DATA... the new four letter word.

Does anyone else feel their chest tighten and their stomach begin to turn at the mention of data? This week it really hit me. In my district, we are really hitting the kids hard with testing. Even kindergarteners.  My third graders will be taking five benchmark type tests starting next week. Can you believe that? We're taking tests to practice for practice tests to practice for the real test. It's CRAZY!

I know that data has its place, but this is too much. Just today, one of my colleagues told me that her daughter is beginning to feel testing anxiety. She's is in first grade. How sad is that? I realize that I am singing to the choir, but not only is this taking the joy out of teaching, but it has to be taking the joy out of learning. Are all school districts doing this, and to this extent?

I'd love to hear from other teachers on this subject. How do you deal with this? How do you turn this into something positive in your classrooms? How do you help your students deal with testing? How do you still get meaningful teaching & learning going on in your room?

Let's play school! I'll pretend to be a teacher analyzing disaggregated student data, and you can pretend to be a student taking a standardized test!
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