Test prep season. Not my favorite time of the year. Since we most certainly did not make our AYP last year, test prep has become a huge point of contention at school, and of course everybody has their own ideas about the best way to implement said test prep. I refuse to launch into a huge tirade about this here, but I will say that I firmly believe that the best preparation for the ELA test is a rigorous curriculum that regularly asks students to interact with different kinds of texts in a a variety of meaningful ways. They should be reading, critiquing, reviewing, analyzing, discussing, and let’s not forget WRITING about articles, recipes, short stories, poetry!
It certainly doesn’t hurt to have some practice with actually taking the test, what with all the little bubbles and obnoxious format etc, but I don’t think that simply giving them a full length practice test from years past every three days, with some random Acuity tutorials sprinkled in just for fun, is the best plan. Not like that’s actually the plan being implemented by the Almighty Administration. *cough*
I have looked at the data, pretty extensively in fact, and it seems clear to me that what really wrecked our kids last year was the insane extended response piece for the 6th grade. I mean, really, did anyone else actually look at that thing? I have kids who missed ONE multiple choice question, but scored a mid-range two because their essay was such a mess.
Yeah, I’ll be the one working on written responses somewhere in among all that bubbling…