Yesterday, I had several students having meltdowns about the PARCC unit 2 math test. Some of my students have trouble when it comes to tests on a regular basis, so I knew I had to do something to make them feel better. As we entered the classroom after P.E. I asked them to come to the carpet. As we sat down I told them that I heard a secret and did not want them to share it with anyone else. I whispered that a friend of mine who is a teacher in fourth grade in another school had her students take the unit 2 math test and they told her it was so much easier than the first test. That they had already learned almost all of what was on it. My students were relieved. We started the test and my students were not nearly as nervous. When the test ended and we met again on the carpet I asked if they thought the test was easier. Several told me that they only were not sure of one or 2 questions and the rest were a breeze. Some whispered, “can your teacher friend find out about the rest of the math test before we take those?” I replied, “I will see what I can do.” I have no idea what was on that test, but if my students felt confident going into the test I feel that the “lie” or “deception” was worth it. Just a crazy thought.
If someone was to ask me I would say I am very flexible and roll with the punches. Truth be told I can roll with the punches, but I really, really like routine. The last few days my school routine has been anything but routine. Some days testing is ninety minutes and others it is 60 minutes.
Adjusting schedules and keeping students engaged, but not stressed or overtaxed is very difficult. They are just as used to structure and routine in my classroom as I am. I am very grateful that we only test once this year. Today marks the half way point, yah almost done and back to normal.
When I was in grade school a very long time ago our break was called “clean up week”, not spring break. I remember asking my mom why it was called that and she said that it was because kids could help their parents get ready for summer. I was okay with her answer. Now, as I look at the calendar, I realize that spring break should be called clean up week. I have already made a list of things that need to be cleaned up, repaired, put away or put up. After looking at my list I realize I could use a few other people to help with all of these little and sometimes big chores. Too bad my boys have grown up and moved away. On the other hand maybe I should just plan to get away on spring break and just forget all about clean up week.
The quality of the pencil has certainly diminished. When you sharpen certain pencils they only sharpen on one side. Others break the first time you try to write with them and still others have broken and then the entire length of graphite falls out. It is a simple idea that has been around for decades and yet it seems that it has gotten worse instead of better. Too many pencils to sharpen, too little time.
Yes, it is finally here, PARCC testing begins. I know in my heart that I have done everything I am supposed to do to prepare my students for 5th grade. Good Luck 4th grade, I know you will do your best!
This morning as I was pulling out of my driveway I saw something in my flower box. I got out of my car thinking that all of the wind we have had lately probably blew garbage into the box. To my surprise it was tiny shoots for the crocuses and tulips. A smile broke out on my face as that is the first sign that spring is just around the corner.
Yesterday, when I got home I received a phone call from one of my favorite nieces telling me that her and her husband are expecting their second child. I was thrilled. My younger brother and sister in law were going to have another grand baby. Then I realized that for years as some of my friends were having grandkids that it did not really matter to me. Now, that my younger brother is going to have his second grandchild and I have grandchildren with paws I realize I would like a real grandchild. Yes, I am the proud grandmother of four dogs and a cat. I did not think it would matter when I had grandchildren, but apparently it does. Well, one of my sons has been married about a year and the other is getting married in May. Maybe next year during our Slice of Life Challenge I will be sharing about becoming a grandmother. That is just a warning, you may not want to invite me to the challenge.