Sunday, March 31, 2013


     This last week I had the opportunity to sit back and contemplate the last quarter of the school year.  What can I accomplish before state testing (2 weeks away), and what can I accomplish before my "kids" move on to the next grade (8 weeks away).  Have I prepared them as well as I can, and have I met all of their learning needs.   Big questions, right?  I take these questions seriously, and I want to make sure that I've done everything I can possibly do to make sure that I've fulfilled my job as their "teacher" this year.
      So, with that in mind, I'm going to tackle the first and foremost issue on my plate; state testing.  Do I cram as much in or do I prepare them to be good test takers?  Well, I decided a long time ago that the best way to help them at this point is to teach them to be good test takers.  So here is a list of strategies to help your students be successful:

1. Get a good night's rest, at least 8 hours of sleep.
2. Eat a good breakfast, preferably have some protein with your breakfast.
3. When taking the test read the whole question, all of the answers, and the question again before answering.
4. Ask for help if you don't understand something.
5. Pace yourself, don't spend too much time on one question.
6. Answer all the questions you know first, go back and answer the ones you skipped.
7. Don't change your answers unless you know for sure you're correct.
8. Use the process of elimination when answering questions.  Cross off the answers you know are not correct, and then make your best guess out of the ones left.
9. Look for key words, phrases, and bolded words when answering. 
10 . If you finish early, go back and make sure you've answered all questions and your marks are clear. Erase any stray marks.

I've also attached a powerpoint to share with your students!  So, relax and celebrate what you've taught your students this year.  They will sense your relaxed state of mind, and the outcome will be positive!

Standardized Test Strategies, Tests, School, Globicate, Heidi Befort

Test Taking Powerpoint

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The State of Education

     So, as many of us head into Spring Break and the testing season, it's hard sometimes to see the forest through the trees.  I say to you that if you are frustrated with the current systems, flabbergasted by bureaucrats, or pulling your hair out with benchmarks and data collecting...know you are not alone.  I know that my pay will never be enough, especially coming out of a recession.  I know that there will never be enough time in the day to complete everything I want.  I know that I won't meet all the needs of my students and get them to where they need to be, especially with class sizes growing!
What I do know is that:
  • I'm committed to teaching even though public opinion is not very positive.
  • I love teaching my students.
  • I will still try to be creative, flexible, and engaged myself.
  • I will continue to try to meet all the needs of my challenge them, to encourage them to take risks, to think outside the box, and to care about each other and our world.  
  • Did I say, I love teaching and my job?
     I get why teachers like the one in the video below have had enough, but when is the public going to wake up and realize that teachers like this gentleman are not the problem, but the solution. We all care about the future of education, and are committed to seeing our students succeed in what they choose to do in life.  I hope you don't find yourself in this situation this year, but understand if you do.
May we all see the changes in education that need to happen soon, so we don't lose anymore talented and professional teachers!

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