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Monday, February 09, 2009

Reading testing!

A good handful of my students are becoming readers! They are walking, talking, reading beings. And this is great! Yippie!

Unfortunately, since they are doing such a fabulous job, I need to retest their reading level. Many of them are at a wonderfully annoying stage wherein the reading test takes between 30-40 minutes per student, one-on-one. First the students need to preview the pictures, then they read the book, then they retell the story. If the book was too easy or too hard, I need to repeat the whole process with a second book, which tacks on an additional 30-40 minutes.

This means that for the last two weeks I have done nothing except test reading levels. I have come to memorize the text of these books. About 2/3 of my fabulous little ones are actually at or really really close to grade level and I love it! However, I have been spending my entire afternoon every day testing (while I throw the rest of the kids in centers of some sort). I have been spending my lunch (and the poor students' lunch) testing. I have been pulling the children out of their special class for testing. I have been testing during guided reading groups. I have been testing during math. I have been testing NON-STOP. It seems that there must be a more efficient way to do this, but I haven't found one.

But I need to remind myself. This should be a celebration! They are getting to that stage where they can actually read! I have, for the most part, stopped translating the directions on their homework, telling them that they can read well enough now to read their own directions. They don't need help. (And in some cases, yeah, this is a stretch, but overall they should be able to read the instructions on their own.)

This excitement is partially hindered by my extreme disappointment in their lack of effort and focus during literacy centers, but that is a whole different post and a whole different issue. For now, reading = yay! Testing to confirm reading ability = tedious!

3 Comments:

Blogger miss bioteacher said...

wooohooo!

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Amber said...

I feel your pain, my school has testing mania too.

Have you tried to partner with another teacher (that is, if you have a good relationship with them and your principal would let you)? That way you can do individual testing & still have 'quality teaching' going on. You can each take turns testing/teaching the rest of the class. The best part is that you can test in one classroom & teach in the other so there are less distractions (the kids can concentrate better so sometimes it helps move things along a little faster). I work with a great bunch of folks so this works really well when we are in a pinch, but obviously it isn't a long term solution. Let us know if you figure out anything that works well... and may the force be with you! :o)

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Not Quite Grown Up said...

I do this with my partner teacher. If one of us finishes testing before the other, we help with the other class. We also take turns taking each other's class to lunch while we do weekly testing on our struggling students the first 10 minutes of lunch. We share the responsibilities all we can, which really is nice.

10:46 PM  

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