Sunday, December 14, 2014

Testing Week

Man, ain't nobody like testing week. ;)  But really...the kids don't like a disrupted schedule, they can't stand being super quiet, and I get tired of sitting down at the back table with kids one on one instead of walking around checking work! Seriously, after Monday, I said "Bye, have a great weekend!" to a child before I even realized wait a second, it's only been a day. 

There is, however, one really awesome thing that results from testing... the student growth! 

Not that we, as teachers and parents,  don't see it on a daily basis. There's still something really affirming about kids doing as well or better on a test than you expect! They're all reading! Some are already at an I(!)  Most at a D. They're little geniuses. 

Anyway, to cancel out the blah testing feel, we did our fun holiday writing this week! Students listened to Santa's Stuck and wrote about how he'd get stuck/unstuck at their house (ugh, I forgot to take pictures of this...again, because I wasn't walking around).  They also listened to How Santa Got His Job and filled out Elf Applications (you can find tons of these online if you Google "Elf Application" and then just choose the one that works best with your class).  These will actually get mailed to the North Pole and returned to the students with an "ACCEPTED"  or "DENIED" stamp for next year's elf positions. 

My *FAVORITE* holiday writing, though, is a spin on Laura Numeroff's creative stories. Students listen to all the If You Give A...  stories and then write their own, given the title "If You Give A Reindeer a Root Beer..."

They were better this year than ever before! Students worked on them each day during writing workshop, adding and changing as they heard more of Laura's tales. Morning Work was coloring time (a rare opportunity!) for the stories, and on Friday, the kids shared them with the class. 

I only snapped photos of the covers, but some of these stories were 8 pages long and they all circled back to the root beer! I think my favorite tied the root beer to pizza, then to the beach, then ice cream, then root beer. 

Oh, we also mixed things up this week by traveling among the classrooms to celebrate Holidays Around the World in Social Studies. :) Next year we hope to have that planned a little better, with some boarding passes and passport stamps. 

And yes, Friday was my birthday! 26! Over the (little) hill.  I'm bummed that David is deployed and missed it (along with all the major holidays), but the teachers at SHES are amazing and helped me celebrate! The kids said Happy Birthday literally every chance they got. And Mandy came down from D.C. to visit! 

So, I guess testing week wasn't that bad... And now we are down to one week left before break! Where is the time going? Also, I need to Christmas shop. Hello, procrastination, my old friend. 

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