Sunday, April 24, 2016

Does a Successful Maker Project Mean Success on a Standardized Test?

So you have straws and tape and tennis balls all over your classroom workspaces. Your students are

diligently scrounging Google Images for ideas and Internet links to help them construct the tallest and strongest towers possible.

Each team member is actively involved in research, design, and revision processes, and all the while you marvel at their engagement and learning. It is iteration at its teenage best!

You sit back in your desk with your feet up (your principal just left the room, so it's safe) and take a quick moment to reflect on the project. A huge smile extends across your face and you take a quick selfie to post on Instagram. #ToY

Then a sudden realization leaves you frozen and breathless...your state science exam window opens tomorrow and you completely neglected to spend class time doing test prep.

Are your kids ready??

As you begin sinking in despair, you think back over the past several weeks when your students were researching, designing, collaborating, and building. The project results were amazing. The lab and project reports were spot on. The data checked out and the charts and graphs were nothing short of lab-worthy.

Are my kids ready? you ask yourself.

Another smile crosses your face. You know they will blow this test out of the water. For they are prepared.

You know that most standardized assessments are written at a DOK 1-2 level; they are based largely on recall and basic application of content and/or skills.

Students in your classroom have been working well beyond these levels for the better part of the school year. Not only could they recall it...they could fold it, fly it, print it, connect it, and, if the area was secure enough, blow it up!

You know your maker projects, your design challenges, and your project-based learning units have more than prepared your kids for success in some dumb 'll irrelevant test.

You have prepared them with the knowledge and skills that colleges and corporations want and need.
That is why you forgot about the silly state exam.

You were busy doing so much more for your kids.

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