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State Assessment Information

by Kendelle Spielman

January 23, 2012

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It is January and that means the time for State Assessments is quickly approaching.  Third grade students take a Reading and Math State Assessment.  This year, third graders are taking the reading tests first.  


Below, you will find some information regarding the testing process that I think you will find helpful as we continue to make our way through the last few weeks of practicing for these tests.  


READING:
For the State Assessment, kids will have 2-3 passages each day to read. To prepare the students for these tests, we will be doing a lot of reading practice tests between now and the State Assessment time. 

 
When doing the reading practice tests, students are required to read all of the questions FIRST, and then read the passage twice.  By reading the questions first and the passage multiple times, the students become very familiar with the text, and they find that the questions are easier to answer.  For the State Assessments, we can not require that the students read the questions first, and the passage two times.  We only hope that these practices become a habit to the students, after having done it for so long.  


We also require the students to write down their answers to ALL problems, even on the reading tests. For example: 1C, 2A, 3D etc.  There are too many times that the computer server crashes, the power strips get hit by little toes, or the computer spontaneously shuts down.  If the kids have their answers already recorded, teachers are able to log them back into the test, and the kids can plug in their previous answers, without having to completely redo their test.  We can’t require the kids to write down their answers on the State Assessment, we just hope it is like second nature for them to do what they’ve been doing for the last several weeks.  


Kids will be reading various short stories between now and the testing time.  These short stories need to be taken very seriously by ALL students.  These tests are specifically designed to help students in the areas in which they struggle.  Sometimes, reading practice sheets may be sent home with students for homework practice.  Please take a few minutes and work on these passages with your student.  Let the student do the talking, see if you can follow their thought processes as they answer the questions.  

MATH:
The Math State Assessment will have a variety of questions for the kids to work through, with a variety of different skills being used.


For the practice tests that we take, kids are required to show ALL of their work for EVERY problem.  This is really difficult for those kids that always need to be the first ones done.  It takes a significant amount of time to write out the problems and to come up with an answer.  The kids that do  take their time and solve the problems on paper find that their hard work usually pays off.  These are the kids that do best on their practice tests.  
For the math practice tests, we also require the students to write down their answers, just as in the reading practice tests.  

Typically, state testing time is a stressful time for everyone involved; administrators, teachers, and students.  The tests are important to us all, and it’s important that the kids give us 100% effort, throughout our practices AND during the State Assessments.

 
More information will be sent home regarding the State Assessments as the time approaches.  If you have questions, or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact me and we can set up a time to visit.  Thank you!