Thursday, May 06, 2010

Dispatch from the Trenches of the New York State Math Exam

My classroom was still experiencing a sauna-like degree of comfort this morning as I prepared to administer the New York State math exam. "Miss Eyre," you might ask, "aren't you an ELA teacher?" Yes, but I have a "homeroom," and it's easier to just keep the kids in one place all morning to take the test. So I administer the math test. It's easier, actually, than administering the ELA because on the ELA, the kids always want to ask me questions, thinking that I'll slip up and answer them. They know that on the math test, they're better off on their own.

My math teacher colleagues are possibly even more anxious about their test scores than myself and my ELA teacher colleagues, so, naturally, as I dutifully delivered my packed-up test materials later in the day, one of my colleagues asked me how my group had done.

"All right, I guess," I said. "It's hard to say. But B.B. and Smooth finished Book 2 in about fifteen minutes." (Eighth graders have 40 minutes for Book 2.)

Her jaw dropped. "No, no," she said. "That's no good. They probably rushed through it. Oh, they probably made a million silly mistakes."

I tried to reassure her, because if anything, those boys looked confident. And they're among the better students in the class, so I didn't think they'd simply written "That's what she said" for every answer and slammed the books shut or anything.

Running into some kids from one of my other classes later, I asked them how the test had gone for them.

"Eight minutes," one kid replied simply.

blog comments powered by Disqus