Sunday, May 18, 2008

Testing Week

While my little first graders are not subjected to the End of Grade (EOG) standardized tests at the end of the year it is still a very stressful time of year for them as well as myself.

This week the 3rd-5th graders had to take their EOG's in math, reading, and science. None of these tests have a time limit and so the students could take as long as they needed to complete them. That sounds oh so nice and accommodating for them right, but picture "Little Johnny" with ADHD... he begins the test with determination and such strong stamina but with no time limit he discovers he can examine everything in the classroom that he's been looking at all year long: The poster of the kitten struggling to stay on the tree that reads "Hang in There," The ceiling tiles and how the markings on them are quite the labyrinth for the spider whose web is in the back corner, The art work around the room that his peers have done, The many days until summer vaction??, and then, right... his test. Point is this can take hours and for some like "Johnny" it took SIX for four days.

My heart goes out to the children who are testing, truly it does, and I am all about helping them in anyway I can. I do my part in 1st grade, I tutor two 4th grade girls to prep them for testing, etc. But what I can't do is stay quiet in my classroom with 18 first graders with no breaks for four days. Seriously, no breaks. Since 3rd-5th grade is testing in every crack and corner of the entire school we could not leave our classroom. My students' specials (Guidance, PE, Library, Spanish, Art) were taken away. Lunch was brought to us and eaten in our room. Recess had to wait until 2:25 (we leave at 3:00) and best of all I don't have a teacher assistant so I could never leave my room... not even once for anything. Fact is Ladies and Gentlemen, I didn't pee at work for four days!

Oh... and guess what??? We have re-tests this week. Leaves me feeling like leaving you with this little song:

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Romeo Romeo, Where For Art Thou Romeo?

My little guy M. and I sat next to one another on the bus ride home from our fantastic field trip to a neighboring city's theater to see Eric Carle's stories come to life on stage. While on the bus M. and I had the following conversation:

M: Are you married?

Me: No.

M: Why?

Me: I haven't found a husband yet. Where do you think I'll find him? (What else do you tell a 6 year old?? I have been in the same relationship for 2.5 years but its not really going anywhere. You see we're touch and go??? ...Yeah, I opted for the easy way out.)

M: Subway (the sub sandwich place not ON the subway)

Me: Hmmm.... or maybe on the beach or at a nice restaurant?

M: Or maybe at our school. I know, you should marry Mr. P! (5th grade teacher)

Me: Mr. P is already married.

M: Well, if he ever decides to get remarried you could marry him... but wait, does Mr. P smoke?

Me: No, I don't think so.

M: Good. You don't want to marry a smoker.

Me: Why is that?

M: They stink.