Instructions to a Standardized Test

74707-poetry-friday-logoOver at Today’s Little Ditty this month, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes interviewed Liz Steinglass about her debuting picture book: Soccerverse: Poems About Soccer. It was a great interview and ended, as always, with a challenge. Liz invited readers to write Poems of Instruction to inanimate objects. What an intriguing challenge! I’ve been having loads of fun seeing what others have written and finally settled on my response. (I apologize for the appearance, but the only way I could retain my formatting was by taking screen shots and cutting and pasting them.)

Instructions to a Standardized Test

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The ever-inspiring Margaret Simon of Reflection on the Teche is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup. She’s sharing some wonderful nature pi-ku poems written by the gifted and talented students she teaches.

28 thoughts on “Instructions to a Standardized Test

  1. This is perfect, Molly. I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda Mitchell says:

    Outstanding….the things you must say juxtaposed against the things you know about the test. Well done. I really like the line, “Don’t take yourself too seriously.” On the first day of testing I found myself addressing just this idea! Oh, I can’t wait until testing season is over.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lindabaie says:

    I saw this earlier, Molly, on the padlet. It’s wonderful the way you showed the thoughts & the actual words, whew! One granddaughter has been testing all week. She says it’s exhausting, is one of those who wants to do so well & worries when she knows she doesn’t understand. I’ve copied it, will share. Thanks, and hope you as a teacher are done for the year.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. margaretsmn says:

    This poem stood out on the padlet to my students who have painstakingly finished their standardized tests. I wish they would disappear from the universe. They are truly a blurry snapshot and now that the teacher’s score counts on them, they are taking over teaching as well. It’s a travesty!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      It’s a stressful thing for both students and teachers. I really question the validity of these tests, especially when they have fourth grade students TYPE their responses to a writing prompt. There is no way that will a valid measure of their writing ability.

      Like

  5. So hard to keep our creativity and spontaneity in a sea of tests that kids and teachers face. Great poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. katswhiskers says:

    Wow. Opposite ends of the earth and opposite seasons, but it’s been NAPLAN week in Australia – our loathsome standardised test!

    I don’t like NAPLAN, but I do love this, Molly. So fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is so awesome, Molly! I thought about it this morning as I dropped my daughter off for her state EOC in history. I know she’s going to do fine, but she was freaked out just the same… “but Mom, if I don’t pass I’m not going to be able to graduate!” This coming from a straight A student. Sheesh. Yes, an extended vacation for standardized tests is most definitely in order!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      High stakes testing is really ridiculous. It makes me so sad to think of your daughter, clearly an excellent student over the long haul, worrying about her ability to pass this test.

      Like

  8. macrush53 says:

    Send to the test makers! So good. I hate spring testing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Alice Nine says:

    Well done, Molly! I always hate those final words, “You may begin.” And suddenly there is a great wall between teacher and students. I posted my DMC poem today, too… but mine sidestepped the directions a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Tabatha says:

    “You may be asked if you are sure you want to do this.” Nice, Molly.. I like the way the test’s half is a bit relentless, a bit ominous. It doesn’t matter whether students are sure if they want to, does it? I like the double-meaning for “you may begin.”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. cvarsalona says:

    Molly, to me this is a humorous piece of writing and one that should be seen by all! Here, on Long Island testing is thought of in terms of an opt out. Parents have revolted; kids cry or worse yet, spend all day taking The Test. I had one of our Regents at a regional meeting during the week. He came at the right time when the literacy leaders were giving their thoughts on the unfairness of testing. He and his board of 17 are working with State Ed on ways to address the topic of testing to alleviate the pain your share in your poem that may launch another look into the weighty issue.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Well, it sounds like there’s some hope in your response, Carol. Fingers crossed that we re-examine the role of this testing and its impact on the classroom, students, and teachers.

      Like

  12. My instructions are “GO AWAY!” If only it were that easy, right? Despite the madness, Molly, this is terrific! — Christie @ https://wonderingandwondering.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is brilliant. I score you in the 113th percentile Molly. I like how it is mirthful. It would have been easy to skewer the brain-draining standardized tests without leaving any smiles, but you have deftly nailed them, with humor. This should be on every teaceher’s room B.B. & list serv. And it should circulate widely among students. Let’s double that score.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. My heart aches for all the students who must take these standardized tests. You have captured the complicated emotions of the poor teacher who must administer them. Thankfully we don’t have as intense a testing regime here in Canada.

    Liked by 1 person

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