We're focused on MCAS review this week as we review a large number of math concepts. For some the review is too much and too fast, and for others the practice is paced just right. I made the choice to review the concepts so all that are ready for this kind of review get it. For those for whom it seems like a bit too much, I told them to do what they can, and stay calm. Though imperfect, I still believe that if we're going to have these tests, it's important to give students the chance to do their best. We'll do a similar review for upcoming science tests, and then mid-May we'll focus on more holistic learning events like the play, STEAM study, and field trips--the kind of learning that almost every student enjoys most.
Over the summer, I'm going to re-look at the way we differentiate, scaffold, and pace the math standards. Fortunately there will be at least one good change in the scope and sequence that will allow for better pacing and more regular practice. That change finds us moving from two periods of three-day testing with an assessment not well matched to the standards to 4 days of 30-minute testing that better matches the standards. This will buy us more time for meaningful math practice and study. I will also start the year with a more explicit explanation of the program to enlist even greater parent/student support. I will look for other ways to make the program less test-focused and more learning focused too.
In the meantime, however, we'll stay the course that's set and provide students with as much support, encouragement, and positivity as we can.