Today we gave the very first ever 3rd grade STAAR test. (The extra A is for Avocado!) Today's test was the Math test, so I was pretty understandably stressed and worried about how it would go. One of the few changes that teachers actually KNEW of was that children would NOT be allowed to have all day to take it (4 hour time limit for most). We also had heard that it would be much more rigorous (read, ridiculously harder) than the old TAKS, but since nobody had ever actually seen any true STAAR questions, we didn't really know what to expect.
I certainly wasn't expecting to see the level of difficulty that I saw today. Without going into specifics, because I don't want to get in trouble, I'll just say that there were LOTS of questions that involved 2, 3, and even 4 steps before arriving at the correct answer.
I can't directly quote any of the questions, but I'm going to write my own problem below that generally sums up what most of the questions were like today on this THIRD GRADE test given to mostly ENGLISH as a SECOND LANGUAGE students..
Talukadiah arrived home at 4:55, after a long day of planting magic beans on his 449 square foot plot of property in Northern Gnome, Alaska. He read that there had been 13 inches of snow fall that night, following twice as much the week before! His 3 brothers and 5 sisters each had planted 45 magic beans, with one of those sisters, Groznzk, then planting 12 more. After a nice 3 course meal, Talukadiah and his family, minus one brother, compared their earnings. In all, they had made $450. The older brother got to keep 1/9 of this, while the older sister got to keep 1/10 of the remaining money. Talukadiah normally put away all but $5 of his earnings in a bag under his mattress, but only weeks ending in an even-numbered day. He looked at the calendar and saw that it was Wednesday, December 4, that it was 14 degrees F outside, and that 25 minutes had passed since his arrival home. If Talukadiah is 8 inches taller than his younger brother, how much money is in the bag underneath his mattress? Also, Symmetry.
Tomorrow is round 2, the STAAR Reading test, and hopefully there won't be any stories like The Hare and the Pineapple.