Stress Test

Last Friday, our staff had a whole day of in-service. For part of the meeting, all the teachers were asked to log into the computers in the computer lab and take the district math test that the kids are asked to take at the beginning of the year. We take our district tests through NWEA. They're all computerized and they're all a little like the GRE: the more questions you get right, the harder the questions become; the more questions you get wrong, the easier they become.

The reason we were asked to do this is because all of us teachers are getting trained this year in mathematics content knowledge, in order to become better math teachers. So we were asked/told to take the test, then after all of our training, we'll take it again at the end of the year to see how much progress we've made.

Now. We were given the "sixth grade and up" version of the test. This doesn't mean they'll only give you middle school math questions. Remember, the more you get right, the harder they become. I was a little nervous about the test, only because it's been eight years since I've had a real math class. But I generally like taking tests (I know, I'm a nerd) and hoped that by my supreme math skills I would be able to show it who was boss.

In reality, it took me one hour and twenty minutes to answer fifty-two questions (and I had to take a shot in the dark on some of them) and I felt very humbled as I noticed the test items getting easier at one point. I was worried that I was going to start seeing questions like "1 + 1".

As it turns out, a lot of teachers were nervous about taking this test. I hope it will make us all more empathetic to our own students' test anxiety!


Anonymous said...

I do believe in partial credit! Mom

Anonymous said...

I wish I had something profound and wonderful to say about tests and the test of life and kids and God and the future. I fail to come up with anything. How about this, I think you are a wonderful person. Thank you for your blog and being a part of my life that is VERY good...p.s. Is a part one or two words?

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