So. Over. Testing.

portrayal-89189_1280Without a doubt! I have 16 days left in the school year and I need to finish 1 state test and START and complete 2 district ‘Benchmarks’. THEN if one of the district benchmarks is below a certain level I have to administer an additional assessment. Can we say, “Overkill”? If I’m feeling this way, I can’t image how over these assessments my students are.

Now add on to that the end of the year hubbub. And being 5th grade we have a few more hubbubby things to do than some other grades – tour the middle school and my personal favorite (seriously, no sarcasm here) the puberty video (boys and girls are separated). AND we are trying to finish the last 5 scenes of our movie.

I will hand it to my students, they tried super hard on all the tests thus far. Today we began the 5th-grade science test. It’s so outdated that it doesn’t align to the NGSS. And it’s on paper (we have been taking all tests online). AND, as one student so cleaverly put it, “Why did they give us all the answers?” Yeah, he was referring to the A, B, C, D choice he had.

I waited until today, only because someone asked, to break it to them that this was NOT the end of tests. It was at that point that they were officially So. Over. Testing. I felt for them. I mean 16 days. We should be wrapping things up, finding the joy in our year, ending it with fun, but instead our education system gives students a final ‘Hurrah’ with testing, testing, and more testing.

When the Common Core State Standards arrived, I was hopeful. It was to be the beginning of deep and meaningful learning and the end of high-stakes testing. I think the message got lost along the way. Fortunately, San Diego Unified SD has rethought the current testing trend. Hopefully, more school districts will follow suit.

CUE RockStar – Tahoe Edition

One of the best features of CUE RockStar events are the small sessions. Because the sessions are generally 10:1 – or smaller in some cases – AND 2 hours, attendees truly get individualized attention. Everyone gets to experience the tools and ideas first hand while surrounded by knowledgable educators. The energy in the sessions is amazing. We are all learning from one another!

For me, one of the most memorable sessions was one in which a high school teacher was inspired to recreate her assessments. She had her students reading The Glass Menagerie. After discussing different tools, she decided to play around with Animoto. One thing led to another and soon her excitement let to a whole new way of assessing her students on the book. She created a video for her students to watch. From here, her students will respond to the prompt creating a video using Animoto! It was such an awesome idea, and she was so enthusiastic and inspiring I just had to share this story.

This is why I LOVE CUE RockStar!

Unfortunately, I do not have the teacher’s example, but I do have an example of something that my students created on Animoto.