Testing made E-Z

Here in New Zealand, we are in full swing with end of year testing and reporting.  For us here in the E-Z Class that involves the following list of tests

Reading

  • running record for every child (individual)
  • STAR test for all year 6's (all but 9 of our 50 kids)
  • Easttle reading test (kind of like an exam.  Mostly multichoice with a few long answers)

Writing

  • Writing snapshot

Maths

  • GLOSS test (tests the kids number strategies) (individual)
  • Number knowledge (individual)
  • Easttle maths test (like the reading one from above)
Thankfully we don't have to test other subject areas!!

So with all these tests, and with so many of them being individual ones - like it's 20ish minutes of 1-1 time with the teacher, we have to have so fairly awesome/robust routines in place to get through it reasonably unscathed!!

So how do we do it here in the E-Z Class?  Well firstly good routines are set up - but y'all do that already, I mean we are teachers, and routines are what keep us sane right?
In my literacy class I work on the kids all year to get them ready to use contracts.  I generally use them in terms 2 and 4.  Not in T1 - because that term is ALL about routines, and you CANNOT do contracts without amazing routines.  And then in T3, it just gets a bit much, and the kids lose focus if you over use them.
This term our learning is all about the human body and how it works.  Science based topics are awesome for literacy contracts - especially if you can work in an experiment!!

The contracts have pretty much all aspects of literacy covered - and this term my comprehension focus is skimming and scanning.  Reading, vocabulary/dictionary skills, comprehension skills (skimming and scanning), writing/presenting, and sometimes a science experiment.  These kids have been well trained in all the skills necessary to complete these contracts throughout the year, so in a way they are also a form of assessment!

What do I do?  Well I still teach shared book (which I teach other comprehension and writing skills from), and then I am available to help them when they need the help.  This hugely fosters independence, and I generally have about 4-5 queries a block on average.  It's great, because the kids are able to help each other!! And then I test.  I can generally get through about 4 running records a block (1.5 hours) while the kids are working on these contracts.  So it's a win win! This is SOOOO not busy work.  It took far too much training throughout the year for these to be classed as busy work - and besides which, the kids are learning skills while they are doing them, which they don't get in busy work.

I can't do a google doc share here because the contracts are in Publisher format, but I am MORE than happy to send everyone a copy!  Use the email form on the side ----> and I will send you a copy of a few different formats I've used over the years.  Or leave your email in the comments and I will send you what I've got :)

Back to testing.... 13 down, 37 running records to go!!!

Erin

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