Tuesday was a busy day at school. Things were just a little different. Miss R, the student teacher, was doing nearly all the teaching this week. Ms. H and I were to be her aids. That was fine, I always am the aid in the classroom. The big thing was the Math Assessment Test. These are developed by the Oakland School District. Hold that thought. The curriculum is set by the same school district. Hold that thought.
The test is over material Ms. H doesn’t teach or is just now beginning to teach. Same people set material to teach and when to teach it, same people wrote the test. Ms.H knows the students will be upset because some won’t be able to do the problems, or will feel unsure because what they know is so new. She explained the booklets had new things, old things, and unknown things. They were to do their best, not to worry about it.
And we began. Testing First Graders is a riot. The so you can’t cheat shields (3 sided cardboard in front of each child) fall off the desks, children are on the wrong page/problem, they want help, their pencils break, they finish the page before the questions are asked, they fall out of their chairs, and on and on.
I am walking up and down checking what is being done while Ms. H is reading the problems. One of the problems had a number chart laid out in sections of ten. They were to find 63 and then find a number two less using the chart. Then they were to find a number three more using the chart. One little boy yelled out, “There’s a mistake!” Can you find it?
41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60
61 62 63 64 65 66 77 68 69 70
Yes, 77 does not belong there. Then this child said he didn’t think we should have to do tests that have mistakes. We should send it back to them and have them fix it. All the adults nearly died laughing.
Ms. H continued reading problems, “Kim wants to know what number fact is left out the fact family in the box. Kim wants to know how many tens in 72. Tell Kim how you know. Kim wants to know how many ones in 27. Tell Kim how you know.” Kim wanted to know a lot. The hard part of this section is writing how you know. That is a really hard concept for little ones. Plus what they know, they can’t spell.
We finally finished. Ms. R reads a story to the class to let them relax. Ms. H and I are checking the tests. I hear her laughing. She hands me one of the test booklets. A wonderful brilliant sassy little girl has written, “If Kim wants to know, have her call me.” Ms. H gave her full credit.