It’s that time of year again! You know, the wonderful season filled with Tootsie Pops and Road Runner! Have I mentioned how much I love middle school? When I asked them what came to mind when they heard the word “meap” suckers and looney toons were among the top answers. Number two pencils were a close second!
Word associations aside, there doesn’t seem to be the same sense of anxiety amongst middle schoolers about the annual state assessment. For that, I’m grateful. Sure, I know that some students might feel the stress without showing it as publicly and I’m well aware that some students really don’t have any emotional response about the test. While there is much debate about “teaching to the test” and there are strict guidelines about when you can and can’t use released items during classroom instructions, I personally find it to be somewhat of a moot point. As in the past, our first unit of study this year was looking at the MEAP test as a separate genre. This curriculum, has been helpful in making the test format transparent to students which may be one reason there isn’t the same sense of stress. Whatever the reason, I like to think that by setting our unit goals and meeting our learning targets throughout the school year, our students are adequately prepared to demonstrate their knowledge.
With flu season and the back-to-school germs taking hold, it’s sometimes necessary for students to stay home. That’s great. It’s helpful to keep students home when they’re feeling poorly rather than passing the bug around the building. However, it is important and helpful for students to be present on MEAP testing days so they aren’t missing class on a make-up day. The testing schedule can be found here.