I love prepping for standardized tests…well, I love the challenge of disguising the test prep activities. This year we are implementing Data Teams and all the test prep that comes along with it. My grade and subject is focusing on the 2…or is it three questions on the state’s standardized test that deal with self to text and world connections. There are a slew of workbooks and worksheets that are available for me to copy and hand out to test the kids so that I can collect my “data” for our bi-weekly meetings and for my PGAP (Professional Growth Action Plan) — which reminds me I have to assemble all of my data and work samples for the 25 kids I am tracking for my meeting with the principal on Monday.
While there is a giant push this year for more standardized assessments, I have tried really hard to make sure my kids have not felt like I am “testing” them, and have tried to make my assessments fit flawlessly into units and not feel like they are taking yet another test in preparation for yet another test…and another…and another.
This week we did a unit about Jefferson, Louisiana Purchase, and Louis and Clark’s Expedition. I enjoy this unit and talking about Jefferson possibly breaking the “law,” a possible illegal purchase of the LA Territory, reading Jefferson’s own hand writing in his secret letter to Congress in which he outlines how to take out the Native Americans, and how Lewis and Clark’s Expedition was about as important in the 1800’s as Christmas was. Yep, we kind of added a whole lot of importance to it in the last few decades.
So for my test prep connection piece I had them apply for a position on the new reality show, The Expedition, which will air next year and take contestants on a Lewis and Clark like expedition. Based on our work and research, they had to answer the questions below:
Each answer had to have a direct connection to a specific event on the expedition. So if they said I like to go kayaking, they would then have to prove that skill would be helpful to them on the show by connecting it to a specific even from the expedition. Here are a couple example of parts of my kids’ test prep responses: