I was out sick on Friday (with, naturally, a migraine). This morning when I greeted the kids at the door, one little boy looked at me with interest and a little relief.
“I see you’re feeling better,” he said, sagely.
At the art table today I had stegosauruses to cut out (S is for Stegosaurus, after all). I learned that many of my little boys can’t cut. They can’t even figure out how to hold the scissors, let alone point them in the right direction or open and close them. It was exhausting trying to help them. Mental note: we need to do lots more simple cutting.
The school got me a sub so I could attend a data meeting today, and again tomorrow. We (the school) won a big early literacy grant, and part of the deal is we use a new literacy assessment system. It’s actually pretty good, I think, but has been pretty time-consuming. Now that we have initial data, we need to learn what to do with it, and how this will inform what we teach in the classroom.
I need to do small groups to work with kids to get them to achieve the components of the literacy assessment….and I have never been all that successful at small groups. (I will take any advice you have on the subject, gladly.) My head started to hurt a little, and my heart rate to increase with trying to figure out how I will make these changes and add this instruction to my short daily schedule.
Our preK portfolios arrived, and they are new and improved, and even have a teacher’s manual. The afternoon teacher and I sat down to go through it, and we found things that don’t make good sense. For example, the directions say to have the children point to the letters on the letter name assessment page and say the names of the letters. Right. The children aren’t going to do that. That would mean we are really assessing whether or not they can point, can move left to right, and do a return sweep, AND name the letters. We talked to one of our preK superiors, and she gave us permission to point to the letters ourselves, and have the children name the letters we point to.
So we have to do the portfolios (letters, sounds, concepts of print, colors, shapes, numbers, one-to-one correspondence, rote counting, etc. etc. etc.) in the next two weeks. We have to go back and retest (using the new literacy assessment that goes with the grant) at a higher level a few of our students. And our Americorps volunteer has to administer yet another assessment — a pre-reading assessment that measures letters, sounds, rhyming, vocabulary, and alliteration — also in the next two weeks.
The afternoon teacher and I started giggling about teaching to the test. In preschool. I think we might just be feeling a little overwhelmed.