Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Preparation. Our state test is later this week and today we talked about testing. I asked the sixth graders to write down words about testing. They answered with words like SCARY, LONG, BORING, HARD. They expressed fear and worry as well as determination. We turned the conversation to attitude and I asked if attitude, their attitude, could have an effect on the test. They decided that attitude is a big part of success.
Talking to sixth graders about big ideas like attitude and anxiety...these conversations stay with me and inspire me. I'm impressed with their awareness and maturity.
We took two pieces of paper out. On the first, we wrote the word TEST. We made lists of words that we connected with testing. When we finished with our conversation, I invited the students to rip these papers and throw them away. We talked about how this symbolized the power they had over the test.
The second piece of paper is for them. I asked them to write a letter to themselves on the day of the test. I reminded them to include messages they'd want to hear before going in and attacking the test.
I love these letters. They are as varied as my students. Some of the letters are a page long with lots of details and encouragement. Some letters are funny and make me laugh. Some letters are simple and to the point. I believe in my students. I believe they are readers and writers. No matter what the numbers on the test say, I know they believe it too. 
Here's one of my all time favorite excerpts...
Yes, a grade on a test doesn't show who you truly are!
Thank you to Stacey, Betsy, Dana, Tara, Beth, Anna, Kathleen & Deb for this amazing platform to write and share writing! What a wonderful community you've created! I'm honored to be part of it. Join us at Two Writing Teachers.

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