Sunday, April 17, 2011

Testing and rebuff

Teaching Seniors does have its benefits. 

My students don’t take the STAR test, and that means schedules for them are all backed up and I become a rover for teachers that need a break in my building.  It’s a great chance for me to catch up on grading and prep for the end run towards the Advanced Placement tests. 

Thanks to the fantastic #sschat hashtag, I decided to offer up Skype sessions for Seniors that wanted to review for the test.  I would be at school, pausing to help out testing teachers, and be right back at the review in no time.  I put it up on Edmodo and Facebook, and the response was not what I had hoped.  It was a combination of “that’s kind of weird” and “it’s my time, I’ll do what I want”.  I don’t think it’s an issue of technology, I think it’s the use being unfamiliar to what students are used to.  It’s like Facebook used to be.  But unfortunately I think the primary reason is more of the culture of the class.  32 out of 36 students are signed up to take the test.  The class average is well down from past years and nobody is coming in asking for help.  The most known information is vocabulary and bolded information in the textbook, basically the telltale signs of lazy reading.  With most of these students already accepted into college, many feet are already out the door and focus is insanely low.  We’ll see.  I’m hoping people start taking advantage of the time because I don’t plan on stressing on these tests more than the students.  I’ve placed dozens of water barrels around them.  They’re going to have to take the sips.   

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