This page is a resource for the NY State Curriculum. I model all of my lessons from the Engage NY materials, but I typically modify them to fit the way things will work in our classroom. Most things are labeled with the Module and lesson number so you can use that as a resource for supporting your child’s learning this year.
Computer Based Testing (CBT)
Our school is going to computer based testing for the state tests this year in grades 3-8. The elementary school kids piloted this last year along with grade 8 math students. This year we’re all in, and teachers are being trained for this now. This page gives you some resources to help you understand what this change means for your child. I’ll address it in a Frequently Asked Questions format that reflects many of the questions I had at the training.
To kick things off, please visit the two websites below that give you sample questions and insight into these tools. They are not the actual test, but they show you what the test will look like, the types of questions etc.
What device will my child use?
Your child will take this on either a desk top, Chromebook or an iPad. They may take the math and ELA on different devices.
How will it affect my child’s test accommodations?
This is an area that is AWESOME for kids with test accommodations. The teacher can go in and set this up in advance so that your child’s accommodations are in place right when they start the test. Need the test read? Your child can now take the test in the same place as peers while wearing headphones. Need to have it read by a person? Don’t worry, paper copies of the test are still available for accommodation purposes and tests are still able to be read by a person.
How will my child prepare?
I plan to use tutorial time and class time as well as math lab and study hall time to introduce the students to the platform over the next few months. I also plan to use the NYS equation editor portion to have them practice doing problems on this for home practice. Your support at home (if you have access to the internet) with the online work will be really helpful to your child.
The kids will also have the opportunity to practice this platform in their CS for All class.
My child is opting out. Why should they prepare?
The NYS Regents exams and SATs are heading in the computer direction as well. These are tests you can’t opt out of so this early practice will definitely help your child even if they aren’t taking this test.
How do you (their teacher) feel about this change?
It is the way of the future and it is my job to teach the kids. I intend to help them feel as comfortable as they can with the platform while recognizing that it is still in what I consider its infancy with what it can do. There is a writing choice and I found myself using that more than the formula writing options. I am interested to see how the kids do with the platform and think it has the potential for some great conversations about coding in their CS for All class. I feel grateful that the kids still have scrap paper, and optimistic that they will embrace the platform.
What can I (as parent or guardian) do to help?
You can continue to encourage them to practice their typing on a platform like typing.com, so they become comfortable with the keyboard. You can work with them on the practice problems (use the time to learn the platform, not so much the math part if you don’t feel confident with the math). In my training I spent time just trying to write clearly on the screen, working to understand how things toggled and figuring out the formula inputs. The more time your child has with these tools the more comfortable your child will be when the test is given.