Thursday, 9 May 2013

Testing, testing, testing...

Sigh... why do we have to have tests?!

I wasn't overly fond of the things when I was a student and now, as a teacher, I just find them exhausting!!

Next week we do our national curriculum tests so we have been reviewing and reviewing and reviewing. I KNOW my kiddies know this stuff; they're able to produce fantastic, amazing, creative, Math projects; they can solve 2 and (sometimes) 3-step problems and explain their thinking to me; they can line up gleefully in front of the board arguing about who "gets to go first" to solve the really tricky metric conversions I've plastered all over the board; they ASK for computer Math homework... why, today, did they have a collective brain freeze 3 days before the test and couldn't tell me what 7 + 3 + 5 was?

Well, I know why. Because it was a mental math assessment that's why!!

Only 5 seconds to answer the "easy" questions like "what is 1/3 of 24"

and 10 seconds to answer harder questions like "An eraser costs $0.25 and a pencil costs $1.10. How much do 2 pencils and an eraser cost?"

I think that's quite tricky for 8-year olds to work out in their heads in 10 seconds. Really, it's no wonder their little brains are blinking.

We're going to do one more practice tomorrow under "test" conditions and then I'm just going to hope for the best next week. Every year I stress and every year my class astonishes me with their results so hopefully this year will be no different.

But boy, will I be glad when these tests are over!!

Does anyone else do mental math assessments? What are they like? How do you prepare for them?


  1. Testing is SUCH a big deal here--and about to get bigger now that our pay is going to be tied to how our students do. Can you believe? No matter what "raw material" we are given, our compensation will be tied to it. My husband works in industry and they can reject raw material that doesn't meet standards! Sigh. I know we need to assess...I get just seems that there must be a better way...

    1. I think I'd go into strong hysterics at the thought of my pay being tied to results!! I can't even begin to imagine the stress of testing under those conditions!! The whole assessment thing needs to be re-examined!!