Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Once a quarter, every core academic class has to give a district benchmark test to make sure the students are learning what they're supposed to be learning.

8th grade. Physical science. The teacher was ill, and the benchmark was due. Deep sigh.

As per normal, my biggest issue was in keeping the class quiet when most of them (but not all) had finished and turned in the test. The students who need the extra time deserve a silent classroom, and I do everything in my power to ensure that they have it.

3rd period. I picked up the penultimate finisher's test. I shushed the class. Then I went to take a look to see how long the final tester was going to need.

He was on question four. Of 30. After 45 minutes.

Before I continue, I should explain a bit about test taking at the school. Some students have issues. They may need longer for a test. They may need extra modifications. These are things that are in the students' files, and accommodations are made for them.

These students don't take tests in their teachers' classrooms. There is a resource room for them. Most teachers forget to mention this, but that's okay, because the students know. They come up to me and inform me that they need to take the test elsewhere. This is so common that I just hand them the test, make note of their names, and let them go.

So, this student shouldn't have been having testing issues. If he had them, he should have gone elsewhere. In fact, three other students in his class did leave, so it wasn't like he would have gone alone.

Then I noticed the student talking to his neighbor. Um, no. I pounced.

I asked him what the problem was. He explained that he was bored. So, instead of finishing the test, he spaced out. By the end of the period, he finished maybe six questions. And then he was worried about not having finished the test.

On second thought, perhaps he does need modifications. I hope they figure that out.


  1. *shaking head* These kids now days... We home school and my oldest has done some public school testing so we could see how he stacked up to his peers. He zipped through the tests and then sat there twiddling his thumbs for 1/2 hr to an hour, just waiting for the test to end. AND he wasn't allowed to do anything else but sit because he might distract the other students. So inefficient.

  2. Excuse me while I shake my head for the next twenty seconds. I think the only modifications he needs are more explanations of the rules. Perhaps simplified pictures.


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