Friday, September 13, 2013

Testing in the Library? What's a Librarian to Do? The MAP Meltdown.

It's three weeks into the school year.  Orientation is done. Your new and improved reading program is launched, you're doing book talks on the morning news program. The books for book club just arrived and you are ready to start your lunchtime book club. Research projects are being planned and reservations are being made. The music is playing in your head and you are getting into the groove. It's going to be a great year. Everything's off to an awesome start, the ball is rolling and things are going so smoothly.

This screen times 75.
And then, Uh-oh!  It is suddenly time to have some MAP testing in the library for about two weeks. Proctoring, computer crashing, score reporting, makeup testing, that's what we're talking about here. Not quite what you were all excited about.  Time flies when you are having fun, so MAP testing can sneak up on you and pop you in the head like little bunny foo foo.

This could put a wrench in your excitement  or cause you to have to up your anxiety meds. But are you going to let that happen?
Are you feeling blue? Too bad! You've got work to do!

Don't waste more than an hour of your time and your energy whining, complaining, feeling defeated and compromised. You get one hour and one cream-filled donut. Then, you have to move on and figure out how to turn the tables on this situation.  Here are some suggestions from someone who has already used up her annual hour of MAP meltdown time:

Focus on the people.

Your lovelies are going to be visiting your library for testing. Let them check out books after they've finished their test. Make sure your displays are fresh and your promotional materials are ready for work. Push that new reading program and work off that donut!

Teachers will be bringing their classes to take the test. What a great opportunity to collaboratively plan those research projects, show off new resources and build relationships with your faculty. Maximize that MAP testing time. Share that donut with the collaborating teacher!

Your principal is so thankful that he/she can depend on you to make MAP testing go smoothly. Just know that even if it isn't said. It is good to be needed. Eat that donut, you deserve it.

Take your show on the road and get out of the library. (Not for first timers)

While the library is being used for testing and everything is running smoothly, try to get out of the library, if possible, and make some class visits to do book talks and activities, plug your new e-books and show everyone how to use them. Find opportunities to teach research skills and cyber safety.  Consider asking the teachers whose classes will be in the library testing to check out books and confirm tests.

Take a break when the test crashes. It is going to take NWEA a few minutes to get that server back up anyway. So, instead of stressing out and going mad trying to get all the students logged back into the test right away, stop for five minutes after you have recognized that MAP has crashed. You needed a break anyway right? Encourage teachers to have their students bring a book to their computer so they can read if the test should crash or if the students finish early. Usually MAP isn't down for long, so plan on being back on track soon.

Before you know it, this round of MAP testing will be over,  and you will be getting back in your groove. It's better for you and everyone else when you figure out how to manage the MAP meltdown instead of allowing it to shut down your program completely and give you the blues.

Turn the beat around
Love to hear percussion
Turn it upside down
Love to hear percussion
Love to hear it!











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