Thursday, February 12, 2015

PARCC Prep Continues

Yesterday our system provided a well organized, thoughtful PARCC presentation.

The presentation provided us with a number of important points and hand-outs to lead our implementation of the tests.

These are a few of the important takeaways I'll implement to help students do their best on these tests.
  • Set up the classroom so the desks are in a U-shape so all students and computer screens can be viewed. Give students space for comfort and test taking ease.
  • Set up the teacher's computer at the front of the room to monitor student work and log in information.
  • Create stapled packets of "work paper" including graph paper, line paper, plane paper. That way students only have one set of scrap paper to name and pass in at the end of the test. Put the paper in folders as the folders will serve as "screen covers" when a child has to use the bathroom or leaves the computer. 
  • Take down all related posters, academic information.
  • Plan to be to school about 30 minutes in advance of the start of the day on test days to set up computers and room as well as to log in and prep computers. 
  • Make a special space for all test-related materials, the materials that will need to be passed in at the end of the test period. 
  • Read all test directions and information prior to the test. 
  • Have a reliable timing device available. I'll probably use a timer on my iPhone or computer. 
  • Plan a test session(s) for students that mocks the actual test using PARCC test samples or training materials. This will help students to relax and anticipate what's needed for the tests.
  • Plan light homework nights the evenings before a test. Alert parents to all test information and positive preparation points such as the importance of a good night's rest, a healthy breakfast, sending in nutritious snacks and drinks, and emphasizing that "students should do their best and show off what they know." 
  • Similar to MCAS tests, no talk about the tests is allowed except talk that involves questions about administration or tech glitches, and that is talk with the test coordinator. 
  • Power up computers every night. 
  • Plan for a fun, complementary learning event during the afternoons of the test days. 

There were many other points shared, and we got to practice administering and taking the test which was very helpful.