Thursday, March 6, 2008

Where Kindergarten and High Stakes Assessment Meet

I know this is a blog about Kindergarten, but I don't care who you are, this next week is about our state test, the FCAT! Kindergarten, of course, is not a tested grade, but it doesn't mean that we don't get involved. Each primary K-2 classroom "adopts" an intermediate classroom during FCAT week. We really do believe that testing results reflect the entire school, regardless of if you are teaching in an accountable grade or not. Primary classes do all sorts of fun things to relieve stress and to let the teachers and children know that we are all pulling for them. Below is a partial list of some of the fun! The following little ditties were written by a second grade teacher, Beth Young, and shared with all the primary teachers as one suggestion that they could do for their adopted class. The primary classes will deliver a different basket of treats each day to their older peers with one of the appropriate poems.

**Individual boxes of candy hearts with the words “Put Your Heart into it!”**Sure, you’ve heard this test is big,
but your HEART is so much bigger!
When you put your HEART into it,
From the start, you’re the winner!

**A river rock colored with sharpies and then googlie eyes and a smile added with the following poem.**
Mr. ROCK-ROCK is such a cutie!
To be strong is his duty,
But you are even stronger still,
And ROCK the FCAT? You totally will!!!
Mr. Rock-Rock says, “ROCK THE FCAT, DUUUDE!” and “ROCK ON, MAN!”
(So we do!!)

** Plastic Easter eggs filled with Smarties.**We are so very EGG-cited!
Actually we’re delighted!
It is what’s INSIDE of YOU that counts,
So hear our confident shouts:
You’re gonna do so EGG-cellent,
EGG-cellent, EGG-cellent!
You’re gonna do so EGG-cellent,
EGG-cellent, EGG-cellent!

**Since it is March, I found (at JoAnn’s) plastic St. Patrick’s Day coins with clovers on them.**
Ok, you’ve heard of luck before.
That’s what this CLOVER COIN is for.
We figured that it couldn’t hurt,
But you need it ‘bout as much as dirt.
You’re smart AND serious, it’s true .
You’re best is all you’ll need to do!

We already KNOW you’re smart,
Remember they want to see how SERIOUS you are!
Show ‘em!

**Bear Stickers**These stickers are to remind you
Of everyone in your life who
Is so ‘Beary’ ‘Beary’ proud of you!
Like us!!

Do your ‘Beary’ best!
At-risk students all over the building will receive positive postcards at home this week from previous primary teachers letting them know that they believe in them. These same teachers will stop by to speak to their previous charges letting them know that they care! Primary classes all over the school will deliver banners, motivational signs, cards and individual letters to the intermediate students that encourage the children to do their best this week! One class made a necklace for each student in their adopted class with each bead representing something such as concentration and strength to never give up. Another primary class is buying lunch for their adopted intermediate class.

Some classes writes short one-liners to attach to a little sweet treat for each student in the class each day such as:
Chocolate mint sticks that say, "Stick it to the FCAT!"
Red and white peppermints that say, "Here's some encourageMINT".
Peppermint Patties that say, "You are MINT to be a star today!"
Pack of gum that says, "CHEW up the FCAT!"
Extra Gum that says, "You are EXTRA special! Stick with it!"Tootsie Rolls that say "You're on a ROLL! Keep working hard!"
100 Grand "Fun Size" candy bar that says, "You're worth 100 GRAND".
Chocolate eggs that say, "You will do EGGS-celent on the FCAT!"
Chocolate Hugs and Kisses that say, "Hugs and kisses to you today!"
Smarties that say, "You are such as SMARTIE! Keep up the great work!"
Bubble gum that says , "Don't forget to fill each BUBBLE completely!"

Bubble gum that says, "Blow out the FCAT!"
Starburst that says, "You're our STAR! We're so proud!"

Nestle's Crunch that says, "CRUNCH the FCAT!"
Blow pops that say, "BLOW the test away!"
Pixie Stix that say "Here is a little Pixie Dust! Give it your all!"
Plastic eggs filled with candy that say, "CRACK the FCAT!"

In some intermediate classes the primary class will start the day by performing a rap, song, or poem to encourage the students ... and teachers! Performances will include this song, "Beat the Test" written by Cheryl Dillard and performed by her kindergarten class to the "Adams Family" tune.
Beat the Test (snap, snap). Beat the Test (snap, snap).
Beat the Test - Beat the Test - Beat the Test.
The FCAT is finally here.
There is nothing to fear.
We will give a cheer.
Because you are the best!
Beat the Test (snap, snap). Beat the Test (snap, snap).

Beat the Test - Beat the Test - You’re the BEST!

As I was walking upstairs taking pictures for this blog, one of the intermediate teachers stopped to tell me that Kindergarten Teacher Karen Meissner has sent a little treat each day of the test to one of her fourth graders who had been in Karen's kindergarten class. The intermediate teacher said it made the child's day and made all the difference in the child's attitude and confidence. You see, FCAT really is a family affair!


Schrader's Scholars said...

What great ideas! I only wish I had found your blog sooner, but I will look forward to using some of the ideas next year. My K's buddy read with a 3rd grade class throughout the year. This year, while we were doing our Dr. Seuss unit, I read them Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! to encourage them. They loved it and my K's got a kick out of it too. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

LOVED them ALL. As we are approaching our FCAT & SAT 10 mark, and we are pairing up with other classes to send out gestures of inspiration, these are PERFECT ; ) THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH for sharing