Test prep, part 4: the little guys.

You might expect that the phrase “the little guys” to be some kind of diminutive for those humble, overlooked students who just need more attention when it comes to test prep.

In fact, “the little guys” is what we’re calling the small plastic figures I gave my students who are PSSA testing next week.

Purple little guy.

Once the news broke that there was no way I would be proctoring tests with my own students, I wanted a way to be in the room with them. A few google searches later and I had these little tokens for a few dollars a dozen.

Call it a totem, or a good luck charm, or an avatar — although I didn’t use any of these phrases when they first got distributed. I handed them out when we were working on a practice test — kids picked the color they wanted, purple’s just one iteration — and asked them to think about what their little guy needed to say to them when I’m not there in the room.

You are unique snowflake?

Slow down?

Wake up?

Write more?

We agreed that frustrations could be taken out on the little guys (provided that it doesn’t get noisy or do any lasting damage.) Plus their joints bend, so you can have them be a little active for you when you’re stuck in your seat.

Turns out the little guys are not so good at standing up, but they do sit. They can hug each other pretty well. And they can stand on their heads.

Look ma!

Look ma!

I will have you know, this official instructional method is Testing-Coordinator-Approved. And in a week that has been a little low on excitement, my 11th graders are feeling good about the little guys. A little island of play in a big sea of multiple choice bubbles.

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