Christina, The Daring English Teacher: As the educational pendulum continues to swing, April is looking different this year than it did before. For the first time ever, my school is not participating in the usual standardized state tests, except for the NCLB science test. Instead, my school is piloting the Smarter Balance (SBAC) test that is aligned with the CCSS, and only our juniors are taking it. This new cycle for our school brings mixed feelings. Some teachers, like me, are very excited for the additional instructional time we have now. However, some teachers are a bit worried. For the first time ever our students will take this test on a computer. As our school is transitioning through a new cycle, it seems as if April will look different this year than it has in previous years.
Sara, Ms. Fuller’s Teaching Adventures: “I’m teaching college this year so I’m interested to see if it’s different than my years in 7-12. However, in the past when teaching both middle and high school one of the things that April often brought was nicer weather and with it antsy children (and teachers). As the weather warms up it feels like it is hard to keep the focus of the students.
In Ohio the high schoolers have already taken their state exam so we are able to just focus on the end of the year and gearing up for finals (and in the future standardized end of year exams). However the middle school and younger grades take theirs in May so there is a final push towards finishing covering the standards and reviewing good test taking strategies!
Jackie, Room 213: April is kind of crazy at my school. We begin with parent-teacher interviews, and then the next week is registration. Every student meets with his/her home room teacher to plan for the next year. Add in the constant struggle to hold the attention of students with Spring Fever, and it makes for some busy times. But, busy times fly by and bring us closer to summer! The kids aren’t the only ones with Spring Fever…
Tara, Science in the City:For us, April is two things. I am in a 7-12 building. For the elementary students and middle school students in our area, April is state testing. For the high school (9-12) it is serious focus on content. We are getting into a good routine, kids know expectations, and its solid testing before we move into review mode in another month or so.
Lauralee, The Language Arts Classroom: “Great question! The seniors have senioritis and are handing out their graduation invites and senior pictures.
Juniors are quite stressed about standardized tests, and some study furiously. Others feel hopeless, and others confused.
Sophomores are getting their driving licenses.
Freshmen are excited not to be freshmen anymore!
I always think the end of the year is a time of heightened emotions – and that they cover a huge range.”