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Although my district is not using the SBAC field test this spring, we are gearing up and putting things in place for our students to take the test next spring. This includes purchasing Chromebooks for each student and training teachers in uses of technology that will prepare our students to show their best work using a computer interface.
We've also really ramped up our use of higher-order questions in our math and ELA classrooms, and are focused on exposing the students not only to new content, but also the CCSS practices like persevering in problem solving. As a math teacher, I know that I allow a lot more time now for students to struggle with a problem before "rescuing" them with a prompt; this gives ownership to the student and allows them to realize that they have multiple strategies to solve problems. Then we talk about the different ways students solved the problems, and they learn from each other.
Now the focus in my classroom is less on getting through a whole worksheet of problems and more on digging deeper into fewer problems that lead to greater student understanding and lead them to be able to apply that understanding to real-life situations. In the end, I believe that quality teaching will prepare them best for the SBAC or PARCC.
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