Extra time on test...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by RadiantBerg, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. RadiantBerg

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    I think I may have asked a question on this before, but....

    I teach ICS HS math (alg 2). I have about 9 special ed kids and 10-12 gen ed kids in each class. Most of the special ed kids get extended time on tests/quizzes. Usually at the end of the test period, they come up and hand me their papers, and say something like "I'll be back during lunch (or after school or during study hall etc. etc.) to finish".

    Almost all of my general ed kids finish, but I sometimes have like 1 general ed kid who doesn't finish in time (usually because he or she didn't study, and so, doesn't know what he or she is doing), and this kid is usually still working after the bell rings. They then overhear the special ed kid say that they are coming in later for extra time, and then they ask "Can I come back after school to finish too?" It is department policy that we should not offer extra time on assessments unless stipulated in an IEP or 504. Most of the students finish with much time to spare. What would you say to this general ed kid? I know the common answer is to tell him/her "Sorry, no extra time", and if he or she asks why so and so got extra time to state that "Fair isn't equal" or that "It's none of your concern.", but I'm not entirely sure they understand that. What are your thoughts? Have you run into this issue?
     
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  3. gr3teacher

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    Can you make the extra time part of things non-verbal? IE: for those students, give them something to check off when they will come to finish? Or just have a pre-arranged time (if Billy doesn't finish the test, Billy always comes in third period).

    As an elementary special ed teacher, I'd always just tell students that students would get what they needed to be successful, and extra time wasn't something they needed. You can't really be more specific than that without taking away from the confidentiality of the special ed students.
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    When I was a sped teacher, I always told my teachers that they could make accommodations for any student, extra time being the main one. Sped students have to get the accommodations provided by their IEP.
     
  5. 2ndTimeAround

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    cut your tests back so that they should only take 1/2 to 2/3 of the allotted time. Then give everyone extended time until the bell.

    Unless an IEP states unlimited extra time, I would limit what those students get too. Our IEPs just say "extended time on tests" or they say "extended time up to an addition 50%"

    Many of the kids with IEPs at my school don't need them. The documentation is a crutch for them and their parents or they just haven't bothered to have it removed outright. Many of my "regular" kids need additional help to be successful but because of the system rules, they don't get it. So I design my work so that everyone can do well.
     
  6. RadiantBerg

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    They do, but I can't cut it back that much. And even then, I'd still have some special ed kids needing extra time beyond that and complaining to case managers that they weren't given time beyond what everyone else got. I have some kids who took over 20 minutes for 2 quick quiz problems. (One graphing a parabola and one solving an equation by factoring.)

    I have to give comparable tests to the other teachers who do not have any ICS kids. I can't just give them a test half the length of the other teachers.
     
  7. RadiantBerg

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    Right, but I'm not supposed to do that. Another example is calculator use. I can't make my class easier for my gen ed kids just because it's an ICS section. I have to treat it like any other gen ed section for the gen ed kids. Gen ed kids with other teachers do not get extra time for comparable assessments, so the rationale of my supervisor is that it would be doing my gen ed kids a disservice to give them this.
     
  8. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    I would have a talk with the class about this. At the beginning of the year, I taped two candy bars to the wall fairly high up. I chose one student (a very tall boy) to reach up and get the candy. He does, and sits back down. For the second candy bar, I choose a short girl. She struggles to reach it, jumping up and down and straining. That's when the class starts chiming in with suggestions like, "Get a chair!" or the very sweet, "Can I help her?"

    You have to play the "bad guy" and say, "No, everything is fair in this class. If he didn't get to use a chair, then she doesn't get one." Then outrage ensues. The kids all start chattering about how she can't help that she's short, and the whole thing is so unfair. Again, act like it's "such an inconvenience" for you to allow this, but let her have a chair/help from someone else to reach the candy.

    This activity can spawn a discussion about fair vs. equal. You can explain that you have the same goals for everyone (hence why the candy was at the same height on the wall). You don't lower your expectations for anyone. However, some students will be able to reach the goals on their own and some students will need a "boost". Explain that it's up to you as the teacher to determine who needs a boost and who doesn't. It's not "equal", that's for sure. But is it fair? I think your kids will see that it IS fair that way after participating in this activity.
     
  9. LouiseB

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    What a gret example!
     
  10. gr3teacher

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    Love that example, BumbleB. My third graders are usually pretty empathetic to my twice-exceptional kiddos (I have a blind girl in my room this year... by the end of the first day, three students had already pledged to learn Braille, and another two had asked if they could sit near her during class to describe the board for her!), but the first time the "it's not fair!" talk happens, I'll need to use that.
     
  11. JustMe

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    I did this sort of activity, too! It is AMAZING as students will reference it all year when someone starts to complain about certain things.
     
  12. 2ndTimeAround

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    No where in an IEP should be the words "gets more time than other students." No where. Extra time is more time that what it SHOULD take. If a test should take an hour, then sped students (with the accommodation) should be given MORE than an hour.

    If you truly believe that the gen ed students run out of time because they didn't prepare well enough, tell them just that. Say "sorry, next time study more."

    I am shocked that your school only allows you to use interventions for students who have documentation. That isn't fair to the gen ed students that may need them but do not legally receive them.
     
  13. gr3teacher

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    IEPs generally say time and a half, which effectively is "gets more time than other students." As for only using interventions for students with documentation... I'm not surprised about that at all. So many schools are focused more on state tests than anything else, and expect all assessments to be given under conditions as close as possible to state testing conditions. Student A might need extra time, but if he can't get it on the state test, it's going to be hard to justify giving it on other assessments.
     
  14. ecteach

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    Ugh. This is hard to avoid. When I did inclusion, I was required to take most EC kids with me when they took a test. I couldn't just tell them to come to me instead of going to class that day, because the teacher would normally review first. I always had other kids asking if they could come with me too. I would say no, and they would get mad. This teacher had zero classroom management skills, and I played "bad cop" in the classroom. I had some kids telling me when I left they couldn't even focus on their test because the room was so loud.

    I think as the year went on the other kids started to realize why I was there, and why I had to pull those kids out.

    I would just keep doing what you already are doing. Tell them it's up to you who stays at lunch. Leave it at that, and move on.;)
     
  15. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    In the HS I worked at, both math teachers allowed ALL students to use calculators. And they both allowed all students extra time on tests, but it was the students responsibility to remember to come in and finish it. They only had one chance so if they said they would come during lunch but didn't, then they were graded that afternoon on what they had finished. For my SPED students, they were given a couple of chances to come in.
     
  16. RadiantBerg

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    Correct. Ours say 50% extended time, which is implied to mean extended beyond what the class gets. And yes, I try to accommodate everyone as much as I can, but if I think a gen ed kid needs extra time, I'm supposed to recommend them for a 504 which is an ordeal (and frankly, that should have happened before 10th-11th grade!)
     
  17. RadiantBerg

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    I do always fight my team to allow all students the use of calculators because frankly it's less of a hassle, and I'm not assessing them on arithmetic skills. I'm assessing them on other skills that the calculator can facilitate. Unfortunately the opposition that we shouldn't allow calculators because we want them to be able to do things without it is usually louder. Plus they don't have to deal with only some kids getting the calculators---they can just say no calculators for anyone.

    That's the biggest issue with some of my colleagues---they are very concerned with getting the kids ready for next year's math class when we haven't even had school for a week yet, and I would rather just meet them where they are.
     
  18. 2ndTimeAround

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    no, no, no, a thousand times no! IEPs are not written in comparison to other students.

    This floors me. In this very thread we had someone post the old story about what fair means. We say that fair is giving students what they NEED. Their own academic needs. How in the world can you pit one student against another and say Johnny needs 50% more time than Sally? How can you say that accommodations are individualized when you write/interpret them as comparisons?

    A good teacher knows how long her tests should take. That time is the baseline for accommodations. Not when 25% of the general ed students are done with theirs.
     
  19. gr3teacher

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    What IEPs should be and what they are really aren't the same thing though, in my experience. The way IEPs are written, Johnny with an IEP gets 1.5x the time that Suzie without an IEP gets.
     
  20. RadiantBerg

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    Thank you gr3teacher. That's the experience I have as well.

    2ndTimeAround, even if it were like you described---I have 40 minute periods. When we give chapter tests, there are generally at least 10 skills in the chapter we have to assess---usually more. It is difficult to make a fair test that would be designed to take 26 minutes including checking work (so that the extended time kid would have 26+13=39 minutes), and that covers all of those skills.
     
  21. 2ndTimeAround

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    My IEPs are written just as you mentioned yours were. "extended time on tests. Up to an additional 50%." If you and your colleagues choose to interpret that as a comparison, that is on you. I personally think it is a crying shame that educators would make those choices though.
     
  22. gr3teacher

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    It's not a choice, it's how it has always been explained to us, it's how our administrators expect it, it's how the accommodation is handled on state testing/county testing/school testing, etc.
     
  23. 2ndTimeAround

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    My tests are about 40 questions, all multiple choice and about half are analytical in nature. I usually have my brightest students finish in ten/fifteen minutes. Almost al are done in thirty. Students have 45 minutes then time is up. I test once a week.
     
  24. bros

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    I had my accommodation of extended time throughout K-12 for one reason - state testing. It allowed me to be in a separate room from everyone else during testing. Since my IEP didn't state a time limit, the state would give me unlimited time.
     
  25. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I do not allow extra time for my gen ed kids. I did it once and found out that he went and looked up all the answers, thus getting a much better score than he would've otherwise. Our periods are 44 minutes. 99% of the time, kids are done in 30 minutes with my tests.
     
  26. Pashtun

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    I would monitor the class as they are taking the test. If a general ed student is working hard on the problems the majority of the time and did not finish, I would absolutely give them extra time. If they are just staring off, wasting time because they do not know what or how to do it, then extra time serves them no purpose. If they are just wasting time and know how to solve the problems, then no extra time as well.
     
  27. Pashtun

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    This is good teaching. I would do this regardless of what anyone said, district, your team, your Principal. Until it was put in writing, this is how you should approach your class every year...imo.
     
  28. RadiantBerg

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    So it's totally different. I could try your strategy for QUIZZES (though there still may be issues), but we only TEST roughly once a month at the end of the chapter. My TESTS cover a lot more than a week's worth of material. I give a few MC type questions, but they are 80% open-ended. I would argue that giving all MC tests every week is BAD (even if you have good MC questions) so you may not be servicing the kids as well as you think.
     
  29. 2ndTimeAround

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    That's why no one gets multiple test sessions on my tests unless the IEP states directly. If that is the case, which has only happened once in my career, the student is given half the test on one day and the other half the next. He doesn't get the first half back nor does he get a preview of the second.
     
  30. 2ndTimeAround

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    That's only if you don't know how to write good MC test questions.
     
  31. RadiantBerg

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    No it isn't. 20% of my questions are good MC questions, I couldn't imagine giving 100% MC tests even if they were the best MC questions imaginable. I want to see the process and the thinking, not always just the final answer. We do problems like: "Find all zeroes of the polynomial...." This could involve a good 6-7 steps at least. Imagine if the student makes one sign error along the way. They then waste a lot of time, pick a wrong answer, and get 0 credit for their efforts. Doesn't seem fair at all.

    In fact, part of me feels giving entirely MC tests every week is a little lazy...
     
  32. Pashtun

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    Why would they just choose a wrong answer from a sign error? That sounds sloppy on the students part.

    Granted I teach 4th grade, so I have no idea what finding zero's in a polynomial is. But solving the problem, circling and answer, is sloppy...imo.
     
  33. 2ndTimeAround

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    well, I think only giving accommodations to students that legally get them, not those that need them, is lazy. Guess we're even. @@

    I also think only relying on tests for assessments are lazy. If you need a monthly test to tell you how your students are doing, that's lazy. I'm able to create a variety of assessments that provide all sorts of ways to show me what a student knows. I'm also able to create MC questions that show me the same.

    Now, when I teach math-based courses I do have some open-ended questions on the tests. Probably 25% of the test is written that way. But by the time the test comes around I've seen the students' work several times and I am pretty confident on whether or not they know the steps. That's what non-lazy teachers do.
     
  34. RadiantBerg

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    Here's an example of such a problem:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK8qDdeLtsw

    A student could make a sign error, and then not get one of the choices listed, and then spend all of their time analyzing that one problem.
    Or what if they know how to do the problem 90% to completion, but just forget one thing. They then spend a good 8 minutes, and get 0 points for it as opposed to get 9 out of 10 if it were open-ended.

    I don't know very many HS math teachers that would advocate giving a test that is almost all MC. As I said, I try to give some so they get used to those types of questions, but the MC is only for short problems. I don't think it's appropriate for science either, there should be some essay/short answer components, but I'm not a science teacher.
     
  35. RadiantBerg

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    I don't only rely on tests. I do projects, journal entries, quizzes, and homework assignments. We weren't discussing those things, were we??
    We were talking about TEST issues not other course assessments.
    And you can call me lazy if you want, but I'm not interested in being reprimanded by my supervisor for giving kids advantages not listed in a legal document that kids in other sections don't get. I highly doubt you're directed to only give MC tests.
     
  36. Pashtun

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    Again, I am a 4th grade teacher, so take it with a grain of salt. I expect students to analyze all problems on a test or assignment. I would expect a student that solves a problem and it doesn't match and answer choice or there estimated answer to solve it again. I don't give time limits, I want them to solve the problems.

    If they can do 90% and make a sign error, I would expect them to catch it and fix it. It either doesn't make sense(answer), doesn't match their estimated answer, would catch it by double checking...etc.

    Also by the end of the year accuracy would count for more than 10% or 0% of the problem.
     
  37. RadiantBerg

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    Yeah, I can understand that more in 4th grade where the problems don't take a long time....though I think I'd personally be inclined to give items that aren't MC.
     
  38. Pashtun

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    Question.

    Why would high school teachers give problems that students did not have time to make mistakes on, analyze, estimate, double check, find mistakes and correct?

    I am not criticizing it, but it seems you would want students to be able to make mistakes and fix them. Not blow it off as wasted work, or rely on partial credit without having first spent time analyzing the problem.

    Am I wrong?
     
  39. RadiantBerg

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    Yes, you are wrong to an extent.

    They do have time to double check, but anyone who has done higher math knows you can look at a problem again and again and again, and still not see your silly error. I don't want them spending copious amounts of time on one one problem. Kids could spend 40 minutes on one problem that way.

    Also, most of the applications of the skills will not be MC. We want to see how they think, and where they go wrong. This is much more valuable feedback than just "they picked A and the answer was C".

    Making everything "all or nothing" is not the way to go for HS math. I'm sorry, it's just not. It's not like elementary school where we would expect almost every kid to get every concept. There is more flexibility.
     
  40. Pashtun

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    Looking at a problem over and over again is not what I mean. They have to actually solve it again, sometimes 2-3 times if they have analyzed, estimated..etc and know they have a mistake.

    I 100% agree with solving problems. You can see a lot of this thinking through multiple choice. You are confusing partial credit with solving the problem. All students are expected to show ALL the work. They are expected to find and correct mistakes.

    I want to see where students make mistakes and where they go from there too. I want to see if they can use problem solving skills to find the errors, THEMSELVES. Not just give 90-100% credit for ME finding the sign error.
     
  41. gr3teacher

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    It's been awhile since I've done upper level math, but I do remember some of those problems can be ridiculously in-depth, with a huge number of steps and opportunities for small mistakes.

    Even at our level, there are math concepts (fractions!) that can involve many steps, and narrowing it down to A, B, C, or D doesn't come close to eliminating every potential misconception along the line.
     

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