S'More From the AP
Week Ending March 25, 2016
Balancing The Classroom and State Testing by Mrs. Dunaway
I am truly in awe of the people I work with and I am totally out of my comfort zone writing this for the Smore. I have been teaching many years, and I am still that sponge that quietly soaks up wonderful ideas from others.
When Traci asked me to write about the issues with balancing state testing and teaching the content I went to my core belief – that if you are teaching the content the students will be able to handle the test. I do not believe that the state mandated test should be what is driving my classroom.
I believe that every classroom should have a strong focus on ensuring success for each student. Teachers and students need to have a willingness to experiment with a variety of strategies to find what works for them. With that being said, I believe that integrating test-taking strategies into your curriculum, as part of your everyday teaching will help to ensure the student’s success no matter what test they are taking.
I work very hard trying to instill a positive work ethic in my students. I stress everyday that you should always do your very best no matter what the task. At the same time the students are also developing stamina, which is vital to them being successful, especially on a state test.
I believe exposing students to real world problems that need to be solved and then really using those critical thinking skills to enhance the learning experience is invaluable. Developing those critical thinking skills carries over into daily work, classroom assessments, and state testing.
A successful classroom creates an atmosphere of respect for students. Hopefully I share my love of learning everyday with my students. I want them to continue to be sponges, not just test takers, for the rest of their lives.