Wednesday, March 16, 2005

We don't need no thought control

(Part two in a continuing series about standardized testing in my classroom.)

My morning began with the discovery that Frequent Absentee Girl came to school without a pencil. Nothing. Not even one with a broken point. Because of testing, the ONLY homework that the kids had this week is: Go to bed early. Eat breakfast. Come to school on time. Bring four sharp pencils with erasers. It's on their homework sheet, listed three different times (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday). It just burns me up that parents don't have the time to look at those things.

Today was the math section of the test. It wasn't too bad - two 30 minute sections. Once again, the problems ranged from the super easy to the ridiculously difficult. Here's an example (keep in mind, this is first grade). There was a picture of three toys, each with a price tag. The question said, "If Ryan bought all three items, how much did he spend?" Not too bad - just add three numbers. The very next question pictured 4 more toys, again with different price tags. It said, "Now Ryan buys two more toys. He only used nickels and he didn't get any change. Which two toys did he buy?" I know the test's questions range from K-2, but I think that's even too hard for some 2nd graders. First they have to know that a nickel is five cents, then they have to know the multiples of five. Then they have to add all the possible combinations of the four prices to see which one is a multiple of five. Damn.

But - only one more set of tests tomorrow, and then it's over. Whoo-hoo!

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