Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It's TAKS Time in Texas

Not only is it tax time in the nation, it's also TAKS time in Texas. And to bring it on home, my CPA husband is elbow-deep in spreadsheets and I've had it up to you-know-where with teaching to the test. It's that wonderful time of year when third grade students are tested with a biased, tricky, lengthy reading test. Just like if you don't pay your federal income tax bad things happen to you, so goes the TAKS test for Texas students. If the numbers are not up to standards in the final accounting and audit process for IRS standards, the same goes for both students and districts who fail to generate the right scale scores and data. Not only is there fear of failing third grade, there's the feared PEG list, the AUP ratings, accountability ratings on ever item known to man and some never before heard of items. It's enough to make a teacher cry.
My one salvation in all of the terribletakstesting is the ability of my students to use the SMART Board for basic reading instruction. For the past several years since totally integrating the Board, I can happily say all my reading students pass the TAKS test the first time it's given. I'm banking on that statistic for this school year as well. Students will try to read absolutely anything written on the Board, and the visual hook is a great engagement and motivational tool. If you'd like to read more about my classroom successes, follow the link to SMART i.e. magazine, Summer 2006.
I love what the SMART Board does for student learning and retention. I can't teach without it anymore.

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