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Monday, August 25, 2008

Week two and I'm feeling fine, though quite sleepy.

I'm tired.

I have a student I cannot for the life of me figure out. I'm working on it. It's only week two and it will get better. Until then though, I am spending about 90% of my energy trying to figure out how to keep this student, um, contained and not distracting the rest of the students, and only 10% of my energy working with the rest of the kids. I do not like this one bit. It is not fair to the 20 other kids in the class that this one student is taking so much of my energy. Intellectually, this child is absolutely brilliant. Behaviorally this child is a work in progress. And we're working on it. I'm working on it. I'm working on it a lot. We'll find something that works. We have to. If we don't, Team LastName's test scores will plummet because no one will ever learn anything.

Also, I am amassing articles critiquing Ruby Payne. I have a growing collection. I'm waiting on some friends with university library connections to maybe get some of the the more scholarly ones. There are many, many, many.

I still like school. Week two and I still like it. Yay. I have fun with the kids and the day zoomzoomzooms by, because there is so much to do.

I am not good at doing one-on-one testing (DIBELS-style) while trying to get the remaining 20 to quietly do center work (computers, worksheets, literacy games, reading, books on tape, etc.). I borrowed someone's aid for 2o minutes (only the classes with the students with the lowest levels of English proficiency get aids, and I am not one of them) and was able to get about 2.5 kids tested. There is more testing that I could ever imagine. I don't know when I'm going to start really and truly teaching. So far, all I've done is testtesttest. The DIBELS-style testing, the district testing, the school/grade-level testing, the running records/miscue analysis type testing. And after I finish it now, it has to be repeated next quarter. AAHHHH.

Maybe something more coherent with more complex sentences will come tomorrow. Maybe not.


Blogger The Science Goddess said...

I guess I shouldn't mention the Progress Monitoring booklets and expectations that go along with DIBELS?


10:03 PM  
Anonymous Not Quite Grown Up said...


Yeah, I've heard rumor of this thing called "progress monitoring" but I can't quite figure out what it means. When someone throws another booklet at me, I will fill it out and do the weekly drilling of those few poor souls who get put on progress monitoring. *sigh*

It's ridiculous. I'm not trying to think of lessons that will help my students learn. I'm trying to think of centers that will hypnotize them enough so that they can stay focused for 5-minutes at a time while I testtesttest.

I have decided that Starfall is crack for 1st graders. It is incredible. If only I had a class set of computers, I could get through the testing really quickly.

11:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does the school have a computer lab where you can take the kids, and you can get some of the testing done during that time?

I was lucky - third grade wasn't required to do all that TPRS (Texas Primary Reading Inventory) crap. We were supposed to do reading fluency assessments with them every week, but if I tried to do that, there was no way I'd have had time to teach anything. Like you said, that kind of testing forces you to find busywork to keep them entertained so you can do the testing crap.

If schools insist on putting kids through that kind of torture, they need to hire an additional person to do this testing - the classroom teacher cannot do it.

10:46 PM  
Anonymous Not Quite Grown Up said...

The school does have a lab, but it's in the library and there is usually library in the library. There is also supposedly a mobile lab, but then I'd have to teach the kids how to use the laptops, which would mean I would need to spend time teaching, and god forbid that happen at school.

Seriously, TPTB will have to live with the fact that I am a new teacher, I don't know how to do this, and it likely won't all get done before it is supposed to. If they want to give me extra help, maybe it will. Chances are though, the testing will get done when it gets done. (And therefore, the kids will continue to be thrown into headphones and boring phonics pages for a little while longer until I can actually teach them something, so that they have real activities to do during literacy centers.)

11:12 PM  

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