Not Worried About the EOG
Across the United States, students have started test prep. Students march through test packet after test packet with the goal of increasing test scores on a standardized test. In North Carolina, all elementary schools administer the End-of-Grade (EOG) Test. The test is a standardized test which measures how well students understand grade level standards.
What are the standards?
- North Carolina Essential Standards
- Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics
A Whole Child Approach
At Hillsborough Elementary School (HES), our staff remains committed to teaching the whole child. A whole child approach to education means each staff member will focus on ensuring that each child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.
Our school's approach to assessment is through the use of common formative assessments. Common formative assessments are created by grade level teams or by teams of teachers from across Orange County Schools and inform teaching and learning. In order to assess skills and understandings, classroom teachers may assign a project, have a class seminar or debate, ask students to demonstrate a skill, visit the HES Nature Trail for a science experiment, ask students to complete a project in a collaborative team, or develop an online assessment. We believe in Assessment FOR Learning, which means that the teacher and the student both learn from the assessment.
Life is a matter of trial and error, not multiple choice tests. Our staff focus on creating assessments which are student-friendly and which help the student monitor his or her own growth. Parents are always welcome to speak with their child's teacher about assessment. Assessment is not viewed as a series of tests or hoops to jump through. Our state administers EOG Tests in grades 3–5, but the focus at HES is on student understanding, not on test prep. Teachers provide multiple opportunities for learning, and the instruction is aligned to the standards adopted by the North Carolina Board of Education.
Our goal is to teach for understanding and to prepare students for the next level. We view success as each student being well prepared for any assessment, not just a multiple choice test. You won't hear about a Test Prep Boot Camp, Beat the Test Pep Rally, or EOG Stress Kit at HES. We work together as a team to prepare our students throughout the year, rather than creating a high-stress environment during the last nine weeks! The pictures below represent students who are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged! Our approach reduces anxiety and supports the whole child!
Steven Weber is a former classroom teacher, assistant principal, and department of education consultant in Arkansas and North Carolina, and is currently the principal of Hillsborough (N.C.) Elementary School. He is a former board member of North Carolina ASCD, a featured guest on the Whole Child Podcast, and a Whole Child Symposium Virtual panelist. Connect with Weber on the ASCD EDge® social network, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @curriculumblog.