Thursday, February 23, 2012


We are about ten days from our state's big event. I'm feeling more than a little inadequate, like my kids are never going to be ready, that I have not taught them anything, that none of them are going to be proficient, And I just need to breathe and laugh, and remember Ruth Ayres very, very wise words:
Most importantly, I understand the child matters more than a score on a test.

And so I approach test prep from this stance. I want children to face that test, with confidence and hope and a warrior’s spirit. I want them to know they know the things they need to succeed. I want them to be bold and trust themselves. I want them to believe they are the kinds of people who perform well on tests.

This happens through workshop teaching — not gimmicks or drill and practice worksheets. When students have time to write and read in authentic ways, on topics of their interest and choosing, then they develop the skills they need to succeed on standardized tests.

This week, my involvement in test prep is to help young writers realize all they know about writing — and to believe this is more than enough for them to be successful on a standardized test. We will make charts about the things we know as writers, and students will claim strategies for themselves. They’ll practice using craft and conventions. They’ll smile about the things they can do. This is our focus…the things they can do — not the ways they are falling short. And they will face the test feeling encouraged and loved.

If you have not read her post on test prep, you really need to head over to TWO WRITING TEACHERS and read the whole thing here.

Thanks, Ruth, for this oh so important, oh so true, reminder!

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