I've been remiss in not sending this sooner. But...here it is....CAASPP testing!
We begin testing on May 13, just next week. We've begun practicing strategies for test-taking by taking online CAASSP practice tests. The test-taking strategies we review include process of elimination, re-reading the questions, looking for parts of a question you do understand, reading the questions first, using scratch paper, etc. We will also review what to do when you are experiencing stress during the test-take a deep breath, skip a question and return to it later, or take a mental break.
It is a lot. Instilling a balanced understanding of why we take this test is tough.....I emphasize that the test reflects how the school and teachers are doing, not necessarily how they are doing. That it is not reasonable to expect to know how to answer each question; in fact, they design the test to find what students know and what they don't know.
As is true with any standardized test, CAASPP covers many of the California content standards (the common core), in one sitting. These tests provide a single snapshot of a student and don't measure many other skills like creativity, perseverance, sense of humor, friendliness, empathy, or the ability to develop a life long passion for learning. We (teachers and parents) can model a positive attitude regarding the test to keep the stress level low. An important message I will be emphasizing in our discussions is how proud of each and every one of them I am already. They have learned and grown so much this year and I have been blown away time and time again by their hard work and progress.
The best thing teachers and schools can do to teach content is present a rich and balanced curriculum all year. I feel so lucky to be a part of a learning community that has this foundational understanding built into our pedagogy.
Bring on the CASSPP!
P.S. If you have more questions, be sure to ask!