Sunday, June 28, 2009

Catching up On Blogs

I have been writing ideas down as I come upon them. Before school was out I came upon two I thought would be perfect for the blog as they had to do with I D 10 T.

I am a Math Coach. I work at two schools. Didn’t like having two schools at the beginning of the year but in the end I can live with it; like both schools, principals, and faculty.

It is interesting to see how the two schools are different and how they are similar. At one school the faculty works very well together at their grade levels, and they actually teach. At the other school, there are some who come to school just to get the pay check. Both schools break some rules to their advantage, which is fine because it benefits the teachers in some way.

We give a state mandated test every year in April. It is a pass/fail test in 3rd Grade for Reading and 5th Grade for Math and Reading; though parents can appeal the retainment and the students are passed on. In some schools this is recommended, so no student is ever retained.

At one of my schools a grade level did not do as well on the Math portion as it has in the past because of one classroom. I was quite concerned about the results and the teacher. I was very surprised. I had thought this class would do well. Come to find out, only 41% of her class finished the test. They are given 70 minutes to take the test, which is more than enough time. I proctored in a classroom that had no trouble finishing the test in this amount of time. The teacher made her students use their scratch paper (GREAT! they need to use it), but she never updated the amount of time left for the test, so many of her students were unable to finish. And then she justified it by saying a number of them wouldn’t have done well anyway. Yikes!!! 59% of her class did not pass the test! I would be in tears if something like that happened when I was teaching. Needless to say the principal was very upset, though the teacher had warned her as soon as the Math portion was finished that her class hadn’t finished. She’s a veteran teacher. She has been giving this test since it was put into place. What was she thinking!? Obviously, she wasn’t? Plus side, it was not a pass/fail grade.

The county implemented new Math assessments this year. One such assessment was a Performance Task at the end of every nine weeks. A teacher at my other school was concerned with the scoring of them as they are scored with a rubric, so she asked me to come in and help her score them. No problem. We scored about 5 performance tasks at one time about a week before school was out. The teacher commented on how poorly her students had done on all of them. My comment to her was, “If you had been doing them all along, at the end of each 9 week period, instead of doing them all at once, they would have gotten used to them and done a lot better. “ Her response, “Oh.”

It amazes me how some people think or don’t sometimes!

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