CA teachers;CC Smarter Balance practice test...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by heavens54, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Mar 26, 2014

    For the Smarter Balanced CC test? I am referring specifically to 5th grade. It's a monster. Geometry, fractions, area, and a whole bunch of other skills. I'am not even sure how to solve it. But they are all quite advanced. Oh my goodness. We have done the practice tests and they are very challenging. The students do NOT find the kid friendly at all. Wouldn't it be helpful to present them in a more kid friendly manner?

    UGH...
     
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  3. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Mar 26, 2014

    I am referring to the performance task for fifth grade. So advanced.
     
  4. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Mar 26, 2014

    I'm assuming you can't give the actual question, but could you give a similar type of problem for some perspective?
     
  5. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Mar 26, 2014

    Do you think there would be any value in presenting questions (i.e.) on the SMARTBoard, and breaking one down as a class everyday here leading up to the test?
     
  6. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    The high school level test is also very challenging. Lots of reading and written responses even in math. Luckily this is just a field test.
     
  7. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Mar 27, 2014

    Challenging and advanced should not be bad words in education.

    I'll agree that our current kids perhaps should have been grandfathered in to the non-challenging, non-advanced education we've apparently been giving them, but to run from challenging is kind of sad.
     
  8. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Mar 27, 2014

    Yes! I wholeheartedly agree with this!!! :2cents:
     
  9. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Mar 27, 2014

    Interesting how challenging and advanced have negative connotations in this context.
     
  10. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Mar 27, 2014

    Challenging and advanced have negative connotations anywhere if it is an inappropriate level of challenge or advancement. As a completely extreme example, if we set "Finnegan's Wake" in front of a kindergartner and told them to write a dissertation on it, I think we'd all consider that to be extremely negative.

    I'm not saying the PARCC test is anything like that since I've never seen it, but just providing an example.
     
  11. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Mar 27, 2014

    Just out of curiosity, have you seen this performance task I'm referring to?

    I don't recall saying that challenging and advanced are BAD things. But our students are not prepared for these types of questions. And the test, at this grade level, is NOT kid friendly. Aren't we wanting our kids to succeed and not be put off, scared off, by the test, even if it is a field test?

    What grade do you teach? Do you find your questions grade appropriate? My CSET questions weren't as difficult as this 5th grade math question. Not to mention, that our students haven't had any experience answering, reading, calculating and connecting to their testing on a computer in this way. So they are giving very difficult, complicated, multi step, multi skilled tasks/questions with almost no preperation for these types of questions. Maybe you are very happy with the CC Smarter Balance test for your students, but, so far, I am not. Based on the evidence I have seen for my grade.
     
  12. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Mar 27, 2014

    Obvious is obvious.

    We are in fact referring to smarter balanced test and PARCC.

    I teach 4th grade and have found most of the Smarter Balanced questions fair and appropriate. It will certainly change the way I give quizzes in my class. I sill start to have them done on a computer as much as possible. I will certainly be making some changes, but nothing inappropriate in these tests I have seen so far.
     
  13. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Mar 27, 2014

    I am not implying that we should run from challenging academics. I work at STEM-focused school where we expect all our students to challenge themselves. We are also expected to provide a college prep education for them. Even my students with significant learning disabilities are expected to take math through Algebra 2 along with 2 years of foreign language and so on.

    I guess I should be more clear so I'm not misunderstood. The way the test is structured is quite challenging in that it demands thinking that is structured in a different way than has been taught. And, the computer based format is not something our students are used to working with. It requires keyboarding skills such as drawing a mathematically accurate triangle by dragging and dropping points and lines. We don't yet have enough computers to introduce the students to these skills en masse. We teachers took the practice tests and found them cumbersome and frustrating due to the delivery system and the data entry. In addition, the questions and prompts are academically challenging which makes the test time consuming.

    When I say we are lucky that it is a field test, I mean that I'm glad the students won't feel pressured and I'm glad the test is not high stakes for the school because it is so very different from the paper and pencil tests they are accustomed to taking.
     
  14. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Mar 27, 2014

    Challenging, yes. Impossible for my kiddos? No. This year will be rough, but that's why it's a freebie year. Just gives me more resolve to kick butt next year when it matters. I've been watching them take the practice tests, asking them how they are feeling about it, gauging their confidence level, asking if they are seeing terms or ideas that 'scare' them, etc. I think it's all about reflecting as educators-what can we do different next year to prepare them for this? And helping our students reflect throughout the year on what they are doing so they feel prepared and confident walking into the test. I know I have a huge list of areas I need to tighten up next year!! :)
     
  15. ktdclark

    ktdclark Comrade

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    Mar 27, 2014

    My fifth grader is in the process of taking the practice tests...math was super hard for him (and he is bright in math) but we came to find out that the state had given his class the wrong test!!!!

    So, he will retake the math portion tomorrow.

    Yes, he says it is hard but he works up until last possible moment to try and figure it out...so proud of him!

    At this point, there are quite a few computer/website glitches making the testing that much more difficult for the kids. I hope all these problems work themselves out by next year!
     
  16. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Mar 28, 2014

    +1,000
     
  17. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Mar 28, 2014

    Yes I have seen the tests. I'm in Cali too and we're also doing the field test this year. I teach 7th and the questions, while definitely challenging, are appropriate for what kids at that level should know and be able to do. Do they know it? Not really. That's the problem we need to solve and isn't the fault of the test.

    The other thing to remember is that on the previous state test a 67% (roughly, it changed slightly from year to year) was considered Advanced. There's no reason to think the current test won't be scored in a like fashion.

    I'm not particularly thrilled with the test at all. I think having it done on computers is ridiculous. I do not, however, think the problem is with the challenge and advanced nature of the test.
     
  18. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Mar 28, 2014

    Today my principal gave me a Smarter Balance email that tells us what the subject matter and skills will be on the performance task. So we can prepare our students before the practice test. He said he just got it. I haven't looked at it yet, but if this is fact, that will make a huge difference for us.
     
  19. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Mar 30, 2014

    The 6th grade performance task for math was pretty challenging, but my issue was not being able to use scratch paper. The note pad on the test is not ideal for solving multi step math problems, IMHO.
     

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