Friday, May 13, 2011

Testing Miss Malarkey

Top 10 Questions/Comments Made By My Third Graders During Their First Ever Set of ELA and Math State Exams

(aka "Why Teaching In a Testing Grade May Cause Premature Aging," or "Why I Have Band-Aids On All My Fingers From Nervously Picking Off the Cuticles While Proctoring")

10. "Why do we have to use a #2 pencil?"

9. (Directions read by me: "You may not speak to each other while the test is being administered."  Student:) "What does 'administered' mean?"

8. "I don't get how to show my work for this part."

7. (The test directs students to continue working when they see the words GO ON at the bottom of the page and to stop working when they see the word STOP. On the ELA, students get ten minutes per passage and have to STOP before being directed to move on. On the math exam, they get 60 minutes to do all 40 questions, no STOPping. On the math exam, one student asked:)  "When is it gonna say STOP?!"

6. "But none of these choices are right."

5. "But both of these choices are right." 

4. "Can I look this word up in the dictionary?"

3. (while filling in a graphic organizer on the ELA in which the directions state, "Name two other things in the article that...")  "Am I supposed to answer this using my background knowledge?"

2. (while pointing to an open-answer question on the math exam in which the directions state, "Show your work")  "Do I have to show my work for this part?"

and the #1 comment one of my students made just prior to the start of the math exam...

1. "Wait, is this the real test?"

Happy end of testing season, everyone!