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Norwalk Students Go High-Tech for Test Prep

Shamarra Figueroa, a Brookside Elementary School third-grader, used a high-tech tool to prepare for next week’s standardized tests. On Wednesday afternoon, Shamarra and her Norwalk classmates took over the school’s gymnasium for the school's first-ever CMT Math Bowl. Using "clickers," the kids took turns pointing and clicking, while answering test prep questions.

“We wanted to get the kids pumped up for next week,” says Principal David Hay. The first day of the Connecticut Mastery Tests is Monday. These state-administered standardized tests measure students in grade 3 through 8 in reading, math and writing. Testing will continue for a couple of weeks. Third-graders, such as Shamarra, will take this test for the first time this year.

For the Math Bowl, the kids were divided into four teams. In a "Jeopardy"-style competition, one student from each team took turns coming up front to answer a math question projected on a large screen in the front of the gym. Answers were tabulated in seconds.

Clickers are little hand-held remote controls that kids use to punch in answers to questions. They are best used for multiple-choice questions. As of this year, the clickers are used throughout the Norwalk Public School. Brookside has a enough for a couple of classrooms. All teachers have been trained to use the clickers, and they are shared throughout the school. “They give the teachers instant scores, plus they are high interest for the kids," says Hay.

“The clickers are a great teaching tool because you get immediate feedback,” says Jeff Beckley, a third-grade teacher who helps coordinate technology throughout the school. “This helps you guide your instruction.”

How are your kids preparing for the CMTs?

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