Some solutions arrive at a moment of desperation.
I have been giving the online ELL test this month. One of the first graders became so stressed he started sobbing and I couldn't convince him to finish. As anyone who has given the mandated state tests knows, this is not a valid excuse for not completing it. I wish it were.
We decided to test him alone in the counselor's office, and I brought a chart like the one pictured above. I put a star on each of the questions he had already answered and the counselor drew lines where he could stop to take a break. I crossed off the numbers at the bottom, because the test had 95 questions. Each time he answered a question, we checked off the remaining boxes. He had a visual of how he was progressing and so he finished.
No, I don't think that a 95 question test is developmentally appropriate for first graders. I wonder what we are doing to our students. Some days I advocate for my students by trying to change the system. Other days I advocate for my students, by getting them through it.
If you need a chart like this one, click here.