Saturday, February 20, 2010

That time of year

State testing is around the corner. We all are nervous. Now that 83% of our students have to be on grade level....it is a bit difficult to grasp. We have a high number of SPED students at our school. We are known for our inclusion status. My classes are about 20% SPED and 10% ELL. This year we are being forced to test students who have major learning disabilities and mental handicaps on the "regular ed" tests. It is heartbreaking to hear some of these kiddos begin to cry because they do not understand why they have to take a three day test on a topic.

The frustration really grows when for us they have been allowed to use readers or books on tape to continue vocabulary growth because their actual reading progress is slow. How can these kiddos simply discard everything they have learned to use and sit a test. Would you have made it through these tests in middle school. Sometimes I wonder how I would have done. I had NO self esteme and little support from home....

We had a good debate between us on grading today. Sixth grade, although we are housed in the middle school, is really the last elementary year. We grade our lower functioning sped on what is completed instead of the full assignment. Is that really fair in the long run?

Wondering if my grandson will be home-schooled if the system continues in this trend. I can see the positives on both sides of the arguments.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

It has been a pensive time

The days have passed quickly the last few weeks.
We traveled to Idaho for my mother in law's funeral. My sister in law gave a beautiful talk about her mother's life. We all gained more insight on how it must have been from her own perspective. See, my sis had spent five hours asking mom about her life before marriage when she saw her five months ago. From the doctor arriving in the buggy to deliver her to the days of writing service members at war, it was interesting.
I have often wondered why the first memories we have are the strongest.
Those memories tend to carry us through life- good or bad.
We have been married over 25 years.
I have some vivid memories:
  • The births of my children (the first time I held them)
  • Different places we visited or lived
  • smells of certain places
  • an occasional wisp through a visit home
What I don't remember is detail. Yet, I can remember things from my childhood- bad things- in great detail. Why is that?