Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Week That Was

So, the week was hectic and although it was only 4 1/2 days of work it did not feel that way. The district gave us the Mid Year assessment for math on Jan. 24th and wants it done by Wednesday of this week for data team meetings. Alright, it takes on average 30 minutes per student to deliver the kindergarten assessment. Let's do the math; 28 students times 30 minutes = 840 minutes. Divide 840 by 60 and you get 12 hours and 20 minutes. Now, the school day is 6 hours for students. But wait! Take out lunch and morning recess and you are left with 5 hours and 15 minutes of time with students. Oh! Don't forget 40 minutes of P.E., Library, or Art on Monday through Thursday. Now we are down to 4 hours and 35 minutes per day Monday through Thursday. Well, I think you are beginning to see; it would take nearly 3 full days of school doing nothing other than giving the math assessment to get it completed. Is this sensible? I won't go there. So how are we doing it our classroom? Bits and pieces. We DID suspend literacy for 2 days and we used an Instructional Assistant to help. Our principal (bless her heart) is getting us a sub for Tuesday so we can do the most onerous sections of the test; counting objects using regrouping and story problems for addition and subtraction.
Come three o'clock on Tuesday I am going to be the one needing graham crackers and a nap!
Last Wednesday night we represented our school at a Kinderfair held at the nearby community college from 6:00 to 9:00 (TOO long!) It is fun to talk with curious and enthusiastic parents who, rightfully so, take serious interest in choosing a school for their children. It is one of the things that keeps me from getting jaded. We signed up at least a dozen more people for one of the weekly tours of our school. Next year we have been told that we do not need to have any more than 26 students which is a tiny bit of relief. To be honest though, it only makes a difference in the classroom if I have 23 or less...not that my class has ever been that small. I just know that I get around to more students when, due to absences, there are 23 or less of them. Logical, huh? My biggest point to make for lower class size is summed up in one word; communication. I could communicate with students and adjust their instruction more frequently, I could communicate with more parents on a regular basis and enlist their help in their child's education.
Then on Thursday we had a scheduled tour group come through our classroom. The kids are getting very comfortable with all these visitors peering at us. I told them in the early a.m. as I prepped them for the day, "I want you to be such good students when our visitors come through I just want to see little wings coming out of your backs and halos above your heads." They looked at my smile and one of them got it and chortled,
"angels!" "Well yes, or close to it," I added. And darned if they weren't just that.
My teaching partner and I were busily testing a couple kids and the others were at their tables writing numbers in their calendars or words and sentences in their tablets. The biggest crack up for me was little S. who paused in our testing and looks at me with big brown eyes and says, "I guess these are our customers, huh?" Honestly, I never have referred to prospective families as 'customers' but I had to answer, "Yes, S., I guess you are right!"
On Friday we had Crazy Hair Day and THAT was wild. Pink hair, purple hair, spiked hair, teased hair, lots of wonderful silliness. See my other blog for a couple photos.
So now it is the weekend. It continues to be chilly but at least the rain held off and I did a bit of clean up in my gardens. Tonight we have a couple dvds to view. I have schlepped some school work home and I have a house to dust tomorrow. No I will not be watching the Super Bowl, unless it is for the commercials. I grudgingly give my support to the Giants if pressed to take sides. All of you who DO watch, pay attention to the calories you consume, I've read that gluttony abounds amongst Super Bowl viewers.


Diana said...

If only most people understood the massive amount of extra time that is put in by teachers. (28 kindergarteners? Sheesh! We're lucky in our little district. The classes are a little over 1/2 that for the kindergarteners.)

Good luck with all that.

lisabella said...

I feel your pain! We are in the midst of our winter benchmark assessment. Thank you NCLB.
I only have 17 kids and my class and it takes forever!