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Old 02-22-05, 03:23 PM   #1
MsVicki
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It is finally over!

I gave my 4th graders their writing TAKS test (state mandated..blah blah blah...) today. They had to read 4 passages and answer 28 questions on how the passages could be better, find punctuation and grammatical mistakes, etc., AND they had to write a composition (2 pages) on a topic. They had to use adjectives and adverbs and "red flags" and similies, etc. etc. I have been stressing about this damned test for weeks, so I am just glad it is OVER!

I taught all of my 4th graders to meditate this year. I noticed many of them meditating when they would take a 2 minute "mental break" as they worked. It took three students until the final bell rang just now to complete the test, and we started at 8:15 this morning! They are relieved, I am relieved; thank goodness it is over!

Now for the next TAKS tests in April...math and reading! Arrgghh! (Wish us luck!)
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Old 02-22-05, 03:25 PM   #2
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MsVikki,

As a teacher, what is your opinion of TAKS? Usefull or no?

Thanks,
BR
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Old 02-22-05, 03:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Ray
MsVikki,

As a teacher, what is your opinion of TAKS? Usefull or no?

Thanks,
BR
I will give this one some thought. When the head honchos start talking about using the test scores to prove accountability, I don't agree with that. I can teach until I am blue in the face, and there are going to be some kids who just are not going to get it...or are not good at taking tests...or for whatever the reason will not pass a standardized test. And I hate the fact that administration puts such an emphasis on the TAKS. It has made it where teachers no longer have fun teaching and students no longer have fun learning, and that is a very sad thing.

When I first started teaching (back in the days of the dinosaur), I taught in a "free school". I would bound out of bed in the mornings, eager for another day at school. I can promise you this...it isn't that way any longer. At least our little school is not as bad as some of the bigger schools. We do not stop teaching anything BUT the TAKS.

Let me give your question some thought and get back to you!

Vicki
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Old 02-22-05, 04:21 PM   #4
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MsVicki- Thanks for slipping me the answers for my fourth grader. It made it much easier for him to pass the test. He could sit there the rest of the day and not read a book.
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Old 02-22-05, 05:05 PM   #5
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Good friend of mine is a teacher here; she's having the same experience. Her school actually isn't bad; some of the ones around here apparently do have lots of pressure to teach "pass the state test" classes because those scores determine funding.
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Old 02-22-05, 05:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsVicki
I will give this one some thought. When the head honchos start talking about using the test scores to prove accountability, I don't agree with that. I can teach until I am blue in the face, and there are going to be some kids who just are not going to get it...or are not good at taking tests...or for whatever the reason will not pass a standardized test. And I hate the fact that administration puts such an emphasis on the TAKS. It has made it where teachers no longer have fun teaching and students no longer have fun learning, and that is a very sad thing.

vICKI
I feel for you. There will always be some people who "just don't get it" or can't put it togather for a standardized test.

I do wonder, though if all of the emphasis on certain material results in the kids learning that particular material quite well.

BR
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Old 02-22-05, 05:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsVicki
... there are going to be some kids who just are not going to get it...or are not good at taking tests...or for whatever the reason will not pass a standardized test.
And then there are students like me who test very well and always ace standardized tests, regardless of preparation.
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Old 02-22-05, 07:57 PM   #8
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I am glad it is over and I hope your students did well, Ms. Vicki. Are you through with the tests now or are there more to come?
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Old 02-22-05, 08:45 PM   #9
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Ms. Vicki is right on about some schools doing nothing but teaching for the TAKS test.
My wife teaches 7th & 8th grade. We have 3 middle shools in our district. One categorically scores lowest on the TAKS. They do nothing but teach the test all year long. It's all about test scores for accreditation. Let's forget about kids actually learning something. I feel for you Ms. Vicki. My wife has taught since the middle 70's. She's taught 4th grade to high school. One of the biggest/largest growing problem with a lot of kids is a total lack of social skills.
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Old 02-22-05, 09:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsVicki
I will give this one some thought. When the head honchos start talking about using the test scores to prove accountability, I don't agree with that. I can teach until I am blue in the face, and there are going to be some kids who just are not going to get it...or are not good at taking tests...or for whatever the reason will not pass a standardized test. And I hate the fact that administration puts such an emphasis on the TAKS. It has made it where teachers no longer have fun teaching and students no longer have fun learning, and that is a very sad thing.

When I first started teaching (back in the days of the dinosaur), I taught in a "free school". I would bound out of bed in the mornings, eager for another day at school. I can promise you this...it isn't that way any longer. At least our little school is not as bad as some of the bigger schools. We do not stop teaching anything BUT the TAKS.

Let me give your question some thought and get back to you!

vICKI
I get what your saying the ****ING DICK HEADS from the school boar dor what ever you call it, put so much thought into test score of the fricken mcas. Once we got into 7 th grade no doy gives to ****s about the friggin test.

Oh my son is a horrible student and needs to spend more time doing this and that, when the kid does great in school but SUCKS on standad (i take this from personal history ) I really think it is a waste of paper and time. sorry that was a minirant but really jeez people its a standarized test, now they keep moving it up from you take it every 3 years now its becoming every year. Jebus Chribus
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Old 02-22-05, 10:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Ray
I do wonder, though if all of the emphasis on certain material results in the kids learning that particular material quite well.

BR
Probably so. Who knows? Still, it no fun at all to teach now that there is year-round tension among teachers because of these tests.

You aren't one of the authors of the TAKS tests, are you, BR?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluechip
MsVicki- Thanks for slipping me the answers for my fourth grader. It made it much easier for him to pass the test. He could sit there the rest of the day and not read a book.
Yeah, yeah. You wish!




Quote:
Originally Posted by monogodo
And then there are students like me who test very well and always ace standardized tests, regardless of preparation.
Yup, I was one of those, too.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonestar1
Ms. Vicki is right on about some schools doing nothing but teaching for the TAKS test.
My wife teaches 7th & 8th grade. We have 3 middle shools in our district. One categorically scores lowest on the TAKS. They do nothing but teach the test all year long. It's all about test scores for accreditation. Let's forget about kids actually learning something. I feel for you Ms. Vicki. My wife has taught since the middle 70's. She's taught 4th grade to high school. One of the biggest/largest growing problem with a lot of kids is a total lack of social skills.

I had a student in my 5th grade class two years ago who is now going to a huge 5-A school. He is a top student, makes straight A's, is in a Gifted/Talented program. His G/T robotics class was told by an administrator last week that they would have to spend several days a week on TAKS practice from now until the TAKS tests in April. Heck, this kid tops ALL of the standardized tests...why the heck would he need TAKS practice? So he is subjected to mindless TAKS worksheets several times a week, drilling him with stuff he already knows, instead of participating in an interesting, innovative G/T program. Go figure!
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Old 02-23-05, 07:24 AM   #12
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Here in Florida, the kids have the FCATS to pass. How the kids do is how the school is rated. Based on the rating, that is how much extra Money the school gets from the state.
2 of my neighbors are teachers and they think the FCATS have ruined the school system. Instead of teaching the kids what they should be learning, they have to teach to the FCATS. The teachers blame JEB BUSH, the governor of our state.
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Old 02-23-05, 08:16 AM   #13
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You aren't one of the authors of the TAKS tests, are you, BR?
Nope. Although, as a lawyer, my social standing might be higher if I were!

I'm more curious than anything else. As a child-less Dallas resident, TAKS doesn't directly effect my life. Even when I have kids, DISD is not an option.

BR
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Old 02-23-05, 08:52 AM   #14
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What do you do with the dyslexic kids who are wicked smart but have difficulty reading, spelling, etc.?
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Old 02-23-05, 09:16 AM   #15
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My daughter (3rd Grade) is taking her TAKS reading test as I type. My wife (3rd grade teacher in another district) starts testing today or tomorrow.
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