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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

PARCC: Practice Test #1

Today, students in one of my math classes will take the official PARCC practice test.

My colleague gave the ELA practice test yesterday so the students and I will profit from that experience.

First, I'll organize the learning environment and materials in the following ways:
  • spread out desks in two long rows so I can easily walk up and down the rows to troubleshoot when necessary.
  • separate desks to give students room and prevent students from looking at each others' work.
  • take down math posters.
  • I'll make each child a packet of scrap paper that they can use to do their figuring on. They'll have a similar packet during the actual test. 
Next, I'll give students a pep talk. During the pep talk, I'll add the following comments:
  • The goal of the test is to show off what you know and do your best.
  • The goal of the practice test is become familiar with the test routine, tools, and structure.
  • As you take the test, write down strategies that you think are helpful with regard to completing this test successfully. We'll share those strategies to help each other.
  • During the practice test, you may ask any questions that you'd like, but during the actual test you may only ask questions related to the tools or process, but not the content--so ask away today.
  • Remember this is the first year for the official test, and it's likely that there may be problems, so don't worry about that.
  • Does anyone have any questions or comments?
After that, students will sign on. I'll read related directions and they'll get started. 

We may not have enough time to finish the test due to time constraints, but at least students will get a chance to become familiar with the tools and structure of the eight PARCC tests to come, five during March/April and three more in May.  

If you have any suggestions with regard to this process, please share. As their teacher, my aim is to support students when it comes to showing off their knowledge, and doing their best.