I picked this up over at Melli’s place. Be careful if you go over there. She does a lot of memes and makes them seem so damn fun and interesting you might actually find yourself attempting them, too! (I promise she won’t tag you though!)
You are the moment when the last bell rings and school lets out for the day. You are resistant to schedules and obligations, so you love feeling like you’re in control of your life again. You are the very moment when the second hand hits the 12, and the halls fill with noise and motion. Even if your after-school time is packed with activities, lessons, or a job, somehow, you just feel freer in the late afternoon than you do earlier in the day. Maybe it’s all that blue sky and afternoon sunshine? Nah — even on rainy days, 3:15 is always a beautiful time.
Today the Librarian provided pizza for my class — their reward for reading 325 books during Nevada Reading Week. Five pizzas were delivered. Each pizza was cut in 8 pieces. That is 40 pieces of pizza for 24 children. Do you detect a problem?
Despite the foul up, every child received two pieces of pizza. Pretty neat math, huh? I just took the biggest pieces and cut them in half. I even managed a piece of pizza for myself, and two slices left over. Kind of like the loaves and the fishes — miracles are happening every day. And yes, I know this is a school, but I still prayed over the pizza — I just didn’t do so aloud.
Today we received our scores from the 5th grade writing profeciency exam we took in January, and 76 of the 118 fifth graders who took the test passed. We needed 53% to meet federal mandates, and we achieved 67%. That is pretty dang good for a school whose population is abput 85% second language learners.
Update: I have just reviewed the data. In my classroom, 11 out of 22 students passed, 50%. Out of the 11 that did not pass, one speaks limited English and two are classified Special Ed. One of the two raised his score 5 points this year, but it still wasn’t enough to pass. The very worst score in my classroom came from a student who should have passed, but is just too lazy to bother with pushing his pencil across the paper.
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This afternoon, Ben worked diligently on the constructed response question on the State Criterion Referenced Test. He drew a food chain. He labeled it. He explained it. It was beautiful. Then he double checked his work, reading the directions again. “F–k!” He muttered. “I need an eraser.”
I turned, extending the eraser. “Excuse me?”
He looked right at me as he took the eraser and repeated, “F–k!”
My eyebrows rose. “I beg your pardon?”
With one hand, he pointed at the test-booklet right below the directions telling him what page to write his answers on. With his other hand, he pointed at the page number he did write his answer on. They didn’t match. “What would you say?” He demanded.
I shrugged one shoulder apologetically and nodded my head. The kid had a point.
Believe it or not, the kids come voluntarily. Fifty-one 5th graders showed up this morning for a half a day of math. We’ve done this 3 Saturdays in a row. We aren’t teaching anything new, just reinforcing what they’ve already learned.
The thing is, our 5th graders are smokin’ hot. They’re ready for the test, and they don’t need any more pressure — but we’re locked into these Saturday classes, because we signed up for them, and signed the kids up. So — right now I have 12 fifth graders in my classroom playing Yahtzee. I am talking to them about probability and ratio while they play. Mostly they are ignoring me and having fun — as it should be.
Today the kids will rotate between 4 different classrooms. They will play three different math games, and a reading game. This is our last Saturday class. The big nasty test starts Tuesday. I think they’re ready.