Sunday, April 23, 2017

Standardized Testing

Next week is state testing in my classroom 
for English Language Arts.

My 8th graders will show what they have learned so far in their educations. They will answer multiple-choice questions and short-answer questions as well as read long and short passages and write (type) thoughtful longer responses over several days during their class period with me.

For most of them, this is a grueling time. No talking, no moving about, no alternative seating. Just reading and writing quietly with their eyes trained on the chromebook screen.

I have mixed feelings about this standardized testing.

There is data that is collected afterward that helps me see where my students fall on the range between advanced and far below basic. It helps me adjust my practice for next year. It also shows parents and families how their child performed as an individual on the test and how that particular assessment measures them on the adopted common core standards.
This can be valuable information.

On the other hand, the testing doesn't measure many kinds of learning and knowledge. It doesn't show you where a student has grown. It can be stressful and overwhelming for kids, and it uses up valuable instructional time.

This Washington Post article identifies how overwhelming standardized testing can be to students.

There is also this article called "Examining The Pros and Cons of Standardized Testing"

Just a few days ago, a wise teacher reminded me that life is full of challenges and obstacles; this is just one that our students get to face. It's true. Many students will be taking the standardized tests over the next few weeks in classes all across America.

I am encouraging my students to get plenty of rest, eat a healthy breakfast, and come to school prepared to put their best brain forward. We will tackle this test to the best of our ability and get back to reading Shakespeare!


Two Truths and a Lie
  1. On Halloween, My family and I were going to Downtown for Treat Street. I was with my grandma and grandpa at Jack in the Box, and we saw my mom and dad park across the street. My mom opened her car door, and my dog ran towards us, getting hit by a car in the process. We were all scared. My mom and dad took her to the vet, and I had to go home early that night. The next day, they told me that my dog was uninjured except for a scratch above her right eye. Worst. Halloween. Ever.
  2. One summer, my family and I  took a trip to Legoland to celebrate my good grades for that school year.  I ended up getting sick halfway through the trip and we had to leave early. We tried again next year, but I got sick before we even left! If only there was a way to bring Legoland to your own home.
  3. I used to take karate lessons when I was younger. One day I got out of the car, but I closed the door too fast, and I closed my thumb in the door! I started knocking on the window, and I had to run to keep up with the car. Someone saw me and came running up to the car to tell my grandma what happened. I went home. The person teaching the class came to my house the next day to see how I was doing. My thumb didn’t heal until 3 weeks later. Why do I have such bad luck with such good things?

-Tyler M.

Movie Review: Wild Child (2008)
The movie Wild Child is a PG rated entertaining drama. The main character “Poppy” acted by Emma Roberts was quite an interesting character. She had everything she wanted. She had an endless supply of credit cards, she was popular, every guy wanted to date her, and every girl wanted to be her; but she had quite an attitude problem and loved pranking everyone. She thought since we was popular and rich she could get away with anything until her father had had enough with her immature behavior. So he ships her off to a boarding school in London. Through this movie you get to see Poppy learn these unfamiliar rules of her new school, fall in love, make enemies, meet the friends of her life, and find out who she really is. Although she doubted she would ever like that school, she slowly learns to love it and that it is where she belongs.

By: Katia S

Question of the week
One day I asked my cousin why she wears makeup.
Her response was that she said she looks ugly without it. I didn’t believe her because I know that she is beautiful and an amazing person but she doesn’t think that. She always has makeup on when I see her. Whenever we have party, she always has to put makeup on; even if we went to the store, she will have makeup on.

She is really good at doing her makeup, and I want her to teach me because I want to be able to do my makeup as good as she does hers.

I hate that she always tells me she’s ugly and that she’s fat. That irritates me because she always has to bring herself down with any negative things that are not true. She is the most lovely, caring person you will ever meet in your life.

Bianca F.

Card Tricks

I never was really into card tricks until the beginning of the 8th grade. I started off just playing with cards. I played games like Slap Jack, Poker, Go Fish, Garbage and other games. The more I played with cards, the more and more I got attached to them. Midway through junior high I started to learn and show card tricks. The first time I showed a magic trick to my friends, they were all shocked. Every day after that my friends would ask me if I had a new trick and I would always show them a new one. Every time that I showed them a new one they started to look more and more at my hands to see if I was doing something funny with them. They did not know it but they were helping me with my slight of hand by staring at my hands. I have slowly got better and better with card tricks and now I am pretty good. Hopefully there will be more tricks to come.
- Marcos

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