Writing my way through the school year!

Archive for the ‘Standardized Testing’ Category

Student Goals = Growth in Test Scores? Is This the New Normal?

The staff discussed the goals our students need to meet in order to

be successful by the end of the year.

The goals we are trying to get our children to achieve.

The goals we are striving for and want our students to attain.

You know what the goals are?READ MORE



Bill Gates:Experienced Educator!($50 Million Dollars Doesn’t Lie)

Oh, wait a minute. He doesn’t hold a degree in education? My bad.
Well, then, he must have taken a few education courses? No? Not that either?
He has traveled all over the world and visited different types of schools? Talked to educators all over the country? No?
I know! He had a teacher relative, when he was young, who would regal him with quirky stories of what it was like to be an educator. Strike!READ MORE…

Dear Standardized Testing…

Standardized Testing

Dear Standardized Testing,

I hate you. Yes, I know I wasn’t raised that way. My Mom told me that hate was a strong word, and that I shouldn’t use it. But there is no other word strong enough for the way I feel about you.

Why, you ask? You are only doing your job, you say? You hold teachers accountable? Make sure that they are doing their jobs well? Not allowing us to slack off the way those powerful teachers’ unions allow us to?READ MORE…

What’s the Point of Being “Smarter” Than a 5th Grader?


I used to play the game, “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?”, on my Iphone. But than I realized that I really didn’t have enough hours in the day, and quickly gave it up.

However, I do know how it works. And if you provide me with any device that can grant me access to the Internet, than I can defiantly state that, “Yes, I am smarter than a 5th grader!” READ MORE…

photo credit: TZA via photopin cc


Standardized Testing Stole Our Day!

I planned in advance and completely forgot that we were having the standardized Math test today! Bummer!
Wonderful plans put on hold….

This is what my students and I lost today because Standardized testing took a day from us…

The chance to read an article on Tweentribune and post comments and/or leave a comment on our Quadblogging friends website.
Sharing laughter over the Brainpop Joke of the Day and viewing/discussing the video offered on Wonderopolis.
Reinforcing the concept of multiplication clusters, which they struggled with. Having the students who were ready, create, solve, and post their original story problems using GoAnimate.
Reading “The Lemonade War” out loud, and discussing and sharing using Today’s Meet.
Having students work on their Reading Choice board activities.Read More…

Letters to the Reading DCAS(Our State Test)):My Students Write How They Feel!

When my kids were finished their DCAS Reading  test last month, I had them pretend to write letters to the test. I am posting some of the letters they wrote.

Dear Reading DCAS,

Why do you have to be  hard?  I know I do your tests in the beginning, middle, and end of the year.  But doing 55 questions in 3 days is a lot.  We have to take our time to get a good score, otherwise we might get a 1 and that’s not good.  Can we see what questions we got right and what questions we got wrong at the end of the test?  So that way we can understand why we got whatever we got wrong was wrong.  I think that could help us a lot.  How about that idea for next year?  It really could help.  Otherwise DCAS has to be THE WORST THING EVER!!! 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Sincerely Z

Dear Reading DCAS,

I am taking you right now and you are being very harsh. You are being harsh because you make the questions hard. So can you please make the questions easier so I can get a 4? Also, do you think you can make less questions so there are only 36 instead of 54. So it don’t take 2 entire days to finish it. Finally, instead of 4 being the highest point to score make it 10. So it is like the scale of 10. Well anyway Thanks!

Your Friend,



Dear Reading DCAS,

You  just stress me out every min I take you. Why do you have to be so hard? Can you  have at least 10 questions instead 54. When I take you, you  make me wanna throw the laptop. Across the floor and rip every single of my hair out. Then I’l be bald. See what you do to me? I just can’t stand you DCAS. I never wanna take you again. No hard feelings DCAS. It was just my opinion. So please don’t give me a bad grade for telling the truth. But I need you to ease up on me.



Dear DCAS,

I really can’t stand you!

You make me so nervous every time I have to take you.

You make me stressed out then I forget everything when you’re in front of me.

When I’m done taking you it all comes back to me.

Maybe one day I  will beat you.

 I would be a lot more happy without you in my life. The only good thing about you is on Math Dcas

you have a calculator to help me.


 Dear Reading DCAS Test,

   I don’t understand why the company created you. You make life harder than it needs to be in school. Now all our field trips are moved to the end of the school year and we only have one field trip. I am so mad and frustrated because of your pointless questions. Some of them don’t even make any sense. The only good thing about you is when we have extra recess. It’s so tragic!!! Also we usually don’t have to learn anything. It is in the way of school even though that doesn’t really bother me. If we already do regular tests, whats the point of having a DCAS test? It takes too long to even remember what you learn before the DCAS. It’s just confusing. I don’t get the whole concept of taking the longest test that I have ever taken. The whole process is crazy. You make me freak out with anxiety about my score.



Dear DCAS,

 Thanks for giving me a good score. All the hard work paid off. My mom and my dad was really proud of me. I took my time, highlighted the answers and  got a good score.I never felt better about myself for getting a good score on the type of subject. I hate reading but I still got a good score and I’m proud of it.   

From J


Standardized Testing: The Monster that Ate American Education

The World “Because of” Standardized Testing!(A Little Teacher Humor!:)

I hate standardized testing.  I hate what standardized testing has done to teaching. SMH 😦      This is what it has driven me to!


1.  A guy goes in for a job as a bubble filler.

He lets the boss know how he meets the requirements for the job.

“I can fill in bubbles really well. ”

” I’ve been taking standardized tests since I was in kindergarten.”

“I make sure the circle is filled in, no white showing, and no stray marks.”

The boss says, “You sound like just the person we need!”

The guy reaches over to shake the bosses’ hand, “I think this is going to work out just great!”

The boss pulls his hand back, “Did you say think?” “I’m sorry, we can’t use you.”

2.  Bunch of guys sitting in an office.

“We have a huge order of scantron forms that need filling in!”

“OMG, how are we going to fill that order?!”

They put their heads together.

A woman shouts, “I got it!”, and picks up the phone.

Ring! Ring!

The person answers on the other side, “Hello, Dumbdown Elementary, how can I help you?”

3.  A principal walks into a classroom unannounced.

The students quickly try to stuff their lined paper in their desks.

He looks at the teacher. “What’s going on here Ms.Cannolongerteach?”

She stammers, “The kids wanted to see what it was like to use lined paper, they were tired of using grid paper or scantron forms.”

Kid starts crying. “Ms.Cannolongerteach was just giving us a break, Mr.Bringthescoresup! She didn’t mean any harm!”

“I’m sorry kids, but Ms. Cannolongerteach knew the rules. Pack your stuff and come with me Ms.Cannolongerteach.”

4.The students in the new teacher’s class, Mr.Icannolongerbecreative’s ,eagerly turn on their laptops.

“Okay everyone, we are going to create a video about WWII. Please go to the Photopeach site.”

As students click on the site, bells begin to sound on each laptop.

“Warning! Warning!” Creative learning taking place! Creative Learning taking place!”

School security bursts into the room.

Mr.Icannolongerbecreative stands pale and shaken.

“What’s going on?”, he shouts.

They put handcuffs on and drag him out.

“These laptops are for test-taking skills only!”, they yell vehemently.

“I didn’t know!”, he yells as they drag him down the hall, “I didn’t know!”

VocabularySpellingCity.com=Learning +Fun! Premium Membership GIVEAWAY!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you know I love to share the resources I use in my classroom! Well, I got a bonus this time, I am sharing a favorite of mine, and got a premium membership as icing on the cake! Yeah! 🙂

VocabularySpellingCity is a staple in my classroom.  I use it with my students every week because I list my Vocabulary and Word Wall words on it. It’s easy, and I use it with every subject. I provide the words, VSC creates the list (with definitions and sentences), and then, (the best part for my kids), the words are used in word games. And to make life even easier, they have lists that are already created, in every subject.

The free version offers so much you probably wonder why anyone would need a premium membership. (You know how much I love FREE!) I was actually going to come out-of-pocket for this one(and beg to get reimbursed later) because of all the goodies it offers!  Individual Student Log-ons, automatic test results, student grouping, interactive flashcards, great for use on a whiteboard, no ads, Teacher-Parent Homepage, telephone support, many more features, and the most important of all, learning while having fun!

VocabularySpellingCity is also part of the Edmodo community where you can find posts, videos, and articles from other teachers who enjoy using this resource. Take advantage of a great deal!

GUESS WHAT? You have a chance to win a free Premium Membership to Vocabulary SpellingCity valued at $49.99. This will give you 25 student licenses for one calendar year. Just leave a comment and I will choose a winner using Random.org on January 23, 2012! Good Luck!

Tell your friends! 


I’ve been given a premium membership to VocabularySpellingCity.com for a candid, personal, online review.

VocabularySpellingCity.com helps students study word lists using 25 different learning activities such as MatchIt Sentences, HangMan, and Word-O-Rama.  Teachers can create their own spelling lists, find published lists already available on the site, or use any of dozens of  free teaching resources on topics such as analogies and compound words.  

There might be more free memberships available for bloggers.  If you’re interested, find out how you can review VocabularySpellingCity.com.

“Are Our Gifted Children Being Left Behind?”

Have you ever heard the saying, “He/She treats me like a stepchild?”  Of course, when it is used, it is not  meant to be a compliment.  It meant that the stepchild was ignored, while all the biological children were fawned over by the parents.

I started thinking about this after I read an article in the Holiday 2011 Instructor magazine entitled,  “Challenge Your Top Students”. Soon after reading the article I had a conversation with my sis-in-law who runs a home daycare.  She complained that the students she taught before they went to kindergarten were not being challenged.  They were given the same work as the other students, who are not close to their level of instruction.

This is how I see the gifted child, like the stepchild in that saying.  I realize gifted is seen as just another label by some, but I think it is a label with merit.  You can call them what you want, but you know who I mean.  That child(or children) who stand out from all the rest academically. The ones who exhibit higher order level thinking every day, in almost, or all, subjects. They shine brighter than the other stars in your room.

I fear that our gifted children are being eclipsed. Thanks to standardized testing, and/or the incessant demands placed on us,these students are often ignored.  Worst of all, they are not being challenged, their talents are dulled. They are no longer given the opportunity to stretch, because they have received high scores on standardized tests.

We have 3 levels of reading, Red, Blue, Green. We are told to meet in small groups with Red, who also get pulled for interventions, and the Blue group, who just need a nudge to meet on state testing, every day. The Green group, once or twice a week. Which group do you think represents the gifted students?

I have found a way around this, and I make sure that I challenge all of my students.  There are schools that offer gifted programs to meet the needs of these students.  However, I am sure, there are a number of  classrooms where gifted students needs are completely ignored.

At a meeting I attended, a third grade teacher stated that she was not teaching cursive because it was not on the state test! I wonder what happens to those students who had no problem passing the state test?  Are they getting the same content as all the other students?  Are they being forced to sit through the  inane testing material that we are supposed to drill into our students?  What happens to that bright child who is subjected to that type of classroom environment?

In an era where so many children are dropping out of high school, we need to make sure that we don’t lose the ones least likely to drop out. Put yourself in that child’s position, where day after day, you are given  worksheet after worksheet.  Or your main assignment is to help the students that don’t get it.  How boring!

Fortunately, I have access to  technology that allows  me the ability to create lessons and/or projects that give my gifted kids a chance to be who they are, smarter than average. And as difficult as it is to differentiate instruction, along with all the other requirements we have to fulfill, we owe it to our gifted students to provide lessons and/or projects that engage and challenge!

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