My students took a practice reading test (a la the state test) over the last two days. I try to minimize the importance of these things in their eyes so they don’t feel too much pressure. This involves confronting a lot of the stereotypes they have about testing.
As we headed into the room after lunch, I asked the students to get their desks into rows. One boy who has shown a lot of personal and academic growth this year said something along the lines of, “Oh man, the test is so important.”
Of course, the content is way past the level of most of my students, and it frustrates them (try though they might!), so I try to downplay that kind of talk. I said, “Listen, we know you’ve done very well in school this year. That’s important, too.”