Sunday, January 12, 2014

Testing

I am not a big fan of testing. I don't believe it gives an accurate portrayal of what a student knows or can share. That being said I face the conundrum of having to test the students in my class in order to demonstrate their growth in numeric terms. Recently we tested their reading levels. There were some amazing discoveries. The first is that everyone, yes all 19 Grade 4's tested out at Grade level or above. Now you are wondering, "Isn't that what is supposed to happen?"  Yes it is what is supposed to happen. However the reality is that some students will be below grade level, some way below grade level with some at and a few above. To have them all test at grade level or above is a first in my career.  What is the difference? I am glad you asked. I attribute it to my class using SOLE for the last 2 months. With everyone engaged in their learning and contributing to learning of others I believe it has made a huge difference. Starting in September I will be able to prove this difference as I have most of my grade 4 students again next year. With a full year to study and use SOLE I am hoping to see a huge difference. The participation level of my weaker students has increased dramatically. They are working closer to on par with their fellow students than they ever did. The behaviour problems I encountered from a number of them through the year have disappeared since we have been using SOLE. One student who did everything he could to disrupt the class now sees himself contributing in a huge way. I have to speak to him very little about his issues.