(image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net)
We are supposed to get somewhere between 1 and 3 inches of snow over night. I really hate when there is snow, but not a lot. If it snows, I want enough to cancel school! I am sure it will snow, but I am also sure there will not be enough to cancel school. Boo! At that point it just becomes a nuisance and makes it impossible for me to run in the mornings.
Today was actually a fun, relaxing day at school. We did holiday stations, which means that all the 2nd graders mixed up into groups and went from one station to another station, doing fun activities. I made an ornament in my room with the groups. There was a room with partner reading, a movie, board games, computer games, Lexia (reading games on the computer), and reindeer games in the gym. I think the kiddos enjoyed the fun, and I really enjoy getting to work with all of the 2nd graders.
These two weeks before break are absolutely crazy! The amount of end of the quarter assessing that we have to get done in two weeks is insane. It is exhausting for the kids to be assessed so much, and exhausting for the teachers, as many of the assessments have to be done one-on-one. Here is a run down of assessments I have to get done in the last two weeks of school:
MAP reading (takes an hour to an hour and a half– can be done whole group)
MAP math (same as MAP reading)
DIBELS (takes about 7 minutes per child– can only be done one-on-one)
LARRC assessments (only done on 6 students. Takes about 10-15 minutes per child and can only be done one-on-one)
Sight words (Assess 224 sight words for each child. Takes about 15 minutes per child and can only be done one-on-one)
DIBELS math (Done whole group, only takes about 15 minutes)
Math chapter test (Done whole group. Takes about 30 minutes)
If you think about the fact that I have 21 students, and I have to assess about 15 of them (other teachers help with 6 of them), it comes out to a lot of assessing that has to be done one-on-one. For DIBELS, we have a sub for an hour and a half that we assess. That’s great, except that you end up giving the sub work that is not necessarily what you would do.
My LARRC assessments are for the program I am piloting. Another 2nd grade teacher also has to do it. This means about an hour out of one of my days to get it done. We put in a movie, so we can pull kiddos out one at a time.
Sight words end up being over 2 hours of assessing, but it can be broken up into smaller chunks. This has been getting done while my kiddos silent read or partner read.
On days that we do MAP assessing, brains are fried, so activities are pretty light and fun.
Add into all of this: a speaker (hour and a half out of a day), a full day field trip (arranged by the PE teacher), a pajama day earned by students (do not try to assess on pajama days… it does not go well), a music program later this week, winter workshop shopping for the kids, and everything else that needs to be taught by the end of the quarter, and you have one hectic two week period.
I am counting down until break, and it’s mainly so that we can have a semi-normal schedule back in January. If you think the crafts and movies are just to get the teachers and kiddos through the week, that is part of it. The other part you don’t see is the amount of assessing that is going on behind the scenes. I think assessing is a necessary evil, but I sure hate how much time and energy it sucks out of teaching time and learning time.