The Week Before State Assessments and Beyond

Pardon me while I put on my teacher hat…

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The next two weeks will be filled with standardized state assessments for our middle and high schoolers.  I refuse to go on a rant here about how high-stake assessments are the demise of true education, you’re welcome.  I teach 9th graders, and we begin our testing on Monday and Tuesday of next week while other grades test today.  With only four more instructional days left, what should I do with this time?

Florida is the 3rd stat that I have taught in that has standardized testing, and there has been two different sets of expectations as far as the timeline for preparing students for the test.  My thought has always been that if I’m properly covering the standards that the tests are based upon, and I begin doing so at the beginning of the year, then this week should be “business as usual.”  In Michigan, it was  illegal to officially do test preparation activities the two weeks prior to the assessment; in Alaska and Florida, it was allowed and encouraged.

I’ve had great success in helping my students successfully pass the Reading and Writing assessments in the past; I say “successfully” pass because not only have their test scores increased from year-to-year, but I have done so without causing undue stress on the children, I did not “teach to the test,” and I was able to maintain my teaching integrity by differentiating my instruction in the process.  That, I would call an educational success!

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So what are my instructional/curriculum plans for the remainder of the school year once our state assessments are over?

Honors English:

  • Complete our April is Poetry Month unit
  • Complete our Reliable/Unreliable Narrator unit
  • Shakespeare & Othello

English I:

  • Complete our April is Poetry Month unit
  • Shakespeare & Romeo and Juliet

 

 

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