Just Appetizers Today ~ SOL #7~2017

There is not entree today, so I leave you with a few appetizers to nibble on.

NWEA Testing

My third graders took the NWEA Math test today. We talked about how a test is something you work hard on because it shows how much you have learned, blah, blah, blah.  My kids worked hard and I was so proud of them.  Many of them grew since they took this test last fall; some a lot, some a little.  A few of them stayed the same and one went down point.

While you tell those that grew they should be proud of themselves and they worked hard, it’s difficult to find the right words to console students who do not show growth on this test.  I know they have learned a lot in math this year.  But, this test did not show it.

How do you convince a 9 year old of that?

“Can we find out which ones we got wrong?” a boy asks.

“No,” I tell him, “We only get the score.”

“Well, that’s dumb,” he says.

“Yup,” I reply.

Feeling Slackerish

On Tuesday nights right after school, I travel an hour away to my graduate classes. (I’m almost on year 3 of my Ph. D. in Teaching and Learning.) Today, the wind blew a steady 20-30 mph. all day with gusts up to 45 mph. It was insane. I am a chicken to drive on windy days as just a dusting of snow causes white outs on prairie roads.  So, I hemmed and hawed about whether I should go or not. And then . . . my tire was flat in the parking lot at the end of my school day.  How is that for the universe speaking to you?

No, HE said.

Stay home.

So, I did.

Face-timing classes is okay – but it’s not the same. 😦

Have We Changed Much?

In our Historical Foundations of Education class tonight, we watched the movie In The White Man’s Image.  So many questions sit uneasily with me after reflecting on the history of our country and how white man has treated those who are not the “Ideal American”.

Native Americans, African Americans, Irish Catholics, Asians, Mexicans, Muslims ~

What really is the “Ideal American”?

What would our country be like today if we’d have treated every human being with respect and attempted to accept and understand their culture?

Just because the first “settlers” that came over to America from Europe were white, what caused them to believe that everyone should be like them?  Where were their hearts?

In all these years, I’d love to believe we’ve progressed.

But, with angst in my heart, I’m afraid we just keep repeating history.


I’m participating in twowritingteachers March Challenge of posting a blog post every day for the month of March.  To check out other writers, visit here.





7 thoughts on “Just Appetizers Today ~ SOL #7~2017

  1. I have often struggled with how to comfort students who I KNOW have grown but that growth is not reflected on this “very important test” that we give them.


    1. I know, Samantha. After teaching for all these years, you’d think I’d have some golden words to give them. I ask them if they did their best and tell them that is what counts. But, it’s not enough. They want that test to show what they know. And, it didn’t. 😦


  2. How do you convince a 9 year old of that?… Well, I guess you relate it to how you grow taller. Sometimes you have big growth spurts and sometimes you are stagnant… However, you end up taller than you were when you were born. Maybe you can have the students mark their height and see the types of changes in height they make over the year…

    Learning is a process over time. That is why we don’t focus on one point of data, but many points to give us a more accurate picture of a graph. Maybe you can do a graphing activity- what does the graph look like with just two points (representing the NWEA test in fall and in the spring)? Now what does it look like with 3 points, 4 points, etc.? Focus on the gradual change over time, even if the points go up and down individually (line of best fit).


  3. Thanks for sharing Shari. You raise so many important points that I think we deal with daily as teachers. I’m afraid we just keep repeating history too. One of the grad school classes I am taking was talking about the concept of “radical hope” as something different from optimism. The sense that hope asks us to acknowledge what is not working and actively work towards change. It was an interesting idea, and I know I’m trying to think about how it affects my teaching practice and outlook on the world.


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