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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Assessment Test…

Well that didn’t take long!

I posted on Monday morning that I didn’t expect to be called to sub for at least a week into the new school year. Monday afternoon, I got a call to sub a 4th grade class the next day.

Judging by the assignments, this first week of school is reassessing to see what the incoming 4th graders retained over the summer vacation. They were given two hours to take a math assessment test.

Unfortunately, my use of the word “test” was very upsetting to some of these kids on their 2nd day of school.

“I can’t remember anything!” was the common complaint as I handed out the math assessment sheet. I explained that this wasn’t really a “test” but just a “math assessment” so your teacher can find out what you do and don’t remember from last year. Don’t worry about it!

I then had to elaborate on what the difference was between the phrase “math assessment” and “math test” and reassured them that it was “ok” to skip the problems they couldn’t do.

They weren’t buying it.

“I don’t remember how to divide numbers! What’s “rounding” mean? Can’t you help us do the problems?”

Trying to explain that “my helping” would defeat the purpose of the “math assessment” didn’t go over well either. I repeated the mantra that it was “ok” to skip questions that they couldn’t do.

That worked for almost everyone. One boy broke down sobbing that he couldn’t remember ANYTHING from last year. I think he turned in his paper with only his name at the top and only a few of the math problems attempted.

Exactly the kind of assessment a teacher needs to know.


Mister Teacher said...

My kids didn't explain in words that they didn't remember anything. They demonstrated it by the way they took their test...

Another Casual Teacher said...

Tests on their second day of school after a 3 month break - Poor things. Great day for the teacher to be away too!