Friday, April 13, 2012

Star Test

This week my older 2 kids took their first STAR Test. This is the California standardized test. Because we are now a part of a charter school they are required to take this test so that the school can continue to receive state funds and then give them to me. So I got my kids up early, earlier than usual because we had to travel 25 minutes to the testing place and had to be there bright and early at a quarter to 9:00 a.m. I also prepared them a lunch and just for fun put their sandwich, apple, crackers and power bar in a brown paper sack with their name written on the front.  This is the closest thing to sending my kids off to school I have ever gotten.

When we arrived, the trappings of school continued as Ian had to go and find the sign that said 2nd grade and stand there with all the other kids his age while Sophie found the 5th graders and waited with them to be taken to their respective classrooms for the tests.  Luckily each found a few friends that they know from science classes and such to be with for the day.  I took Henry (who is only in first grade so didn't need to take the test) and Molly home leaving Sophie and Ian there to spend the next 4+ hours filling in bubble sheets.

I went home and did school work with Henry. Wow was it so easy to get him to finish his math and writing assignments without the older two there. Henry was so fast he even got to play a little Wii sports as P.E. since it was raining.

We went to pick up the kids and they were itching to get out into the sunshine and fresh air after being inside for so much of the day.  Sophie said the tests were really easy but then also said she just guessed on some of the math since it contained some algebra. She also explained that the test needed to be edited because there were several questions that didn't have the right answer as one of the choices.  I had to giggle at that one. She knew she was right so therefore it had to be the test that was wrong.  The proctor who administered the test for her grades told me she got through the different sections really quickly. I have a feeling this girl just skimmed all the reading sections and jumped right to the questions and then just gave everything a good guess.

Ian didn't have a whole lot to say about his tests. He said they weren't very hard it was just long. Evidently for the 2nd graders the proctor actually reads the questions to the kids. He had to move as slowly as the rest of the class since he was told to wait for the proctor. He had less tests to take than Sophie but was later coming out because his grade had to all finish together.  He did say something about working out problems on the scratch paper they gave him. Sophie then replied..."oh, is that what that paper was for?"  I guess she just did all the math in her head because she was told she couldn't write in the booklet but didn't even think to use the blank sheet of paper they gave her.

Ian only had two subjects upon which he was being tested, Sophie had 4. Along with Language Arts and Math, which were the two Ian had, Sophie also had Science and P.E.  Sophie said the science was really easy and that she only struggled with Math and some of the P.E. tests. Ian didn't have much to say about anything. After two days of testing he was just done.

Yes they took two 5 hour days to complete the STAR tests. I guess in the public schools near us they take a whole week to do the tests. Doing only and hour or so each day rather than doing them all in one. It is hard to say if this is better or not. I am sure my kids were tired of sitting there all day but at least they got it over with pretty quickly rather than dragging it out.

It will be interesting to see how my kids faired on these tests.  At least they got some practice taking standardized tests. There are some test taking skills that I think they could improve upon. Doing these yearly hopefully will give them a little practice.

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