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Getting Point Across

We recently finished a whirlwind round of testing in Texas for End of Course exams, (or called STAAR.) I had the pleasure of proctoring all week long to a separate group of kiddos each day. As teachers, we tend to be pretty concerned about creating the optimum testing environment for the students, plus we tend to be a little afraid of testing irregularities having to be reported. So, I was in a foreign classroom WAY across my campus all week with kiddos I don’t know and watching them while they take a standardized test for four hours. If you are a teacher, you know just how “fun” standardized testing is, but you are familiar with the very long list of rules and regulations and all the scariness of messing up the test that your kiddos have worked so hard for all year long.

One thing that is stressed is absolute quiet and no use of technology during the test, among many other things, including that students must remain seated at all times unless they are getting up for a bathroom break.
During this time, there are a few things that your students will need as you walk through the room and actively monitor. To make things a little easier and help my students, I developed a system to communicate with them during the test should they need something.

What I had my students do was hold up a number of fingers based on what need they had from me, and wrote the code on the board.

The code I developed looked something like this:

  1. Dictionary
  2. Thesarus
  3. Restroom
  4. All Done!
  5. Other inquiries

The plan worked rather well, I just made sure to explain it at the beginning before we discussed the official directions with each group of students. You can also usually write the code on the board to help remind students, (if it’s not English or Writing.)

This plan worked quite well in allowing me to help students with their needs quicker and more efficiently, without causing much distraction at all.

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