My third grader survived his very first day of official testing today. After a long night’s sleep, he carefully picked out his books to read after the test, ate a very special Daddy breakfast, and was ready to tackle anything. I could tell he was nervous, but tried to hug it away the best I could, being the embarrassing mom that I am.
I caught up with him later in the day and he admitted it wasn’t as hard as he’d imagined, but also admitted his brain was TIRED. To him, the questions started out super easy, and by the end were super hard–sounds about right for any test. We took a few minutes this afternoon to hash and rehash the scary and nonscary parts of the day, and by bedtime he seemed ready for day 2.
After that just one more test for the Scroggins hoodlums (big and small) to endure, and we can all relax this weekend over a few games of baseball…I’m already looking forward to it.
This week marks the second round of STAAR Testing for Texas students. Everyone is going through the same routine as they did for TAKS Testing, reviewing major concepts these last few weeks, cleaning classrooms, urging kids to eat nutritious dinners and breakfasts, and canceling after school activities to ensure a good night’s rest. With all the controversy around this test this year, this week is a welcome end to a year of preparation. I think (or hope) my students are mumbling the phases of the moon in their sleep, and I’ve seen my third grader wander around the house reciting his multiplication facts. For him especially I’m glad this week is finally here. The unknown of his FIRST REAL TEST has had him periodically anxious throughout the school year, and I hope after this week he can breathe a sigh of relief, relax, and enjoy the spring–baseball, wildflowers, and everything in between.
I plan to do the same–and to try not to think about how the scores will be ready at some faraway date in the Fall.
Students and teachers survived the first day of STAAR Testing today, and I think it went well. The day felt like any other testing day, with students entering class with pencils, water, goldfish, and erasers, and teachers reading instructions on exactly where and where not to bubble. All of the hype seemed to fade into the background as everyone settled into their chair and began the business of taking a test. In fact, with the new four hour time limit, the overbearing feeling of an “all day test” seemed to disappear. Students finished in time for lunch, and were able to relax their brains in preparation for Day Two tomorrow.
Unfortunately, schools will not receive scores from these tests until the fall. Personally, that unknown would drive me insane. I loved those college classes that passed out test keys at the exit so we could grade our own tests immediately. Watching all this new normal unfold makes me fret and worry about getting the three Scroggins Hoodlums through the next tenish years of school as productive, test passing members of society.
Honestly, should we wager on another educational change by that time?
Probably not, but for now we have Day One under our belts. Check. It feels good.
There will be a STAAR informational meeting tonight at 6 pm at Young Elementary. With all the changes in state testing this year, this meeting should answer many of the questions we have as parents, teachers, and students. Come with a pen in hand!
There really aren’t enough hours in the day. I know a lot of people say that, but there REALLY just are not.
I have to do lists that tell me what to write on other to do lists. It’s nuts. I’m nuts.
My worst time management strategy is to bring work home. I don’t do it often, but occasionally I will get caught up on an idea or task at school, and have to leave to do something motherly like feed the children. So, I’ll pack it up thinking there aren’t many chores on “the list” that night, and I will be able to sit leisurely on the couch and finish out my plans.
I’m so crazy.
NEVER does that happen! Tonight is a perfect example. I brought home my little to do planning to be super productive, and the minute we hit the door there was laundry to fold, dishwashers to empty, food to prepare, lunches to assemble, and clutter to put away. After baths, books, and life lesson lectures, I was spent. I’ll be lucky to finish this post, let alone plan whatever awesome lesson I created sometime this afternoon.
Just three more hours is all I need–an after afternoon would be just right. Until that happens, I’ll make a mental note to not be so overzealous with my time.
I’m sure I’ll listen. I always do.
With the Valentine Party up for bribes, we were able to make it through all five days of school last week without an office referral or a sad face in the folder!! Tonight we are looking ahead to the marathon of five more days of smiley faces. My hopes are sky high that we can get through it! Maybe this snow and sleet will work on our side tomorrow and give us a few hours late start to get the week started.
We have our fingers crossed!
Our youngest is taking all our parenting skills right now, so that’s what is mostly on my mind–25 out of the 24 hours in a day. The last two weeks have been less than awesome, as I’ve noted, and now we are only one day in to week three. Is it alcoholics that take it one day at a time? Kindergarten parents should do the same–or so I’ve been told. People have been very supportive, citing their own elementary school parenting crazy. Friends have told me it will work out, that he will learn all the things he needs to learn, and he will mature to the point of using words instead of fists. But, the in between time is very, very hard, and of course, makes us feel like we need to go to parenting classes. I think I might blame all these “worry lines” on him as well. Keep sending positive-learn-how-to-be-a-kindergartener-thoughts our way please. It’s just Tuesday and Friday seems like forever away.
I mentioned the visit to the Principal. Kindergarten life in general is getting the best of the Scroggins House right now. Granted, this isn’t a new phenomenon for us. Both older kids had a rough year in kindergarten, too. Something we do as parents makes that whole “transition to school” thing an actual “thing.” So, I’m hoping and praying that if we just grin and bear it we can make the breakthroughs we need to make this year, and with a little maturity over the summer, next year will seem like cake.
Yes, that is my prayer. But, in the meantime, we need to master handwriting, sight words, phonics dictation, self control, NOT fighting on the playground, and the most difficult of all…FOCUS. How do you teach a kid to focus???? My youngest lives vividly from minute too minute in a world of pretend, talking to animals, people, and other alternative life forms as though we are all best friends. When we work with his writing skills he has to be reminded to FINISH WRITING THE WORD. How do you forget what you’re doing in the middle of a word??? Granted, he’s five, and I’ve said before It’s hard to be Five! But right now it’s hard to be the mom of a five-year-old. Lord, give me the strength, patience and wisdom to survive.
And yet, I hear my husband’s stories of gradeschool, and I’m afraid I’m in for a few more years of hair-turning-gray days. Again, Lord, please give me the strength.
I guess it had to happen. With three children, eventually we would receive one of those pink slips of paper signed by the principal outlining an awesome behavior one of our children displayed in class.
For us, it was last Friday–and if you know me, know my children, or have just read around on this blog, you know which child it was.
#3. The youngest. The “100% Boy.”
His story is that there was a disturbance in the “force” at the lego station, and sharing became an issue. Apparently he and another boy wanted the same piece, and there was a scuffle. Not only did my youngest son call the other child a “squirrel” (a most offensive tactic in kindergarten), but he also raised his fists, and was ready to take the other child on.
You can imagine the consequences we had to create for this one. This is our boy that lives in the land of pretend. I mean he really lives in a world where he fights Jedi Masters, dinosaurs, and other “armies” minute after minute every single day. He doesn’t require an actual toy, because he can create a gun out of any stick, branch, twig, leaf, or random plastic part out of my husband’s tool box. Of course we had a conversation, outlining that fighting is not supposed to happen at school, and let’s leave it in our land of pretend. I guess you could say this was our first “grounding” as well. No video games for the weekend, among other things.
I hope it made an impact. I’ll keep this referral for the scrapbook, but I really hope it’s the only one, although I fear it might not be. If I can get all three of these hoodlums through childhood, through college and into adulthood I think I will deserve an Olympic Gold Medal of Mommyness.
Five minutes might seem like a small amount of time, but in the mornings at the Scroggins house it might as well be an entire hour. There is an amazing amount of tasks we can complete in five minutes: brushing hair on Kid A, brushing teeth on Kid B, dressing Kid C, pouring cereal for Kids A, B, and C, transfering clothes from the washer to the dryer…you get the idea. Five minutes=many tasks.
So, when I see that I am five minutes late to school practically every single day, I acknowledge that it is an large amount of time, but I also have to give myself some credit for completing SO MANY things not only in five minute increments, but before 7:30 a.m. in general. Seriously, the flies on the wall are having a ball watching our morning circus.
There is another curious note about the morning five minutes–no matter what time I wake up, I am consistently late those five minutes. Even if I vary my morning activities and eliminate Steps 1, 2, or 3, I am late those five minutes. I can add an additional thirty minute activity–like a morning workout, and I am still only late those five minutes. It makes no sense, but I’m accepting it as fact. At this point, this year, with this morning dynamic, five minutes is a critical time span-and I am powerless to change that.
The solution: Start the school day at 7:35 instead.