It’s Naplan Week!
Teachers! NAPLAN has arrived and this weekend is the last weekend before the three official days of testing begin. I really only have a few words to say across the board to teachers, parents and students – ‘keep perspective’ – this is only one test in time and one form of assessment!
Although this is important to keep in the forefront of our minds, we still need to knuckle in and prepare the room, your children, parents and yourself for Tuesday. Here are some suggestions which I hope can prepare you or at least provide a useful tip here or there, so you are cruising through the biggest day of NAPLAN testing which is always the first kick-off day on Tuesday.
NOTE HOME TO PARENTS WITH EXPECTATIONS
A little note home on Monday would be a great idea. I would guess by now you have communicated effectively with your parents about the major elements to NAPLAN.
This top tip is only to provide a small note to explain the essentials. Remember, parents are as busy as you, so keep it simple, brief and the absolute essentials for how to prepare for their child. Details should include: testing times, each day’s testing topics, test materials ready in a pencil case, a good dinner, a calm evening, early to bed, a healthy breakfast, a lunch box of nutritional foods and water for each day. Positive and affirmative words expressing the expectations that doing their very best is all that is needed. Arrive to school early to ensure their child isn’t flustered, in class to listen to the instructions by the teacher and ready for a positive testing experience.
So, you have prepared your brief note to parents. You can include these details too, however these are essential for you as the teacher to have extras prepared and the parent/child to ensure they have available:
- Have three sharp 2B or HB pencils (one for back-up, one to use, and one in case the first one breaks)
- An eraser
- Extras writing paper for working out and notes
- A sharpener
- Any other item of equipment that might be specific to your year level testing requirements (protractor for example).
POSTERS AND LEARNING MATERIALS COVERED OR REMOVED
I strongly suggest completing these larger tasks Monday or of course today, if you are one of the crazy teachers like I was who would be in the classroom preparing today. I never wanted to feel under prepared or racing about on Monday. This will only stress your students too.
- Cover or completely remove all posters and learning materials from around the room.
- Separate all desks to have plenty of space between each child.
- Ensure there is room for you to move through the aisles to help students who might have a question (but of course, not answer the question!)
- Make the testing environment as comfortable as possible. Windows closed if it’s cold. Open and fans on if hot. If you are really lucky (I never knew this luxury) setting the air-conditioning at the perfect temperature which will make the testing environment for your lucky class, super easy.
CLASS DISCUSSIONS EASING CONCERNS
Perhaps having a casual class discussion about any concerns, worries and allowing the children who feel confident to express their feelings would be a nice relaxing activity to do Monday afternoon before leaving the room. Remember – some children may not have any support network at home and this is their last chance to ease their worries. I think providing this opportunity would do wonders for a child’s confidence.
* A good tip is to provide children with a piece of paper and pencil Monday morning. They write their questions or concerns on that piece of paper with no name required and you randomly pull-out the questions and answer them.
STUDENT LOCATIONS AND TESTING
By this blog, you should already have a solid handle on which students have been made exempt from the test and where they will be supervised, the students who will be sitting the test in your classroom and the children who are away.
Another consideration which is OFTEN missed by teachers and can be extremely stressful if this one isn’t very well organised by test time, is knowing and preparing the location and supervision for students who will be sitting NAPLAN, however for medical, special needs or other reasons will require extra support by another member of the staff.
TUESDAY TEACHER ROUTINE
Most importantly as the teacher, you are the one person your children are going to look to, to see how you are reacting and coping in this situation. You need to be as cool as a cucumber, confident and at ease with the testing procedures.
- Have your room prepared; posters removed, tables separated
- Organise all the extra supplies needed such as pencils (remember only 2B and HB allowed) erasers, sharpeners, extra paper and any other stationery supplies, (as we know it’s always inevitable that students won’t have their own supplies);
- Early to bed, no Netflix, Facebook or extra Instagram posts this night
- Eat a healthy breakfast
- Prepare a solid lunch box of food because you won’t have a minute to yourself over these next few days to be driving to the shops for something tasty.
- Grab that heart pumping coffee on the way to school
- Arrive to school early to double check your list we have provided
- Collect your tests from your allocated administrator who holds the official tests
- Read over all the instructions which you would have a solid handle on from your preparation in reviewing other NAPLAN tests
- Take your class to the toilet
- Come back to the room for some relaxation techniques – deep breathing and calm thoughts
- Explain to your students one last time to RELAX. Do their best. Success is not just determined by a test
Good luck teachers! Feel free to leave a comment below, on our Facebook page or in our private Facebook group if you’re a member about your experiences!