Friday, April 27, 2018

Friday Musings: Tests, Teamwork, and More

Our school is in the midst of the state tests.

The tests require a lot of coordination, and truly to do it well requires almost a full time person for several weeks since there's a lot of rules to follow, paperwork, tech needs, troubleshooting, and coordination of student services, computer equipment, and more. We are fortunate to have a dedicated individual who manages this and that person gives the job many hours of her time and talent.

One difficult aspect of the tests especially at the start is that you can't predict how your students will react to them. Every year, no matter how much prep and practice we do, students react with some variability, and that variability affects the testing and the rest of the day too.

I think the better we can support one another during this test season, the better everyone will do--the more systematic, organized, and straight forward the routine of test taking can be, the better this work will fit into these weeks in a positive way.

We are continuing our multiple science explorations, research, reading, and study--for the most part, students really enjoy this.

Next week students will choose photos and quotes of the person they are studying, and they'll use those for an art project that the art teacher is leading. They'll also continue their research and study.

We'll review multiple concepts next week with some hands-on and paper/pencil work.

I was delighted to see how well students attended to and enjoyed their reading this week after the tests. We'll continue to add lots of reading to the schedule in the weeks ahead.

Family Matters
Our family lost a dear relative yesterday and part of the week will be spent celebrating our beloved relative's life with lots of love and care.

Union Matters
The end of the week will find me at the MTA Annual Meeting. Union members will vote on a new president and vice-president. We'll also listen to multiple speeches and vote on other matters too. I'm looking forward to this event as I always learn a lot and see many people who inspire me and support the work of educators too.

The week ended with a good amount of time for teamwork and fun--we needed this and it was great. I watched as children enjoyed both new and old friendships as they played instruments, competed on computer games, planted seeds, helped clean up the science corner and drew pictures. We'll likely have other times like this in the weeks to come--time that's a good compliment to the hard work the tests demand.