Thursday, January 30, 2014

Slacker, I know...

I haven't posted since the beginning of the year, which seems like just the other day!  I don't know about you, but this school year has FLOWN by!  I keep telling my students that and they look at me like I'm crazy, but all my teacher friends seem to agree! :)

Anyways, we've been totally busy this year.  The group of kids that I have are great.  We have a few issues, but for the most part they are doing their best.  In my county students must take a test every 4 weeks.  In elementary school, this is for grades 3-5.  The PARS (as they are called) lets teachers know how the students understood the concept that was taught, plus gives us an idea as to how they will perform on our end of the year state testing, CRCT.

Over the course of the school year students will take 7 PARS, which is actually 28 tests (Reading, Math, Science, and Social Studies).  I think the idea of the PARS is great, but for me in Science and Social Studies I have difficulty with going back and reteaching those concepts that were missed.  If I take time and go back and work with students who struggled on a particular standard then that will take time away from the next concept.  Yes, that is right EVERY four weeks the PARS is on different topic!

Overall my students have done well.  There are a handful of students who consistently are on the border of passing or failing, you know the "BUBBLE" kids.

Do you have something similar in your county?  Do you have suggestions for helping those students that need the reteaching, but will also need the new information?  How would you handle this situation?

Our state testing will be in the middle of April, so I've decided to start reviewing now.  We are actually learning NEW topics up until the CRCT.  In fact, last year I didn't finish my Science unit!  We looked at our Earth Science Standards, but I wouldn't say that my students were 100% ready on that topic.

So here is my plan of action...

1. Send home scores of all the current PARS.  We've taken 5 so far.  This will give the parents information as to what students struggled with.

2. Start having daily quizzes with old CRCT questions over the units we've already covered.  So starting with the older topics.  Hopefully, students will see the need for studying, plus will give me an idea what to spend more time on right before the test.

3. Extra homework.  Currently my homework isn't difficult at all.  Here is a video about my CURRENT homework.

You can also read more here, and here,

The extra homework that I will assign will come from the CRCT Test Practice books for Social Studies.  If there is time, then we will utilize our Science one, too.  Students will be assigned so many questions a night. We will review them in class on Friday and students can keep the books to study with!

At the moment this is all I have.  Now once we are done with our lessons then we will utilize games that I've created for each unit and study.  What do you do to help students get ready for their big test?

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