Tech Tuesday

Finds and Thoughts about Tech Integration

Helping Students Stretch their Concrete Thinking for Online Testing

January30

A popular topic this month at faculty meetings (I’m sure everywhere in the U.S.) is state testing. And especially online testing!

One observation from our fourth grade team that completed the MCAS online last year was the brevity of student responses. It was speculated that the size of text boxes for typing responses may have been a factor. The perceived space that appears on a screen for an answer really can influence an elementary student who is a concrete thinker. Only so much space? Then I guess that’s all I need to write.

In an effort to make student thinking a little more amenable when encountering such a typing space, here are some ideas suggested at our faculty meeting. They all are online writing experiences that let students observe that boxes expand… and that responses do not have to be limited.

  • Make comments on peer’s Google Docs using the commenting boxes.
  • Visit a blog (like another classroom’s) and leave comments with thoughtful responses, really asking questions to trigger a conversation with the post author. (Please ask me if you are looking for a blog… we have several at Abbot that would love visitors!)
  • Fill out a Google Form that has long answer style questions. Reflection or Exit Ticket surveys can be worked into any subject giving students lots of practice opportunities over the course of the year.

While I am not a proponent to teaching to the test, preparing students to become more flexible in their encounters with online testing elements like text answer boxes may eliminate one road block to well developed answers on test day. Plus, the practice suggestions develop so many more skills, such as communication, collaboration and critical thinking!

Have any of your own suggestions? Please let us know below in the comments… feel free to make the box expand with your thoughts. 🙂

by posted under Thoughts | 2 Comments »    
2 Comments to

“Helping Students Stretch their Concrete Thinking for Online Testing”

  1. January 30th, 2018 at 11:25 am       Kathleen Huntley Says:

    This is really great. Thanks for sharing. I’m going to ask Sarah to print this and put hard copies in mailboxes as it may help others to keep it in mind.

    K


  2. January 30th, 2018 at 12:34 pm       lsanderson Says:

    Thank you for passing on the ideas!


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