Cover Up Good Teaching Because PARCC Says So???
Anchor Chart = An instructional tool created by the teacher with students to support a lesson being taught. It can be used to remind students of routines or what is important about the content of a lesson. It is created as the lesson is being taught or during a class discussion. It is a routine part of the life in the modern classroom and often becomes a permanent or semi-permanent part of the classroom environment. Anchor charts and other teacher-made or store-bought posters that support student learning are plastered all over classrooms in the United States. In my school, they are on bulletin boards, chalk boards, white boards, doors, on the sides of bookshelves, on cabinet doors and drawers, filing cabinets and even taped to windows or clothes pinned to the blinds of windows. THAT is how important they are in supporting students’ learning.
However, during the PARCC tests coming up twice before the end of this school year, those charts and other posters are on the “FORBIDDEN LIST” when it comes to preparing the classroom environment for testing what kids know and can do with what they know. So rather than being another learning tool in their repertoire of learning tools to be referenced, these have become objects to be memorized and taken down or covered up during the test. In my mind, it’s kind of like having to memorize the dictionary rather than referring to it when a key word needs to be clarified before going on in reading a story or article.
Let’s see . . . does a lawyer have to memorize the contents of his or her books in the law library? Do doctors have to write up the contents of the articles from memory about the dangers of diabetes for each patient who becomes diagnosed? Do mechanics have to memorize the correct tire size or wiper blade size for each make and model of car, domestic or foreign made?
What is the point of these hyper austerity measures being imposed on children today? How do these expectations resemble the real world and how do they prove that children are learning or not learning? Which colleges and careers require that children deny using reference materials to do their work or to do their jobs? COME ON??? WHAT IS THE POINT???? I’M SERIOUS!!!!
In my state, on the previous state standardized tests that we have given for years and years, the only things we had to cover up or remove were name plates on desks that included things like multiplication charts as well as posters that included step-by-step directions on how to write an essay. All other anchor charts or posters were allowed to remain visible in the classroom, just like any other day in the life of learners.
As a matter of fact, this whole concept that I value immensely (and so should we all) of “keeping it real” for students reminds me of a book I’ve been reading. More on that in a future post! But for now, chalk this post up to one more reason we need to:
PERMANENTLY PARK THE PARCC!!!
LET’S WORK TOGETHER TO STOP THIS MADNESS!!!