Thursday, September 17, 2009


From the Star

So today was my day for the FAIR. Yes, the FAIR. No, not the kind with the ferris wheel -the new FCAT predictor for Florida. I’m sure that you all know all about it, or do you? If you are like me, you had a very short little training that explained a little about what the FAIR really is. All I learned is that it determines the success of my students passing the FCAT and gives the students their yearly LEXILE scores. I can say that I hope it really is the predictor for passing the FCAT because if that is the case then I feel that my 3rd, 4th and 5th graders are in good shape. After hearing from other teachers and their horror stories about this computer-based test and how their students started taking the test and then all of a sudden the test kicking them out and the students having to retake the whole test, you could say that I was a little nervous about my students taking the test. When we arrived at the computer lab to take the test the computers were already having problems and I thought, “Oh great, this is not going to be good.” But, I can say that I was truly impressed once the computers started working and my students got to work. At first I was feeling a little nervous because a lot of my students were looking at the test and sighing. This made me believe that the test was difficult and that my students were struggling. I’m not even a student and I was ready to get out of that computer room, but once we got back to the classroom and I had a chance to hear the feedback from my students, I was very excited. They all seemed to think that the test was pretty easy. The only complaint that I had was that the test was super long and that my students were tired. I couldn’t wait until the students went home so that I could look at the scores and see where my students stood in relation to our state test, the FCAT.

So, the students left and I was on my computer checking my class results and I was stoked the second that I saw them. I could not believe how well my students performed. I was looking over the results and found that I only had 5 students out of 22 under 75% and of those 5 students only 2 students had fallen into the "red zone." I had 15 students that scored in the green - WOWZERS! J I will say that I was very surprised with some of my scores when I saw some of the LEXILE scores. Almost all of my students jumped up between 200 and 300 LEXILE points from last year and I had one student that actually jumped up 595 points on his LEXILE going from a 400 to a 995. I couldn’t believe it. I was so excited. I guess I can't take credit for the gains and what they have learned from me in my first three weeks?! The thing that I found to be the most interesting is that when I asked the students that had gone up over 200 points if they had read over the summer, 4 out of 5 told me no that they had done little to no reading over the summer. My thought, I’m sure like yours, is how can that possibly be? I guess there is still lots to learn about this new Florida assessment. I can't wait!

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