Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Stakes Are High

Ready...Set...MEAP? Just as I was on a roll...the MEAP (Michigan Educational Assessment Program) was delivered to my room and things went halt for some time. With increasing pressure to perform and meet AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress...which is in turn tied in to school funding), the three day testing becomes high stakes. As the building testing coordinator, I am feeling the heat for sure!

This summer as I was wrapping my brain around how to get kids ready for the test, my mentor and close friend Jeri, recommended that I read A Teacher's Guide to Standardized Reading Tests by Lucy Calkins. This book connected all the dots (so to speak) for me! The gist is to look at the hight stakes testing as a genre. Just like we teach them to read fiction vs. non-fiction or fairy tales. It encourages teachers to teach about the test... not to the test. By building stamina, being knowledgeable about the test and providing stategies for taking the test, kids have more power! Knowing what the kids are getting into so there are no surprises along the way. That's what we want...we want children to succeed!

So as the MEAP falls upon us next week, I am encouraged that the kids seem ready...they have the knowledge and the, on your mark, get set....MEAP!!