Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Test prep.......first 10 days of school.... test taking strategies..........reveiwing last year's concepts....

Is it worth the time and trouble for the average student to spend the first 2-3 weeks of school prepping for the big ole state test that is all so important?

It seems every classroom in my district, and probably across the state of Michigan, is dedicating these first days to reminding students of how to take tests, reteaching the content taught last year, and trying to convince those students they WILL do well on the upcoming MEAP tests. Does all this 'instruction' equate to higher test scores? Does it equate to increased student learning?

In reality, I think we are boring average Student X into doing much worse on the actual test than had we simply given that test the first day of school. We hound them repeatedly, in classroom after classroom, of how to take a multiple choice question, how to analyze what is being asked, until they are so fed up with hearing about the test, when it is actually in front of them, they are so tired of hearing about it, they just fill in the bubbles.

I know it all comes down to time, but wouldn't it better to dig right into the new content, the juicy exciting stuff, getting the kids fired up about learning? Couldn't we find ways to weave our 'test prep' into those exciting lessons we really WANT to teach, and kids really WANT to learn?

Of course.... that might make sense.... and too often what we do in education makes no sense at all...... But what do I know? I'm just a teacher....

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