We're doing standardized testing this week. Testing kindergarten students at all is a daunting task. Testing them with booklets and instructions and little bubbles to fill in is an exercise in futility. Some of mine filled in two answers. Others left blanks. One filled in the first bubble on each page. One circled his answers instead of filling in the bubbles.
It's a good thing I don't rely on that particular test to make any crucial decisions. I use a variety of assessments, both oral and written, plus classroom observations, to make sure my students are learning. I think it's important to remember that following dircections is still difficult for this age group and plays an important part in any testing.
Time also plays an important part in testing. One of my students fails a particular test every time it is given because she is required to recognize a certain number of random letters in one minute. She freezes on the first unfamiliar one. Give her ten minutes and she knows most of them.
Tests are helpful tools, but we have to use them safely and wisely. And we have to make sure we are using the right tool for the job. More later...