From the optional participation in field tests in 2016 to the implementation of Grades 5 and 8 required tests via CBT in the Spring of 2024, CA BOCES has been on the forefront of information gathering and dissemination regarding NYSED’s push toward 21st Century teaching, learning, and assessment. There have been a few bumps in the road, such as technical issues, fiscal resources, and COVID, but we’ve learned to navigate those obstacles and are ready to help our districts survive and thrive.
One of the tools we have been continuing to use and support as we work with teachers and students on building capacity for the CBT is Castle Learning. To be sure, Castle Learning has been around a LONG time! I hesitate to say it, but the year was 1990. It was the vision of two New York State teachers and a computer programmer who wanted to leverage technology to help students prepare for end-of-year testing. And here we are, 30-some years later using the same tool.
Castle Learning has adapted and grown over the years into a quality resource for both students and teachers, especially as we move in the direction of using technology for testing. I have some tips and tricks that will help teachers better utilize this resource. Having teachers go into the program with no guidance can be frustrating, to say the least. However, even Castle Learning “vets” can use these pointers as well.
Need to find questions on a particular standard that students struggle with? Use Keyword Search. Go in, click on the “standard” tab, and type in the standard.
Want to find old state tests or regents questions? Use Public Assignments.
Need to work on math facts or skills? Use Math Skills
How do you find passages from the NYS Sampler tests? Use Castle Reading Sets
If you need additional help, training, or just have a question, please reach out. Let’s make sure our students are prepared to conquer CBT!
By: Alexandra Freer, CA BOCES Learning Resources
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