AIMS #ProperPlanningPreventsPoorPerformances

AIMS - April 7th to April 11th...

AIMS – April 7th to April 11th…

Since I’ve been an adult, I’ve always followed the notion that proper planning prevents poor performances. I began class by letting students know that we won’t be scrambling around or making any last ditch efforts to prepare because we’ve prepared all year to be proficient readers and writers. As the AIMS (Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards) test approaches, I decided to give the students a chance to gain some confidence. Before we participated in the practice test activity, we spoke about test anxiety as well as a few other concerns about the upcoming test. I let the kids know to relax, and that they should try their best. I also let them know that I have prepared them for the many things throughout the entire year, and the AIMS Reading/Writing Test is one of them. Prior to this activity, we have done several things during the year to specifically prepare for taking the state standardized test –  AIMS Buckle Down, Galileo Benchmark Assessments, Galileo Interventions/Quizzes, Reading Comprehension Worksheets, etc-etc. I continued to give them a few encouraging words about preparation, and I opened the floor back up for questions, comments, and/or concerns…

I digress, we took the practice AIMS/Reading Test that ADE (Arizona Department of Education) provided. You can view it [here]. The material was rather dated, but the object of the activity was to give them a good idea as to what type of questions would be on the test. Once the students completed the practice test, we came back together for a comprehension check as well as test taking tips to answering the previously mentioned questions.

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Air Force One Contest [Extrinsic Reward]

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I made my students a deal today, and it involves a pair of Air Force 1’s. My brother gave these to me, and I figured I would never wear them due to the colors as well as my age ;] Luckily, I teach students that may like those random colors. I told them the following:  If you wear a size 12 or close to that size, I will give you these shoes. One stipulation, you have to receive an A in either Language Arts/Writing or Language Arts/Literature during the 4th Quarter. If there are multiple students that receive an A, the tie breaker will be based on overall percentage in specific class. If two or more students have the same percentage, the tie breaker will be the highest average from both Language Arts/Writing and Language Arts/Literature…

A little extrinsic reward, you bet. I have had several students staring at the mini-poster [here] I have hanging on my white board trying to devise a plan in order to get the shoes. I told them that there is a simple way, do the work your assigned and do it to the best of your ability. Lesson for the students, when you work hard for things, you give yourself an opportunity for good things to happen… On that same note, there is only one pair of shoes, so working hard, just like in life, might not get you want you want all the time. That being said, you still have to put forth the effort to give yourself an opportunity to be successful.