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Monday, October 06, 2008

Bubbles are fun!!!

Benchmark tests started today! Let the celebration begin!!

Oh wait, we don't normally celebrate things we absolutely despise, now do we? Yes, I absolutely DESPISE the benchmark tests. Why? Well, let's see... They're usually not aligned with what we've been teaching, the questions are often quite difficult, the kids aren't allowed any reading assistance whatsoever, and they only have one hour to take the test.

Today, we gave the science benchmark, so the one hour time limit wasn't a bad thing. The math and reading tests though are going to be a bummer, because one hour simply is not enough time for my kids to do their best on those two subjects.

And speaking of doing their best, one of my kids received his science benchmark test booklet and his answer document, and he just did what came naturally. If you're thinking he opened the booklet, selected the best answer for question number one, and then carefully bubbled in the corresponding letter on the answer document -- Well that's just ridiculous!

No, he put his booklet off to the side and proceeded to randomly fill in bubbles on the answer sheet. Despite the fact that there were only 20 questions on the test, this boy filled in choices for all 50 possible answers. I have no earthly idea what he thought he was doing. However, since this is also my young man who has absolutely no letter-sound recognition, perhaps he just didn't feel like reading.

It's really quite bizarre. This boy is a very good at math, but he can hardly read, and his writing is atrocious. Last week, he was making a poster of the water cycle, and I questioned him about some of his labels. I asked him what he meant when he had written "Coton." He told me that was clouds. Rain was labeled as "ruid."

We're not talking sloppy, illegible handwriting here (although his handwriting IS sloppy and often illegible). These words were distinctly misspelled, and not even close to being correct.

Tomorrow is the reading benchmark test. I can't wait to see if my boy decides to actually read the test first this time!!


Jenna said...

He's drawing pictures... when we used to do bubble-sheet tests, someone had to go through them and pull out the inappropriate pictures.

Anonymous said...

Does this child go to resource or some other type of pull-out program for remedial reading instruction? If not, can he be tested? (By the sound of it, seems like he should have been referred in 1st or 2nd grade.) Here in Tennessee if a child is in resource for reading, then the science/social studies/math sections of our achievement test are read to him/her...

Unknown said...

I had a student connect the bubbles on his benchmark.
On the math portion there was so much confusion on how to bubble in a free response. Even though there is a GINORMOUS example on the last page of how to bubble it it... *sigh*

Anonymous said...

I agree with mr b. This kiddo is most likely dyslexic and should receive not only instruction for that but also bundled accommodations on TAKS!
(An Educational Diagnostician in a neighboring district)

Mister Teacher said...

Mr. B and Anonymous, we are going to get him tested for resource class. That takes a lot of time though, so we'll be well into the year before he can even qualify, IF he qualifies...

Cathy, what gets me is when the kids see that example and just fill in their free response bubbles with whatever number was in the example!!

Anonymous said...

In our school we have "target" tests to prepare our students for the "real" benchmark tests given in the spring...except, like yours, they do not correlate, often have incorrect answers (created by someone in a different curriculum)...frustrating! Worse, yet, we have to waste three days on these target tests between now and spring.

I am for authentic practice...not something that sets our students up for failure.

Your "boy"? Sadly, this is where he falls also...he's being set up for failure.

Anonymous said...

I chuckled out loud when I read this 'cause we all know those kids! "Cotton and fluid" for clouds and water. I mean, it makes sense to him, so OK? I'm sure his brain is wired differently than most people's. Watch- He's probably going to discover the cure for some complicated disease or build a functioning time machine someday... But isn't that funny? This kid certainly has some special qualities and it will be interesting to hear any other stories you may have.