And Then There Was One . . .

One more day of state testing, that is! Monday and Tuesday we had our reading sessions. Third grade is the first year of the test, so my students were understandably a bit tense about it. Here in FL we have mandatory retention at third grade for students who score a level one. That's a lot of pressure to put on 8 and 9 year olds. I tried to reassure them that they are ready, and that we have worked on problems all year just like what they would fact on the test. Many of them did say when we finished the reading sessions that they thought it went well.

As the math teacher, you can be sure I was watching them closely today. The only thing I look at on their tests is the big session number at the top of the page, making sure they are in the right one. However, I could see that they were writing in the test books (hopefully doing the math!), checking to be sure they answered the questions, and seemingly focused during the 70 minute session. While I do have those students who are nowhere near third grade level I also have many that I know can score at grade level or above if they do their best.

I've tried to provide some fun experiences in the afternoon, since they work so hard in the morning. Today we did our tie-dye shirts! After showing them some possible ways to tie their shirts, they worked hard to get those rubber bands on. I brought them home and dyed them in my washer and here is what they look like now:

Tomorrow afternoon they will take off the rubber bands and see their designs -- it's the best part of the whole process! They get so excited over the "magic" of it all. I follow these amazing directions from Laura Candler, and highly recommend this if you want to do tie-dye with your class:

Tie Dye T-shirts Made Easy

We've also done a couple of fun craft projects this week, gotten in a little extra computer lab time, and watched a couple great science videos. What do you do during test week?


  1. During the first round of ISTEP+ (Indiana's fun testing time), fourth grade brings in many guest speakers in the afternoon. We might have a few when we start the multiple choice testing in a few weeks. (I am hoping for our state senator.) Our fourth graders are invited to a study trip at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that happens to fall right at the end of testing. We decided today that the curriculum that the Speedway has sent for their unit will be great to work on during those two weeks of testing. (It takes two weeks to get everyone scheduled into the computer labs or with the iPads since everyone has to take this portion of the test online this year.)

    1. Wow! How awesome to have guests in. Our 5th graders take their math next week on computers (first year). In two years, we change to the Common Core test and all computer; should be interesting!

      Math is Elementary

  2. What an awesome project! If you get a chance, I would love to see how your shirts turned out!

    Teaching With Moxie

  3. I have some photos to go in a future post!



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