Students Get Ready for First Round of ISTEP+ - March 06, 2014
Elementary and middle school students will begin this year’s first round of ISTEP+ testing Monday, March 10, a week later than originally planned because of school closures in January and February. Students in third through eighth grades will be tested on language arts and math in an open-ended format next week. Beginning April 28, they will have online testing with multiple choice answers. Third-graders will also take the IRead-3 exam the week of March 17-21.
Throughout the testing weeks, parents can help their students by:
- Making sure children eat – and eat right – at home.
- Making sure children go to bed early and get enough sleep.
- Avoiding putting pressure on children about taking the test. They should be encouraged to do well but not made to feel anxious.
Schools are preparing for the exams in a variety of ways, including fun activities:
Friday, March 7
- Croninger Elementary, 6700 Trier Road, will have an Atten-Dance at 1 p.m. for all students with 100 percent attendance during the time leading up to ISTEP+. During the testing week, students will be given an opportunity to win prizes and receive treats to help them get fired up for the exams.
- At Northcrest Elementary, 5301 Archwood Lane, students have been working hard to prepare for ISTEP+ by earning "money" in their classes for their focused work and improved performance on classroom learning activities and assessments. They will be able to spend their “money” at the ISTEP+ Academic Carnival from 2-3:30 p.m. The carnival is designed to celebrate and get students motivated to do their personal best on ISTEP+.
- Lane Middle School, 4901 Vance Ave., will have an ISTEP+ pep rally at 2 p.m.
- At Brentwood Elementary, 3710 Stafford Drive, Principal Sara Wertman will dress up as Old Lady ISTEP during a 3:30 assembly. Old Lady ISTEP will be interviewed by a reporter, played by Assistant Principal Megan Orman.
- Adams Elementary, 3000 New Haven Ave., will have a Stepping Up to ISTEP Rally at 3:30 p.m. during which the teachers will rap, “We’re ISTEP Ready.” Students will receive pledge stickers and bookmarks.
- Portage Middle School, 3521 Taylor St., will have a family fun night with a free Smokey Bones dinner at 6 p.m. During dinner, staff will share tips on student success and responsibility during ISTEP+.
Monday, March 10
- Students at Irwin Elementary, 3501 S. Anthony Blvd., will Blastoff! into ISTEP+ at 9:05 a.m. Adults will be wearing red Rockin’ the Test shirts and will perform a motivational skit for students.
- Study Elementary, 2414 Brooklyn Ave., will have an assembly at 2 p.m. where students will learn that for every ISTEP+ test a student passes, he or she will be awarded one ball to attempt to dunk Principal Tim Bobay in a dunk tank in June.
- Indian Village, 3835 Wenonah Drive, will have a pep session for third- through fifth-grade students at 2:30 p.m. There will be cheers to “Do our Best on the Test” and an inspirational talk from Principal Jay Peters, who will share with students the Peters Promise: Students who pass any part of the ISTEP+ will be invited later in the spring to a party in the park with food and games for an afternoon.
- Kekionga Middle School, 2929 Engle Road, will have an ISTEP+ pep rally at 2:35 p.m. starting with motivational speaker Tim Graham, followed by a whip cream contest between staff and students, ISTEP Survivor Puzzle and a flash mob at 3:20 p.m.
- Students at Bunche Montessori Early Childhood Center, 1111 Greene St., will send posters to their friends and siblings at Towles Intermediate School, 420 E. Paulding Road, to encourage them as they take ISTEP+.
- Fairfield Elementary, 2825 Fairfield Ave., will encourage students to “Be a STAR on ISTEP.” Taking inspiration from the Academy Awards, the hallways are filled with walks of fame, stars hanging from the ceiling and classroom competitions for “Oscars.” Current fourth- and fifth-grade students who got a Pass-Plus on ISTEP+ last year have their own personalized block on Fairfield’s Walk of Fame. Fairfield is using the extra hour of instruction at the end of the day for “Falcon Power Hour” where all adults and students are engaged in teaching and learning reading and math. During ISTEP+ testing there will be a classroom competition where each classroom competes in the categories of Attendance Stars, Behavior Stars, Lunch/Recess Stars and Principal’s Stars. The winners in each category each week will receive an ISTEP “Oscar” to display in their room. The overall winner after two weeks will win the ISTEP “Oscar Pizza Party” hosted by the principal. To wrap up the first round of ISTEP, Fairfield will hold a Family Movie Night on Friday, March 21. All students and families are invited to school at 6:30 p.m. for a family movie, popcorn and other concessions. A photo booth will also be available for students to dress up in “glam” to get their picture taken to celebrate hard work on ISTEP.
Tuesday, March 11
- Shawnee Middle School, 1000 E. Cook Road, will have a PBIS/ISTEP+ kickoff assembly 2:30 p.m. Students will be recognized for academic achievement, as well as participation in extracurricular groups that have won awards recently. Staff will also review expectations for ISTEP+ testing and the school improvement goals.