How can I make this better? I can read the directions slowly. I can provide brand new #2 pencils - sharpened and ready to go. I can arrange their seats so they can won't be distracted by their near and dear friends or their distractible buddy. I can arrange their book boxes as barriers to prevent wandering eyes. Every time I read the words close your books, I can offer two exercises to the count of twenty-five each to get them moving and their brains stimulated. I can follow the directions and provide the full allotted time in hopes my students will recheck their work.
The reality is I can't make it better. I can't take away the stares they are giving me while they wait for the time to pass while others finish and the clock moves slowly. I can't tell them what words mean when they say they don't know them. I can't tell them directly the answers to their questions, I can only reread the directions. I have to discourage turning the page when there is a stop sign. I have to be direct and tell them they can't get up out of their seat. I have to discourage doodling on the page.
Wait! Part way through my morning I decided I can embrace and celebrate their new learning and experience with standardized testing. I can share with them one way I like to celebrate and it almost always involves, ICE CREAM! Yes, I think on Friday morning right before lunch we will make your own sundaes. Each day will get easier. Each day the testing time is shorter than the one the day before. Today was the LOOOONNNNNGGGGG one! I can't wait, they will be so surprised!
PS - you might be asking why right before lunch and in the morning? Any time of day is good for ice cream but the reality is I will be out in the afternoon on another personal day adventure with my college girl on spring break and I don't want to miss a reason to eat ice cream.
Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering and organizing this writing challenge.