Diffendoofer Day to graduates…..both hs and college…..makes a perfect gift if you think about it!!

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