Sunday, May 3, 2015

Alphabetizing Aid and Standardized Testing

DSCF4160 Do you have one of those nifty little pocket files from the Dollar Spot at Target?  You know, the ones with the clear slots for sentence strips and the two grommets at the top? 

Well, I came up with a a handy use for ours…as an aid for alphabetizing words!

I used push pins to tag one up to a piece of foam board from the Dollar Tree.  I keep the whole thing set up this way and stashed behind some storage drawers in our school room.  Then on days when Holden has to alphabetize a list of words for Saxon Phonics, I cut them out from his worksheet and drop them into the slots on the right-hand side. Then he moves them into place along the left-hand side as he alphabetizes them.  Voila! 

It’s much easier and more visual-kinesthetic for him than just trying to number them on a worksheet.  And it adds a novelty that makes it fun for him! 

So if you have one of these, or like this idea, pick one up at Target’s Dollar Spot and give it a try!  They always stock them for back-to-school time in the summer when they put all kinds of teacher goodies there, but I’ve actually already seen them there recently in a variety of colors.

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It’s that time of year again!  It’s time for spring standardized testing for Virginia homeschoolers in order to satisfy the “proof of progress” requirement.  I’ve always chosen the California Achievement Test Complete Battery, even though we’re only required to provide proof of progress for Math and Language Arts in this state.  I just like to see where the kids are in the other subjects, as well. 

I always test at the end of April, and this year was no different.  We broke it up over the course of 3 days so that we did all of the Language Arts portions on Monday, all of the Math portions on Tuesday, and then all of the Science, Social Studies, and Study Skills portions on Wednesday.  Then I DSCF4201was off to the post office to Priority Mail it back to Family Learning Organization for grading!  It usually takes about 4 business days to receive the results, so I would expect to have them by Tuesday or Wednesday of this week.  I can’t wait!

This was the first year that Holden was required to test since he is just finishing up 1st grade (he was 6 in September, which is the requirement for testing here), and it’s Haylee’s 5th year of testing since she is finishing up 5th grade.  I know from looking over Holden’s shoulder that he only missed 3 questions on the whole test, and one was in the Comprehension section, and the other two were in Language Mechanics.  That darn punctuation!  LOL.  Seriously, though, I know he did great.  They both like breaking it up since we test during a week off from school.  Then they can play the rest of the day and not get too burned out from sitting and concentrating for long periods.  It works for them.

I’m curious to see how Haylee did with her math this year.  She is known to struggle with math, and I’m concerned about how she did.  She said it seemed easy to her, so that’s good at least.  She was working through 6th grade math this year, so it should really just be a review of what she learned last year.  We shall see.  I’m not entirely confident, but we’ll keep that between you and me!  LOL.

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How about you?  Have you tested yet this year?