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Third Grade Relives the Trying Times of Stanford 9

May 24, 2000

Is the Stanford 9 achievement test too hard, too easy, too long, too stressful? The answers, of course, depend on whom you ask. Shana Frazin, a third-grade teacher in Pasadena, asked her students to keep journals during the eight days they took the test, which covers reading, math and other subjects. She gave them three questions to consider: How do you think you did? What do you feel good about? What, if anything, caused you trouble or frustration?

Here are excerpts from the journals of various students in Frazin's class at Linda Vista School:

"I think I did a good job on the test. I feel good about taking a test because it is exciting and fun. I had a couple of problems with some questions but just took my best guess."

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"I know I worked hard because I think I double-checked my answers. I feel proud of working hard and taking the test. Some answers caused me trouble but I just chose the best."

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After a math test . . .

"I feel exhausted because we did testing for 90 minutes. I thought it was too long."

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"The thing that caused me frustration and trouble was the square routes."

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"I think I did bad because I don't think I am going to pass 3rd grade and I think I am going to get a 36 and that's not good."

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"I think I did good today because I understanded it this time even if I cry some today I still think I did a good job and I just hope I pass to the 4th grade. I am also proud that I tried hard and I didn't give up."

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"I feel almost outsmarted because some questions were 98% hard."

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"I feel good that I am doing better at math because the problems took me a while. . . . I feel good about doing the test because it really gets fun when you finish having the test because you wonder about some things."

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"I feel fine because finally the tests are getting harder."

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"I am exhausted because there was fifty questions. I feel good about it all, but some I have to take guesses. About 1 or 2 questions caused me trouble and frustration but I worked it out after."

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"I felt great about what I did today. I think I got about two wrong. I feel good about me getting all my sleep last night I went to bed very early."

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After a reading test . . .

"There was this one question I thought it didn't make sense so I had to keep on reading it."

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"I think on my test I did good but it was kind of difficult when I didn't know what a word said. But on my test I did a lot of sounding out."

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I think I did good because I know some of those answer I figered out some I gased some. I feel good about it because I try very hard so I can go to the 4th grade."

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"I didn't like today's subtests it was horable at spically when you don't know the answer. I don't feel good about anything but hey you never know how many answers I got rite."

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"I feel good about myself because I think I got most of the problems right."

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"I was nurvis and couldn't work that good. Why, because I think I just forgot everything."

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After a language test . . .

"I feel good about me taking the test and maybe I will pass it. . . . What makes me feel like this is because I want to pass this grade and be as smart as I can be in forth grade in Ms. Bells class."

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"I feel really really really good today. Because they were so easy. I feel good about all of them. Nothing caused me frustration."

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"On today's test I got really, really ANCY! Because today's test was long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long long!"

Same student, two different days:

"I feel fine about my work. I think I did fine. Nothing caused me trouble or frustration."

Next day:

"I feel bad about my test because I couldn't do 269 x 2=something. I feel good about nothing. Everything gave me trouble and frustration."

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