A few days ago I attended the "Nuts and Bolts for CST" training and I would like to share with you all some important information regarding the CST. This year, there is going to be a huge focus on "SECURITY." There will be auditors at some sites making sure guidelines are being followed. We don't know which sites yet, but there is a possibility Mann could be one of the chosen sites. There will be more detailed informations shared with you guys after Spring Break (and I wish you all a wonderful vacation by the way). A few of the questions that I had answered are the following:
1. Teachers/Proctors are not allowed to erase any marks within the bubble/circle at all. The only time a teacher/proctor can erase anything (outside of the bubble/circle only) is under the supervision of the testing coordinator and/or Admin. Teachers /proctors "CAN NOT" tell/ask kids to erase or properly fill in the bubbles once the test starts. Once the tests starts, you may not make comments or gestures regarding anything to do with the CST answer sheet. As a teacher/proctor, you may let them know the importance of properly filling in or erasing an answer on the answer sheet BEFORE you hand out the test.
2. You can supply students with highlighters for students to utilize during the CST if you so choose.
3. The part and subject matter test (for example: Math part I) must be taken at the same time and day by all students (non CAPA students).
4. Generic test taking strategy poster are allowed to be left up on the walls. If you are thinking, "what is considered generic test taking strategies"? PLEASE, email Erin Gordon at email@example.com or Denise Ormsbee at firstname.lastname@example.org with a list of the test taking strategies you are planning to have posted in your class room and they will let you know whether they are valid or not.
5. Scratch paper for the Math and Science portion of the CST only. Students may use the supplied scratch paper for Math and Science CST portion of the exam only. Students will not get their used scratch paper back after they complete the first part of the tests. This means that if students use their scratch paper to jot down formulas and such they will have to write them down twice. Once for each part of the test.
6. 7th Grade students taking Algebra will be required to take the Algebra CST.
7. 6th Grade students who are taking Pre-algebra are required to take the 6th grade Math CST.
With the above information being said, please take time to properly plan, train, or inform students on how to properly take a multiple choice exams and what is considered acceptable marks on their answer sheet. Also, please plan to start arranging the room and getting it ready for the CST. Cover all or take down all charts, posters, number lines, etc. off the walls (with the exceptions of the test taking strategies, again please verify with Erin Gordon or Denise Ormsbee). If you are going to have students use highlighters, please start planning to gather up these supplies . You do not want to wait until the last day.
I hope this bit of information can get you started in thinking about CST preparations after the break. Further and more detailed CST information will follow after Spring Break.
Thanks and have a great Spring Break.