Tuesday, May 1, 2012

staar wars

Ohhh standardized testing.  Definitely not something that gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling.  Well, maybe warm in that I'm usually sweating within the first 10 minutes of testing because I'm worried that I'm going to mess something up and go to STAAR jail.  Maybe fuzzy as in I think I'm losing my vision because I've been staring at little answer bubbles for hours on end.  You get the picture.

Last week was my first time to administer the STAAR (State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness) test, and all I can really say is that I'm glad it's over.  I understand the need for STAAR, and I love the fact that I get to wear jeans all week to work, but boy is it ever draining.

Because this is my first year in the role of "teacher" (as opposed to "student"), the only experience I have with standardized testing involves sitting in a desk for hours at a time and actually taking a test.  I had never been in charge of a group of 26 students.  I had never attempted to keep said 26 students occupied for hours upon hours, days upon days.  But I did it! 

The following is a list of things that I did during the STAAR test to keep myself occupied:

-Alphabetized (and re-alphabetized) the scantrons and test booklets
-Walked around the classroom (I wish I would've worn one of those pedometer things to see how many steps I walked over the course of last week...I bet it was a lot!)
-Calf raises (Sets of 20 in the back of the room so I wouldn't hypnotize kids with my up and down movements)
-Made bets with myself
     *How long will it take this group to finish the test?
     *Who will be the first person finished?
     *The last?
     *How many times will someone break their pencil?
     *How long can I sit here and stare into space without going insane? <--that one didn't take very long
-Sharpened pencils
-Ate.  And ate.  And ate and ate and ate.  (It is seriously a miracle that all teachers do not weigh 500 lbs.  I've never been offered/eaten so many treats, snacks, and candies in my life.)
-(Once all of the students were done with their tests) Read! (Hallelujah!!!)

On the other hand, here's some things that I noticed my students doing to keep themselves busy once they were finished with their test:

-Re-laced their shoelaces
-Created Sweet Tart towers
-Slept <--I'm jealous of that one
-Attempted to turn various articles of clothing into a pillow
-Nutella Fingers**
-Picked scabs
-Played with pencils, inhalers, hair ties, etc.
-Adjusted sweatshirts over faces so that it appeared as if they were headless
-Ate.  And ate.  And ate and ate and ate <--I guess that goes both ways :)

Now that the STAAR is over for the year I think teachers everywhere are breathing a big sigh of relief.  As of now, the school year is definitely on the downhill slope!

**In case you're not familiar with "Nutella Fingers", please see this clip from Friends (and replace the word "peanut butter" with "Nutella"):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezLdRddU1Yk 

1 comment:

  1. Ha! This post made me LOL! :)

    During the writing test (or maybe it was the math simulation?), I counted how many steps across the length of my classroom was and the width. Then I tried to do mental math to figure out the area and the perimeter. I counted the number of cut-out letters on the walls. I counted the percentage of students still testing. It's mind-numbing. I'm definitely one of those letting out a jumbo sigh of relief!*