As I’ve explained before, all of my students participate in alternate assessments, which are called the TCAP-Alt Portfolio here in Tennessee. Those were completed and submitted in February. This week, however, is regular standardized TCAP testing at my school, and, although my students do not participate, I did not escape this week unaffected.
I was selected by the school counselor and resource teacher to administer the TCAP to a student who receives testing accommodations. This particular student is allowed as many breaks as needed during testing, a separate setting and read-aloud. This means that he and I will be together in a small conference room where I will give him the test by reading each question and answer choice. With the read-aloud accommodation, you are also allowed to repeat as many questions and answers as necessary and as many times as necessary.
This student will still be required to complete the test within the allotted time but can take extra breaks if needed. If this happens, I will have to record the time we stopped and resumed to ensure he still is given the exact amount of actual working time on the test. One section of the test will be completed each morning over a four-day period, finishing up on a Friday.
Administering the test obviously means that I will not be with my students for these four mornings. While I have full faith that my assistants can hold the fort, it will be a long week for my kids due to related arts classes being canceled and the hallways being completely off-limits during testing.
So, I racked my brain to think of something engaging to keep them occupied. One of my assistants came up with the idea to make Mother’s Day crafts for our friends at the local Senior Center, which we visit monthly. She found the cutest idea using hair scrunchies, pencils, glitter glue and silk leaves to make “bouquets!” I knew my kids would definitely get into this chance for creativity!
On our last day of freedom before testing, we took a shopping trip to gather our materials and spent a little time bowling with the P.E. classes from our school. I think we all needed the fresh air and enjoyment to get us through being cooped up the rest of the week!
I would love to hear your experiences with standardized testing administration and accommodations. Also, what type of plans do you leave for your students to do when you’re going to be absent or out of the room?