I was going to do a different post tonight, but it says that images can't be uploaded right now, so I will do something else!
We just gave our trimester benchmark test today and yesterday. We have them 4 times a year, per the district. One is Language Arts, one is Math. I always dread them, just because I have to take time away from teaching and it shows how well I have done teaching the kids. I am very competitive, so I always want to be #1 at my site. My former principal (Mr. DB as I will refer to him now...I hope y'all know what DB stands for!) would show us how each teacher did and then bitch about the ones who were low. Mine were always the highest til he did that. Then 2 of the others started to cheat, so it's not accurate. I don't think the new principal will do that to us, but who knows. I still like for my kids to be scoring high, just so I know that they know what it is we have spent the last trimester doing!
I gave my LA test yesterday and was pleasantly surprised. My kids overall did very well. I had some who missed a couple simply because they weren't paying attention. I had some who missed a lot because the simply don't know shit no matter how much I work with them. One of my don't-know'shit kids managed to score 100%. And she only knows 15 of the first 150 sight words. So, I knew she had to have cheated, but I don't know who she cheated from since she was right in front of me. I must have been lame yesterday! I gave her the test again today. Same test, one on one. She scored a 36%. More like it. And she told me she didn't cheat and when I asked her who she cheated off of, she said she didn't her name. The girl was convinced she didn't cheat, but I am not so sure. Maybe I am being to hard on her, but she doesn't spell her name right half the time. I'm stumped!
I gave the math test and it wasn't as high as the language arts. I didn't expect it to be, either. I feel I do better and LA than math, but I have tried to do better. I have to get my act in gear with the math. But, our math program sucks when it comes to addition and subtraction. They teach them in a weird way that is more abstract, rather than concrete. And you need concrete for addition and subtraction. Or at least I think so anyway! I hate when the kids have to magically know the parts of 8 to find the missing number on the work. So, I have been teaching them how to subtract to find the answer. Seems so simple, but they aren't tested that way. I think it's dumb, but I have to teach it according to the district and their assessments. Last year, there was a team of teachers (I was tehre) who sat down and decided what would be tested when. We said no subtraction til second trimester since we wouldn't have covered it and we out it on the pacing guide. Well, guess what? There were 4 subtraction problems on the test. The ass in charge doesn't read very well. I think it's a disadvantage to the kids and what they know. But, I'm not in charge. If I was, things would be run differently. But, I'm not, nor will I ever be.
Along with this, we are reaching the end of the trimester. We have to have report cards done sometime in the future. The dates keep changing. We were told they go home Nov. 5, but now another ass at the district said Nov. 19th. That's a big difference! But, all my report cards have to be done by Nov. 2. Figure that one out for me! I am trying to test on sight words and DRA's, which have to be done for report cards. I'm trying to do that without taking away from my reading groups. It ain't happening! I barely get anything done. I see a movie day in my future! At least once they are done, I will have some time off from assessing like this. I think January is the next time for assessments for progress reports. Or it may be December before we go on vacation. Who knows!
I just think our kids are assessed too much. I'm not an idiot! I know how my kids are doing without an assessment. Do I know it all? No, but even when I assess the heck out of them, I still don't know it all. Especially if they cheat! I guess I should get onto bubbling in my answer sheets. I don't let the kids do it since I want their answers to show what they did. That will be my fun for the evening, along listening to the rain! I think we're working on 2 inches for the day! That's like the whole total for spring normally! Wow! Crazy So Cal weather!