Monday, May 14, 2012

MCAS: Setting the Stage for Doing Our Best

Today we'll set the stage for optimal test taking.  Tomorrow and Thursday students will take the math MCAS tests.

Students and I will clean desks and organize the room today.  It's easier to take a test if the room is clean.

I'll also do some direct test taking teaching:

  • Read with your pencil: Underline key words, circle the question asked.
  • Do all calculations and work on the page so you can check it over.
  • Multiple Choice: Read the question, think of the answer and then and only then look at the answer choices.
  • Open Response: Be explicit.  Explain your thinking/problem solving in pictures, numbers and/or words. Then write: Answer:_____, putting your answer in a complete sentence for the corrector to find and read easily.
  • Write neatly: The corrector doesn't know you and if it's messy, it has a psychological affect on the corrector's time and care with your answer.
  • Most of all do your best, show off what you know--this test will let teachers know which test information you know, and which information we need to teach.
There's no official homework this week--students can work on their research projects if they'd like.

The other lessons will be fun, interactive, student-centered learning events.

I'll do everything I can to make the test taking a relaxed, thoughtful event with a focus on "showing off what you know" as you work quietly and independently.