I read a fun blog posting this morning by Peter DeWitt called "No Testing Week" Basically, his school is planning a testing hiatus, where no tests will be given for the entire week of November 28 - December 2. Instead, the focus will be on project-based learning, reading, theater, creating works of art, interdisciplinary projects. In other words - learning and enjoying learning.
I think it's a great idea. I think EVERY school should be doing things like this, because as DeWitt says (and which I completely agree with) "the US is too focused on testing and we need to bring back creativity and not always worry about collecting data. .. we are raising a stressed out generation of students who are overtested and overanalyzed". Hear hear!!
So, those of you out there teaching and leading (i.e. principals, curriculum specialists, district supervisors, etc.), consider stepping back and letting school be about creativity and learning and connecting, if only for a while. Help students remember that learning is fun, engaging, and not always about a score on a test. You might be amazed to find that students want to learn if learning involves more than memorizing facts and doing worksheets. Let's all try to have a testing hiatus - whether it be a week or a month - but let's bring back some creativity and excitement to learning and teaching.