CA teachers; are you ready for CC Field test?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by heavens54, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Academic language? Sentence frames? Writing? We are a small school with little support. We had a meeting about Smarter Balance CC Field test it last week. Our teachers are starting to panic. It's not far away, this beast called the Smarter Balance field test. We are NOT ready. Are you? If yes, what have YOU, or your district, done to get ready?
     
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  3. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    It is a FIELD TEST. What is there to panic about? In our district we get NO results of any kind, it is more a logistics test.

    So yes, I am ready, there is no sense of stress or panic whatsoever. I am looking forward to seeing what the test really looks like.
     
  4. Loveslabs

    Loveslabs Companion

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    Is this a test for the students?
     
  5. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    During my special ed days, I administered five different field tests at different points in time. I never considered any of them stressful, nor did the kids.
     
  6. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    My class was able to pilot test smarter balance last year. It was great because we now know what technology skills the kids need outside of the content standards. Since there are no results given, leave the stress out of it. Take the experience for what it is, a learning opportunity for your school.
     
  7. RadiantBerg

    RadiantBerg Cohort

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    I did not get selected for the field test, but a few of my colleagues did. I am glad to not have to deal with it, but wouldn't really freak out if I did.
     
  8. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    I just realized i didn't answer the questions, sorry.

    To get ready, we have increased our focus on students using technology. We have a few websites that are good practice for keyboarding skills. When we did the pilot test last year, it was an issue that the students took forever trying to type a paragraph response to a prompt. There were quite a few test questions (in several formats) but the typing took the longest and sometimes caused students to stress over getting through that portion. They were getting frustrated and some admitted that their answer was not as detailed as it could've been because they were tired of typing (searching for the right keys, deleting mistakes, and remembering the caps/punctuation).

    We also go over the practice test with them so they see all of the different ways that they will answer questions. It's not so much to see the test questions, as much as it is to see the drag and drop, matching, multiple right answer, and fill in style questions. On the ELA portion, they could see how to minimize the questions in order to get the reading passage on full screen. Last year, some of the features were not easy to undo so that was a challenge.

    For me, the pilot test was super informative and I'm so glad that we were able to see those issues early. That is what I suggest you guys focus on when you take the test. I'm sure you are teaching the standards and that part will be fine, it's the unexpected hiccups that would be the issue you didn't see coming.

    Hope that helps.
     
  9. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Agreed.

    The field test doesn't count for anything. It's mostly to get logistical issues out of the way.

    I'm having my computer class practice taking the Smarter Balanced tests and creating tip sheets for other students to use.

    My biggest concern is keeping the kids from freaking out.
     
  10. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    Our school has over 1000 students and 2.5 computer labs. The main issue is scheduling everyone in, which I am very grateful is not something I am involved in.
     
  11. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Companion

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    Our field test is in late March I believe. We did some preliminary tests and the students hate it.

    But my biggest concern isn't even the actual test. It's the technology aspect. The entire state taking this test roughly around the same days. I anticipate huge network problems.
     
  12. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    WOW, thanks all. I feel better already. Yes, I think that it's more about the technology component and the students abilities to type and perform the other tasks necessary to get through the test itself. A big concern. As most of you know, we are a small school with no computer lab, so our conditions for taking this test are not optimal.
     
  13. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Same for us. 1200 kids, 3 labs, two of which are classrooms in use all day long. We are planning to test 60 kids a day for twenty days.

    Twenty days.
     
  14. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    We only have 100 kids in our field test group and will be testing them in one room, in groups of 30 over a 10 day period.
     
  15. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    True.

    However, in my particular district, the vice-principals are in charge of ironing out the logistics and providing training for teachers. In essence, I'm the trainer of trainers.

    I must admit, I'm anxious to get the field test out of the way. I've tried (and continue to try) to keep my teachers up-to-date on everything (watching the training modules together, putting together binders with pertinent info, etc.), so I'm hoping that they feel confident about administering the test.
     
  16. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I've got a question for everyone:

    Who's the test coordinator at your site/in your district?
     
  17. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Test coordinator=assistant principal at my school
     
  18. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    It's our AP. My first year in the county, our lead ESOL teacher was test coordinator, but it's been the AP ever since then.
     
  19. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    One of our two APs
     
  20. ktdclark

    ktdclark Comrade

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    We have no AP in our school of 650 kids. We do have a lab and a part time computer teacher and apparently the district forced each school to purchase tablets? Not sure of the details yet.

    I am in second grade so I am THRILLED not to have to test this year. I have been having fun experimenting with CC lesson plans and focusing a lot on Social Studies and Science. My second grade team has re-written our reading tests that accompany our reading series to reflect more common core standards...

    I have a fifth grade son who goes to my school who will be taking the test--I would love to see his results. Is there anyway to see his test?
     
  21. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but no--none of us will be able to see the kids' scores this year (in CA, at least).
     
  22. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    We can't even see the scores on practice tests. I hate tests like this.
     
  23. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Would you really like it any more if they just gave you a number with no other information though? If anything, I'd consider that even worse than just not getting any information.
     
  24. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    In CA we didn't just get numbers. We got scores for bands, so it did provide some information.
     
  25. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    That doesn't answer the question I asked, nor does it address the point I was addressing.
     
  26. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Yes, I would rather have at least a score...one number.
     
  27. RadiantBerg

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    We mustn't forget that Pashtun is highly affectionate towards high stakes testing.
     
  28. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Yep, I teach multi digit multiplication in 4th grade...they are expected to do it.

    It is not ok for me to say what wonderful things my students are doing, yet they can't pass a multiple choice test on it.....
     
  29. orangepurple

    orangepurple Companion

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    Are we ready?
    Ha! Not in the least. I think we are actually doing ok with starting to teach more in line with the new standards, but as far as testing--uh uh. It was clear from the short sample test that some kids could hardly figure out how to log in to the computer or type any kind of response. Others immediately figured out that it was much easier to fill a text box with a one word answer than to write a whole bunch of stuff.

    And how are we going to manage the logistics of it with the amount of computer time, the number of students in each class, etc. I would really really like to see a schedule sometime SOON showing us how much class time on which days in which computer lab. My concern is that we'll be looking at interrupting regular schedules for weeks to get all the kids tested because we don't have enough computers.
     
  30. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Whoever is your "Site Coordinator" for the test should be preparing a master schedule (computer usage, testing dates/times, etc.) and labels with the kids' log in info (here in CA, the confirmation code is their FIRST NAME followed by their SSID number in the next box).

    Has anyone given any sort of professional development to prepare you for the test?

    Here's a site that offers wonderful resources for teachers and administrators. This has been my go-to webpage to help train my teachers. http://sbac.portal.airast.org/ca/field-test-ca/resources/

    Please let me know if you have any questions. I'm definitely not an expert, but I'm trying to familiarize myself with all aspects of the test (preparation, log in, administration of the exam, etc.).
     
  31. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    And what does that have to do with anything. Receiving some feedback is better than no feedback.
     
  32. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    CA teachers; are you having your kids DO the practice tests and training tests in your regular day schedule? We are 4/5. Can you give me an idea how long it takes? Are there other programs to get them ready? Such as key board practice? Thanks again.
     
  33. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    What good will a number without context do? Will it do anything to guide your instruction? Would it change any methods for the following school year? Would finding out that Billy was a 492 and Suzie was a 502 help you accomplish anything as a teacher?
     
  34. Jem

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    We have a weekly computer lab time and the teacher has had the students take a practice math smarter balance test. It was a disaster. Not only had we not covered that type of math yet, they didn't take it seriously. I am SO glad scores don't count this year-it's my first year on top of everything. We're adopting a new math program for next year and we're really hoping someone is developing an online testing component just to get these kids use to testing on a computer. I have a class set of netbooks they could use to practice on, but they'll be testing in the lab. I'm not worrying about the logistics-that's not my job. I'm just hoping they can translate what they are learning now to the computer.
     
  35. RadiantBerg

    RadiantBerg Cohort

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    Exactly. I'm scared that since it's on the computer, my guys will try to do all the problems in their head.
     
  36. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Quite a bit actually.
     
  37. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    ...

    How?
     
  38. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    If Suzie got a 402 score based on a 405 scale, I would get some very good information depending on the type of student I know Suzie is. Would give me an indication of whether my instruction was effective with that level of student or not according to the smarter balanced test.
     

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