Pressure cooker! It's that time of year. My end of course exam is the first of many in Arkansas, and apparently we are going to kick it off with a bang. All 11th graders take the two day exam in a proctored exam room under close survelliance.
There are three parts to the Literacy exam; essay, open response, and multiple choice questions. Reading comprehension and writing are the most highly focused areas of my classroom and this exam, so hopefully success in my classroom translates to success on this exam.
The students will be scored on a rubric for each section and their score totals with equal either below basic, basic, proficient, or advanced proficient. We want and need proficient and advanced proficient to digress on the "state watch ladder" and to bred feelings of success in our school.
My nervousness is beginning to show throughout my lessons. Every time students don't know what to do I get aggrevated and tense that I have not been explicit enough nor committed enough to their success. It's a headache of a process. The pressure has been taken off slightly as of last week though. I will be having a co-facilitator in my room each day for the last two and a 1/2 weeks before the exam. We will be doing straight test prep and practicing released test items. There will also be someone there from the educational co-op we work with once a week to teach the kids about new strategies and engaging them in investment.
Eeeeeks I really hope all of this works. It's funny because I know Teach for America is SO data driven, that really I should know if it is going to work based on my tracker. Well, my tracker says they are doing pretty well - but it still comes down to two days. Two days of focus and commitment. Two days of wanting to do well.