Monday, April 2, 2012

Taking Advantage of Testing

The 6th graders at CeVMS were not tested during this round of STAAR testing, however they took advantage of the time they were given in their advisory classes. The core area teachers planned an array of activities to keep the students learning while their older peers were being tested--keeping in mind that, during the next go-round of STAAR testing, the sixth graders will be part of the testing frenzy.

Snagging all the mobile computer labs for the day, the 6th grade teams experienced two days of technology enhanced learning. During one session, students were asked to visit Khan Academy and create personalized math goals. Upon reaching their goals, they are given virtual awards--the math teachers on campus have created a playfully competitive environment between each class. During another session the students used the information they gained by doing this webquest in their World Cultures class to apply the knowledge to a case study over The Color of Friendship. Students also spent time inquiring about science concepts with StemScopes--another game-based learning environment where students play games to learn scientific concepts. They rounded out their core subjects tour with a flashback to this webquest as they completed a case study over Inkheart. I even caught a glimpse of some of them using their electronic readers as part of a BYOD option during D.E.A.R (Drop Everything and Read) Time.

(Unfortunately, I was unable to catch them in the act with photo evidence because my electronic devices had been confiscated due to popping in and out of the testing areas) I was totally amazed at the intensity with which most of the students worked for the extended amount of time. I shouldn't have been because the research states that gaming is becoming an integral part of our learning environment...

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