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Monday, January 24, 2011

Practice testing

Hey everyone,

Welcome to the work week. Monday Monday, can't trust that day. Which is why I will NEVER name my son or daughter, "Monday."

Today my school gave a practice TAKS test. It was a math TAKS release. Tomorrow will be a reading TAKS release. I won't even go into the fuster-cluck that was the organization of this practice test. But the procedure itself is just extremely long and boring for us teachers. It's no doubt long and boring for the students as well, but at least they have something to do for that whole time. All we have is to stay vigilant and monitor.

Here's basically what my day looked like:

7:30 -- Pick up tests and iron out confusion with the test process.

7:50 -- Pick up my homeroom and tell them where to sit in our out-of-the-ordinary desk arrangement.

8:10 -- Take homeroom for a bathroom break to get that out of the way before the test starts.

8:30 -- Go upstairs to 5th grade hallway, to the classroom I would be monitoring.

8:35 -- Pass out tests and measurement charts.

8:45 -- Grudgingly allow one child to use the bathroom, wondering why he is having a "potty emergency" after just going to the bathroom at 8:10.

9:00 -- Ask 3 kids to focus on their tests instead of looking around the room every 10 seconds.

9:30 -- Take a picture of the little guinea pig in the classroom and wonder what HIS TAKS score would be like.

10:00 -- Pick up tests and pass out snacks for a break. Muffins were delivered to the rooms, but no water. I'm wondering why they didn't go with peanut butter.

10:10 -- Take class for another bathroom break. Speak the words, "Stop talking," about 25 times.

10:30 -- Notice that one kid is done with his test. Inform him that I will not pick it up until he shows how he got his answers.

11:00 -- Field the "What are millimeters?" question for the 3rd time.

11:30 -- Yes, student who so desperately wants me to think that you are actually checking your work, I DO see you deliberately counting on your fingers! Now stop looking back at me every 5 seconds to see if I am watching you!

11:45 -- Pick up the tests again and herd the kids out the door for lunch.

11:50-12:10 -- relaxing lunch break with other teachers in the lounge.

12:10 -- Pick kids up and take them for a bathroom break. I am handed proof that there has been little to no maturation in these kids since I had them in 3rd grade.

12:20 -- Resume testing

12:25 -- A child hands me a broken pencil and asks for a replacement.

12:25:04 -- Something causes about 12 pencils to spontaneously implode, and more replacements are necessary.

12:50 -- I accept the first test handed in.

12:51 -- I point out to one overachiever that he has spelled his name wrong on the test.

12:55 -- I accept the fifteenth test handed in.

1:46 -- One minute later than scheduled (??), the principal comes on the speaker to announce that the fruit is ready to be picked up in the cafeteria. She says this as though it is the most normal thing in the world, even though we usually do fruit on Fridays, and it is patently ridiculous to do it during a scheduled practice test.

2:05 -- The last child turns in his test.

2:07 -- The fruit of the day -- blueberries -- are passed out to the awe of some and the disgust of others. I mention that some people think that blueberries keep cancer away, and they are suddenly a lot more appealing to some kids. One other boy decides that he doesn't like the first bite, so he spits it back into the bag, rendering that bag spoiled for everyone else.

2:40 -- I turn in my Scantron forms and return to my homeroom.

So what is a practice test day like for YOU? Bet you didn't see INTERACTIVE MONDAY sneaking up on you, eh? :)

Or, if you don't practice this way, what are actual TEST days like for you? Other than major headaches, of course...


Christina said...

My practice test days (and official test days) consist of the following:
-passing out tests,
-reading repetitive directions, -repeating repetitive directions verbatim (usually with some voice to keep me from falling asleep),
-walking around aimlessly for the remainder of the test humming some of my favorite songs in my head cause we can't do or say ANYTHING else. The excitement comes when someone sneezes and needs a tissue.

Katie said...

This year, the AP has told us "The teacher desk is the 'danger zone'"
She usually says it twice for emphasis. (Then I have Top Gun songs stuck in my head for a few hours).

Mister Teacher said...

Funny, "Danger Zone" is what I call the area between the 9 and 12 on a clock; if the minute hand is in the danger zone, the hour hand will appear to be on the wrong hour. Never thought of humming Kenny Loggins as I taught the lesson though. :)
Christina, maybe when I give the actual TAKS, I'll read the directions as Terminator/Kermit the Frog.