Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Will That Be On The Test?

I wonder if this will be on the test;

The wooden horse we buried in the sand.

We left his head out so he could see: is that answer a, b, c, or d?

Should we be worried if it's none of the above?

Or that we didn't show our work?

Or that our percentile is too low or high?

How about extra points for the times we failed although we really, really tried?

For this we didn't need a strategy -- making a wooden horse into an island.

A friend just stood at the top and pumped.

And water played it's game down to us; we dug and dug and dug.

We took turns, and helped, and made some plans;

We filled one another's heads with games and names;

We repaired and prodded as what we did became something else,

And yet something else again.

We did what we did, and we gave it our best.

Why isn't that ever on the test?

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Carrie said...

This on the heals of our local school district coming out with an "academic plan" which includes - New ways of making curriculum relevant to kids instead of simply imparting facts. (funny how there's tons of people reacting negatively to this thought)

and - thoughtfully collect and use meaningful data to keep track of how kids are doing... as well as finding better methods than the annual statewide tests taken... to assess achievement.

Let's hope they actually find a way to impart some of this theory.

Carrie said...

one more thing I just thought about... I'm wondering if it would be alright to use this particular post with our teachers in a training I'm doing emphasizing that you can assess the children without having to test them. This is a training I've been doing for a few years now trying to get teachers around the state to realize that you need to know where your children are... but you don't have to test them to do it. Please let me know if that would be alright.

RainbowsWithinReach said...

Tom. I vote for you being the writer-of-tests for children. Give them a bucket and shovel & see how they manage.

LOVE it!! Thanks for taking the time to document for the rest of us.

Teacher Tom said...

Oh please Carrie! I'd be thrilled!

Leigh said...

and just think...the teachers didn't even have to prep them or teach them how to 'pass' this test!

Megan said...

I have really enjoyed your blog. I have taught low reading ability students in high school, middle school and kindergarten. And I agree the tests are not the answer but they do serve a purpose. When I look at all the things you do with your students what I see is students who will do well on any kind of test you give them because you have imparted on them the wisdom of thinking through an activity. To naturally read between the lines, to decipher, plan and solve. I do understand not all tests accurately assess these things but when we do our job, just as you are doing I find the test results follow. One of the things I kept telling my middle schoolers who could have cared less about testing was that if they ever wanted to drive in any state they would have to take a test, a written permit test that proved they had inquired and learned the rules of the road. Like it or not tests are a part of our lives. You want to be a lawyer, you take the bar, you want to be a TEACHER at least in PA you take 5 PRAXIS tests. I do not believe in teaching to the test, but I believe when you create a well rounded student the tests become irrelevant. I wish you could teach my children, keep doing what you do, but don't hate the tests, that gives them power they don't deserve. I have a feeling your students will ace the test without blinking because you have created a whole student, and a whole student can concur anything.

Megan said...


MJR said...

Although previous comments have covered this ground, I would still like to add one more question and that is: "Why can't all schools be structured like preschool?"

I've actually had that question in my mind a lot as my daughter moves out of preschool age.