DD struggling with test taking in preschool — The Bump

DD struggling with test taking in preschool

DD is in voluntary pre-K. She is doing really well academically, and started the year well ahead of her class. She behaves really well and does a great job on the class assignments. However, when she took the VPK assessment, she shut down. She didn't answer a majority of the questions, and either didn't say anything or said "I can't do it." The thing is, I know she knows a majority of the questions they asked her. It may have been the test itself that intimidated her. It was basically a binder with pages that had pictures, letters, etc. on them and she had to point to things on the pages.

I'm not really sure if this is a confidence issue, fear of failure, or just a general dislike for taking tests. The teacher said she would work with her, and she'll let me know the next time she is going to take a test so I can prepare her mentally ahead of time. Other than that, I'm not really sure what I can do to help her.

TIA for any advice/thoughts.

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Re: DD struggling with test taking in preschool

  • DS doesn't have to do anything like this in his PreK. What do they do with the assessment? Is it to determine readiness for Kindergarten? If so, I wouldn't worry about it this early in the year. She was probably just nervous about being put on the spot. My niece couldn't identify the letter "T" during her K readiness assessment and it's the first letter of her name. She's doing great in Kindergarten.

    If possible, I would probably not tell your DD it's a test next time around, not even while she's doing it. When we had our meeting this DS' PreK teacher and her associate before school started, we didn't tell him what was going on and he spilled out his entire knowledge base for them.
  • When I worked in preschools and gave kindergarten readiness tests we never called them tests or anything close to that. We just told the kids we were going to play some fun games and were so excited to play with them. In a binder like you described, we'd call it a seek and find game or something similar. We tried to keep it really low key and not put any pressure on the kids. Maybe your daughter would respond better to that approach?
    Mama to two sweet girls
    DD1 Feb 2010
    DD2 Sept 2011

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  • I'm pretty sure they didn't call it a test. DD came home that day and told me she played a game with the teacher by herself, so I'm assuming they did call it a game.

    I'm not sure why they do these assessments (it's probably required by the State), but it's concerning to me because she will be tested to death once she starts Kindergarten, so I want to help her now while it's still new.

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  • I know :(. Did you know you can opt out of the FCAT? I'm seriously considering doing it. It's a lot of work, but if enough people get together and do it, we'll send a clear message.


    cmeon_the_water said:
    Ugh, Florida, huh? DS started 1st this year (K was in private), and I am so frustrated by the amount of hours (WEEKS) standardized testing gobbles up. I remember losing a few days to bubble tests when I was in school, it's so frustrating to see how much things have changed in this regard. :(

    I honestly wouldn't worry about whether or not she performs on this one, at least not beyond supporting the school's efforts.

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  • Oh no, it was my understanding you could opt out of all of the standardized tests. They would use a portfolio type thing to evaluate your child. I'm not sure how my children will do on standardized tests, but I am planning to opt out based on principle. I've talked to so many teachers who are disgusted, but the legislators won't listen to them. They will listen to parents. We've got to take a stand or it will never stop. Standardized testing is literally ruining our schools - and it effects us all, not just the kids who don't do well on the tests. One elementary school got 80% of the parents to opt out, so they had to cancel the tests and use another way to evaluate their children. It was amazing. The teachers were so happy and felt so supported.

    Sorry for the rant, but it's something I'm extremely passionate about, partially b/c my DH is a teacher.

    cmeon_the_water said:
    It's not FCAT at this age- it's all the school grades and other testing. And while I am disgusted- I have a gifted kid who breezes through these, and if we all pulled our "easy" kids out, we hurt the school, the teachers, property values, ugh- it just doesn't feel right to us. If our kids were the type to stress about it, though, I'd be fighting hard.

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  • I know, and the last thing I want to do is make things more difficult for the school or the teachers, because it really isn't their fault. I am joining advocacy groups, writing letters, emails, making phone calls, and meeting with legislators to do whatever I can to fight school reform and high stakes testing.

    The test the preschool did with DD seemed relatively harmless though, and they just want to know where she is and if they (or I) need to help her with anything. They basically just asked her to answer questions and point at pictures, letters, etc. which she is very capable of doing. I don't think any other students struggled with it, so I don't know what's going on with her.

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