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My school life (and home life, for that matter) has been consumed with testing.
I was a bit surprised to learn from a group of fifth grade students that they were anxious about the test because:
1. They thought the test was part of their report card grades, and
2. they thought the test was the deciding factor if they went to sixth grade.
"Oh, the thinks you can think." I giggled inside trying desparately to hold back a smile.
I told them to take a deep breath, and explained, "You will be relieved to know neither of those statements are true. We are still sending you all to junior high next year!" Gasps! "You can always come back to visit, but the tests are testing your learning and the teacher's teaching."
"What if all the tests come back, ppppllllluuuu -" thumbs down.
"Well, then, our principal will be asking us lots of questions, like 'What have you been doing all year?' But we know that won't happen because teachers have been teaching and you have been learning."
"Ok. So, what if some tests come back . . . " thumbs down again, tongue sticking out.
"Then we need to figure out what to do to help those kids. It's all our responsibility. Isn't that why we are here? To learn from each other?"
Heads nodded in agreement. Sighs of relief. Faces wiped of the worry.
"Let's do this!" One student cried out.
"Yeah!" The rest joined in.
"Now we will begin session 2 . . ." I began.
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