Before I left on maternity leave, I was teaching a 6/7 combined class. My mind is no longer on school, but from time to time, ideas come to mind.... and it gets me thinkin'.
If I were teaching right now, I would be preparing for Provincial Testing. And by preparing, I don't mean creating practice booklets or overheads or reviewing everything we have learned in the past year. Rather, I would be trying to brainstorms how to create a "non-testing" environment. Thinking about unique ways to make this test FUN.
I have taught grade 3 and 6 many times. Each time I have tried to create a classroom that reflects more of a party, than a testing gallery. For example, a few years ago, my teaching partner Christine (the "C" in K&C), sent home a parent note explaining the testing, as well as a daily pot luck signup sheet. Each parent (if they wanted to) filled out a form as to what they wanted to make or purchase (healthy choices). Each day, Christine and I set up a smorgasbord of healthy treats for our kiddos. When the students finished on section of the test, we would take a break, put on music and have a little reception. The kids would relax and chat and decompress.
In addition to the buffet of food, we would also put little gifts/treats/notes on the students desks each morning. Every day, they would walk in and smile..... They couldn't wait to see what was awaiting them and couldn't wait to see what food was ready for them at the back of the room.
I follow a teacher named Sarah Young on Instagram-- Her blog is called "A Rocky Top Teacher".
Her class completed their state testing last week. I just adore the way she welcomed her kiddos into her room each day.
Even the staff and other classes in the school wrote motivational messages to the students taking the test.
HOW CUTE!! :)
After the 3 days of testing, I always try to have a "We Survived Testing Celebration" day!
One year I put together "A Minute to Win It", post-testing.
I recently read this article on CNN about US parents pulling their kids from testing. Which is why I am blogging about this, today.
It's no different here in Ontario, Canada.
You see, I think WAAAAAAY too much pressure is put on kids, teachers, administration and parents when it comes to testing. We all do better, when we aren't pressured or are working in a calm atmosphere. If a teacher does his or her job all year long, then in my opinion, there is no need to slam the students with practice booklets and daily test discussion.
I ask my students to try their absolute best. I make sure that every day they walk inside my classroom during "testing time" they are greeted with excitement, rather than anxiety.
Some kids rock the test, while others bomb it.
It's truly one snapshot of one day.
All I ask of my kiddos is their best. That's all any one can ask for :)