It’s a small miracle every day.
Smarterbalanced pilot testing began today. Thank goodness for their folks at the help desk (again). I don’t want to be overly critical; it’s Day 1. But there are some things that just don’t work for me. Fifth grade is taking a 3-part ELA pilot test, but the system doesn’t actually stop them at each part. It pauses, asks if they want to review work from earlier and plops them into part 2. I don’t like that. The running problem total at the top of the screen is out of 33. 33 should be the total for part 1. But that’s not the case. Part 2 is an essay. They just worked through a new format, meaty questions, technical tools that don’t match their regular environment (more on that later) and now they get plopped into an essay. No. That’s day 2. We are done here. Everyone pause.
So it’s a learning curve. And that’s not even the miracle I’m referring to.
I asked the students to fill in a brief Google form to provide feedback on the pilot. A sampling:
It was more orgnized. I liked it. ;D
You have to use highlighting, and typing, as well as scrolling.
I find it more complicated and frustrating to use. the material is confusing and the use of a dubble sided page is realy confusing. State is better.
So the technical side of things should be a benefit to hours of testing that currently happens. And we acknowledge that the technical side will need some training and practice. But the technical skills need to parallel everyday usage. If you want to match two boxes, you draw a line between them. Not in this scenario; you click first on one box then on the other–voila! a line connects them. Now how to remove that line? Right click? Nope. You redo the original steps–click on the first box, then on the second. That’s not how lines are inserted! And the highlighting… there are two ways to highlight–one jives with everyday usage, the other doesn’t. But this still doesn’t touch on the small miracle.
Smarterbalanced pilot testing, a visit from the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County’s Museum-on-the-Go, kindergarten call-backs and registration are in full swing, the science fair is next week, drafting the 13-14 school plan, and it makes my head spin. And yet that’s the small miracle every day of a school. No heads are spinning; kids are learning, laughing, and playing. Calendars get adjusted, conflicts get resolved, teachers plan and collaborate, parents ebb & flow through the day. Wow!
And so Smarterbalanced pilot testing is one more ripple in our day. Don’t let it make your head spin, Haugen.