The Night Before the ELA
Tomorrow, at long last, the big day arrives. Months of intense preparation, building up to this standardized prep. In my classroom I operate under sort of a strange paradox, working intently to get my kids for the test, but trying to minimize it's importance, and therefore it's intimidation factor.
Still, it's hard to lighten the weight, when so many other people in the building rely on the test as a sort of go-to management tool: "If you don't pay attention you're not gonna pass that test and you're gonna be right back here in 3rd grade!" And so, there have been times that the mere mention of the test has elicited a visible shudder from my kids.
An ongoing focus of the past couple weeks then, in addition to the strategies and skills has been to remind my students of all the work they've done, the learning they've accomplished, the progress they've made. They weren't ready in September, I say, but that was eight long months ago. They're ready now.
I hope I'm right, but I hope even if I'm not, they believe me. The test will be a challenge enough, I hope anxiety and fear don't add to it.