Testing Season


I know it is close to testing time at schools when I get updates on what can and can not be signed during tests.  If you’d like to refresh your memory please read the following from the Florida Department of Education.

2014-2015 FSA and FCAT_FCAT 2.0_NGSSS EOC Assessment Accommodations Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

In other news, I am still going to workshops.  It’s about once a month.  I love it.  I can’t get enough.  Sometimes 6 hours isn’t enough time for the presenter to explain implicit -> explict meaning.  *sigh* I’m sure you could spend months on how to do that effectively in the classroom.


Winding down…

27 school days left.  Whoa!!

What a great year this has been so far.  So fun to see my student thrive and become a nice citizen of the world.  I know…there is still some work to be done but it’s nice to sit back and reflect.

FCAT is nearly finished for 7th grade.  I believe the other grades in the school still have some testing to do.  You would think that all the stress of school would be complete but just around the corner are “End of Course” exams and then their semester tests.  OOF!

As an interpreter, all this testing can be stressful.  Depending on your student, you may need to keep up with all the vocabulary you established throughout the year because it may come up on a test.  Also, sitting quietly while your student is testing can take a toll.  We all want a few minutes to sit quietly but during testing you can’t really “decompress” you have to be actively ready if your student needs anything interpreted on the test or if the teacher and or fellow students say anything.  My trick to keep my happy during this time is to get an “ear worm” of a happy song that I can sign in my head to keep my occupied. 

I have decided not to work this summer, instead I’m attending Silent Weekend in June and hope to get into the Summer Institute. I love improving my craft. Knowledge is power! 🙂


FCAT time!

I’ve been horrible about blogging lately.  I have no excuse….Just laziness.  Here are some quick updates.

It’s FCAT time here in Duval County Public Schools.  Lots of time to meditate between interpreting directions.

Taking a workshop on line about parsing text.  I’m way over my head and loving it.  Not sure if I’m doing it right but it’s making me think outside the box about my product and that’s always a good thing.

My intern is pretty much done with her hours but would like to continue on afterwards to keep honing her skills.  Awesome attitude to have and I hope it pays off for her in the long run.  I think I’m going to work on more team interpreting because I really miss being in the hot seat.

I’ll work on being better about blogging.  Sorry readers.


FCAT 2.0 is next week…

The kids have been preparing all year.  They are ready.

As an interpreter my days could either be hectic or very mundane depending on how the students test.

Here are some of the rules from the Guide to FCAT and FCAT 2.0 Accommodations for Students with Disabilities, found on page 22:

  •  Sign language presentation of test items and answer choices on
    FCAT and FCAT 2.0 Mathematics and Science and the topic
    (prompt) for FCAT Writing
  • Sign language presentation of directions of any FCAT and FCAT
    2.0 assessment
  • English/sign or sign/English translation dictionary for students
    who use sign language as their primary means of communication.
    The dictionary must be similar to one used in the instructional setting
    and may not contain definitions of words. The dictionary may contain
    the sign picture, the word, synonyms, and an index.

The Florida Department of Education has some great info on their site.  It’s always a great place to start researching those questions you may have about statewide assessments.

Here are few test taking tips that you might want to remind your students:

  • Read and pay careful attention to all directions.
  • Read each passage and accompanying questions.
  • Read every possible answer–the best one could be last.
  • Read and respond to items one at a time rather than thinking about the whole test.
  • Reread, when necessary, the parts of a passage needed for selecting the correct answer.
  • Don’t make uneducated guesses. Try to get the correct answer by reasoning and eliminating wrong answers.
  • Decide exactly what the question is asking; one response is clearly best.
  • Make sure to record the answer in the correct place on the answer sheet.
  • Only change an answer if you are sure the first one you picked was wrong. Be sure to completely erase changed answers.
  • After completion of the test, use any remaining time to check your answers.
  • Keep a good attitude. Think positively!

Good Luck to all of the FCAT takers, administrators, proctors, and fellow interpreters.