Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mindless Midweek Rants & Rambles

First, I have to share some Ah-mazing news!!!  Tips for Top Teachers is having an incredible giveaway!!!  Win a Color Nook?!  Yes, you read that correctly, a Color Nook!!!

Head over to their giveaway!!!

This week has been a total shock to my system – I have to “practice” going to bed early so that I can be ready to get up and head to work this week. Yep – it’s back at school ladies & gents!  I’m here for 3 weeks…14 13 ½ school days. 

That gives me approximately 108 hours to administer…. 20 individual F & P (Fountas & Pinnell) reading assessments, 20 individual AIMSWeb Literacy Fluency assessments, 20 CASE21 math assessments, 20 CASE21 reading assessments, 20 grade-level reading assessments, 20 grade-level math assessments.

Hmmm…let’s do the math…

20 F&P’s at 20 minutes each (assuming I select the correct reading level the first time…) = approximately 6 ½ hours
20 fluency assessments at 10 minutes each = approximately 3 ¼ hours

Thank God the rest of the assessments are whole group, because time is quickly slipping away here…

CASE21 Math Assessments = approximately 2 hours
CASE21 Reading Assessments = approximately 2 hours
Grade-level Reading Assessments = approximately 2 hours
Grade-level Math Assessments = approximately 2 hours

Yep, that is a grand total of almost 18 hours of assessments for THIS quarter.  That does not count the additional number of hours that I will spend compiling, comparing and rehashing the new information with data I have accumulated over the course of the quarter, and then determining grades.

Now – that is time well spent… or not!  Please, I do not need another number or label to smack on my student.  I know what they know – I have taught them, or tried to – and know what each one of them is capable of and how they have improved this year. I know if they can add and subtract numbers to 200 with fluency – we’ve practiced together, tried alone, done it for homework.  I do not need another lousy piece of paper to show me. 

Please do not test my kids anymore.  I need those precious 18 hours to TEACH and my kids need that time to learn and practice!

Those may be the minutes it takes for my students to understand why 39 + 28 is 67, and not 517…. they may need that time to understand that we need to regroup that seventeen, and leave the 7 in the ones place and take the group of ten to the tens place.

So, for the other 90 hours that we are in school, I will be teaching; simply closing my door, and teaching my students. It will be content based - we’ll talk about gingerbread cookies and living in snowglobes, we’ll read The Nutcracker and determine how many elves Santa needs at his workshop to make sure that all of the toys are ready for Christmas Eve, and how many hours those elves will need to work.  Yes, there is math and literacy, and social studies, and even science tied into every one of these lessons. So, yes, in my room, we’ll be doing all sorts of fun things…and just imagine….learning too. 

But I will not be preparing my kids to take a test that will later be used to measure my (or my coworkers) “effectiveness” as a teacher…. nope, not going to do it! It may mean my formal evaluation is sub-par based on test results; but it also means that I am a great teacher because I have taken my students from where they are and taught them additional skills that they will use in the future and outside of my classroom in life. 

Okay – off my soapbox and on to work.  Let’s go Prancer, Dancer, Comet and Cupid; we’ve got lights to string and decorations to put up!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! That's a lot of testing! I totally agree about testing...sadly it doesn't look like it's going away. :(

    So teach your little heart out with the time you do have and enjoy it the best you can before Christmas break!

    Spotted Around the School