Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Proud Moments

I really need to do better with this blogging thing.  Yes, I know I've said it before, but I'm going to try and do better...But in the meantime I'm going to catch you up on a few things that took place since my last post...

Towards the end of March, we had consultants come to my school from Standards Solution, to help get our students better prepared for the EOY PARCC Assessment.  Well the math consultant raved on and on about my third graders and how impressed she was with their math skills.  She said she visited several third grade classrooms and that my third graders were much more advanced than all the other schools she visited.  It really felt great hearing those words!  Often times I feel like I'm not getting through to my students or my hard work is going unnoticed.  To have someone come into your classroom and tell you that you are indeed doing a great job, it is truly a confidence booster.  Our Academic coaches and Administration does a good job of complimenting the staff, but when you have a total stranger say those things, it just reconfirm things.  I just wish that more people could see how well my students have progressed over the school year, and not have PARCC overshadow everything that they've accomplished.  We completed the EOY PARCC Assessment the first week in April, and I'm so glad that testing is over!  

We've accomplished so much this school year, and I'm so very proud of my third graders.  I was able to introduce skills much earlier than last school year.  Back in August when I attended PD, It was suggested that I start the school year off with multiplication.  I'm so glad I followed this suggestion.  I feel good knowing that the majority of my students have mastered their multiplication facts and they are pretty good with comparing fractions.  Both multiplication facts and fractions were a struggle last year, and for this reason I'm glad I started both concepts much earlier in the school year.

Well that about sums up some of my thoughts since my last post.  But before I go, I wanted to share some more good news.  About two weeks ago, I learned that I was named the March/April Teacher of the Month!  I was ecstatic to receive this award!  One day I hope to fulfill my goal of being named Teacher of the Year.  

Until next time!

Friday, March 6, 2015

PARCC Testing

It's day two and I'm home enjoying my extended weekend due to a snow storm.  These days off were much needed.  

Like so many schools across the nation, my school begin PARCC Testing on Tuesday.  For the most part, I would say the day was a success and by success I mean all the students completed the test without incident.  No tears were shed by the students or Ms. Leach.  Lol!  As students completed the math portion, I saw them give a quick fist pump and mouth "Yes!"  One student motioned me over to take a look at her screen.  What had the students feeling accomplished were the green numbers on the screen.  You see, at my school we use Go Math in our math curriculum. I have my students complete their chapter assessments on Think Central, students receive their grades immediately.  Correct answers are marked green and incorrect answers are marked red.  So as students completed the PARCC Assessment and saw those green numbers they automatically assumed they answered every question correctly.  Those green numbers actually meant that the questions were only answered, not necessarily correct.  The red numbers meant that the student did not answer the question. 

For my students, just seeing those green numbers removed some, if not all of the anxiety for the test.  So students were actually looking forward to day 2 of the test.  Day 2 went pretty much like day one with the silent cheers and excitement of seeing green numbers.  Because students saw green, they were reluctant to go back and check their work (sigh).  But it is what it is.....all I could ask of them, were to try their best and not to give up.  My third graders did just that and for that I'm proud of them.  This PARCC Assessment can not tell me anything different than what I already know about my students.  I'm interested in the progress my students have gained since September to now, and they have made tremendous progress.  I don't need these standardized test to overshadow the hard work my students have put in over the past 6 months.  They're growing and learning, some at a much faster pace than others but they are all progressing.  We have one more day of testing on Monday and then we're done with PARCC til May.  If I had my way PARCC wouldn't be an issue, but I don't have that power so I have not choice but to fall in line.  

To all my fellow educators taking the PARCC or preparing for, don't let it stress you out!  Just do what you do best, and that is to educate your students.  Everything else will fall into place.  

Until next time!