Important News!!!

ACT Aspire Science

ACT Aspire Science Test Will Be Given To Grades 3-6 in Spring 2015!!!

Last Thursday, we were notified by Central Office that ACT Aspire Testing for Spring 2015 will include Science, Reading and Math for grades 3-6. In years past we have only administered Science testing to 5th grade students. This year grades 3,4 and 6 will also be taking the ACT Aspire Science Test.
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Don't panic - but if you must, here are some tips to handle anxiety...

1. take deep breaths

2. think happy, relaxing thoughts

3. get plenty of sleep (not at school though)

4. exercise (but don't run out of town - we need you to test)

Other, more scientific tips can be found online.

About ACT Aspire Science Test.....

What will be on the test?

That is a good question. I don't know.

However, we can get an idea by looking at the exemplar questions located at http://www.discoveractaspire.org/pdf/2014_exemplar_actaspire_science.pdf .

All of the other schools in Baldwin County will be giving the test to students in grades 3-8.

Here is the link to a short video explaining some of the exemplar items.

http://www.discoveractaspire.org/assessments/test-items/ - just choose the Science tab.

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How will the scores affect us?

The good news is that the scores won't affect us this year. This is a "norming" year. Our students will get the chance to take the test and get some experience from it without the scores hurting us. So, the moral of this story is, don't panic -the scores won't hurt us.
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What am I supposed to teach so my students will be ready for the test?

As of today, the new CCRS standards have not been rolled out to schools. Our Science PLT is working hard to learn the new information so they can pass that knowledge on to you for next year. However, the ACT Aspire Science was written with the CCRS in mind. So, how do you teach it if you don't even have the standards yet?

That, my esteemed colleagues, is the golden question. Here is my answer, having been guided by the AMSTI Science Specialist: Teach the current standards but use the NEW PRACTICE STANDARDS to do so. I am attaching the Science Practice Standards below. Take a look at them and you'll see that they are very similar to our Math Practice Standards. These standards are focused on student learning. You'll see that they are geared toward problem solving and hands on exploration.

Here are the current Science Standards:

http://alex.state.al.us/staticfiles/2005_AL_Science_Course_of_Study.pdf

Here are the new Science Practice Standards:

http://www.nextgenscience.org/sites/ngss/files/Appendix%20F%20%20Science%20and%20Engineering%20Practices%20in%20the%20NGSS%20-%20FINAL%20060513.pdf

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I need someone to help me!

Help is on the way friends! On December 19th from 2:00-3:00, there will be a VOLUNTARY Science Help Session in the Library. Some of our current Science PLT members can give you some basic insight into what they are learning and what we can expect the new standards to look like. Again, this is on a voluntary basis and it will be a very casual experience - not a structured PD, just a chat session with the members.

Why Aren't We Digging Deeper Into These Standards if We are Going to Be Testing?

We are NOT going to try to cram 2 years of PD into a few hours here and there before testing. All we can do is make sure we cover the standards that we currently have and TRY to incorporate SOME of those new Practice Standards. Just do what you can. We know this won't count against us and at least we'll get an idea of how this test is going to roll. This summer and next Fall, we'll look at the new standards in a deeper fashion. There 's no use in trying to do it now. Just stick your toes in the water a little and get a feel for the Practice Standards.

ACT ASPIRE TESTING DATES

Monday, April 20 - Science

Tuesday, April 21 - Reading

Wednesday, April 22 - Math

Thursday & Friday - Makeup Days

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