If you teach, attend school, or have kids in school in Virginia, you most definitely have heard about last spring’s Math Standards of Learning all-new test. It threw quite a few people for a loop, and I do hope the results won’t be used to punish anyone in any way. I do hope, however, that these new test items will change the way some of us approach teaching these days.
While change is scary, it is not necessarily bad, and what this new test format is trying to do is get the kids to think through a problem to find an answer rather than spending a year memorizing answers. While a multiple choice test is not my favorite way of finding out if kids can solve problems, it is a practical way to do so, and for now, we have to live with SOL testing.
But don’t throw in the towel yet. You can help your kids train their brains to look for solutions. Have I ever stopped by your classroom to talk about Scratch? Stop rolling your eyes. I can see you.
Yes. Scratch. You might not know how to make the cat dance on your screen, but hundreds of thousands of kids around the world use Scratch, and their teachers agree: when kids make things in Scratch and work out all the kinks, they learn very important skills: perseverance, creativity, logical thinking, computational thinking. All those add up to, yes, you know it, problem-solving skills.
So, yes, again. I would love to work with you and your students and we will have a really fun time using Scratch. Make the time for it. You won’t regret it.