In NC, standardized testing in the public schools didn't begin until 3rd grade. When we moved to GA, I mistakenly thought it was the same here. Last week I learned I was wrong; Georgia has been testing 1st and 2nd graders using the CRCT since 2002 (http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/ci_testing.aspx?PageReq=CI_TESTING_CRCT
). Georgia is in fact one of two states in the country that test in grade 1; only 7 test grade 2. There's a bill in the GA house right now that seeks to stop testing in grades 1 and 2: http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2010/02/26/house-bill-would-eliminate-crcts-in-first-and-second-grade-hurrah-or-hurrumph/
Meanwhile, Casper is being taught how to take a bubble test. She told us in some detail about the practice this morning. She explained a story about a girl names Jane who buys some skates at a store and plans to skate at her grandmother's skating rink. There are questions after the story, and it was pretty cute to see her explain how the choices would be a, b, c, etc. She said (unprompted) that she was worried about the test because she wasn't always able to read the story very well. I asked if they practiced math tests too, and she said yes.
She had a tough week at school this week, struggling to pay attention in math especially, such that her parapro wrote us a note home about it. It turns out they were doing fractions this week, and she didn't understand, so she was goofing off and talking. So we did some fraction work on Saturday morning, with an apple, and then with drawings and using the 1970s math book the kids both love. I hope that helps her feel better about fractions. It's interesting to me that Casper's reaction to not understanding, and apparently being distressed at not understanding, was to goof off. I originally thought that maybe she got it instantly and was goofing off because she was bored, but it became clear that was not the case, and she was stressed out about not understanding.
I tried to get Casper to read some of Babymouse to me last night. As usual, her first response was "I can't read." I said she'd read out loud one of the titles on the movie screen before the movie that afternoon ("The Book of Eli") and she claimed that wasn't her, but someone else sitting near her. Ultimately she did read a good chunk of Babymouse with me, getting at least 3/4 of the words (though partly because she knows the story well and has it semi-memorized.) So frustrating for me; I can't see how to help her forward much further. She has to decide she can do it and do it, I guess.