The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

ISAT – Day Four

After four days, eight tests, and roughly nine hours, we are officially done with ISAT testing! Deciding to make this week my personal March Madness has turned out to be a fairly accurate description!

The students had a hard time keeping focused to the very end, but they made it! The final tests today were the two science sessions. I think that the one thing that helped them stay on task all the way to the end was the fact that the tests were on concepts they hadn’t seen throughout the week!

As I walked around the room monitoring students, I realised something really awesome about the ISAT tests: they provide a perfect environment for watching students think.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I get to see students think every day. But on regular days, the thinking is done in the midst of noise, semi-chaos, and multiple activities. During ISATs, the students are spaced throughout the room, working independently, and silent. So when I see their thinking, I see it without the background noise. If I could have taken pictures or videos of their faces as they thought through the problems, I would have. It was, quite simply, splendid to observe.

Alas, testing is done. We will be celebrating tomorrow and preparing for the coming week, which is the last week before Spring Break. I am so proud of my fourth graders for their hard work this week!

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