I’ll be sending home report cards this week and I’m generally pleased with what my students have accomplished during the first nine weeks of school. They have worked hard to learn the letters of the alphabet and the sound made by each one. We have begun to read simple words and phrases. We know some words by sight. We recognize most of the numbers from 0-20 and can say the days of the week. We’ve talked about school and fall and farm animals and weather. We’ve played games and sung songs and learned how to complete a puzzle.
However, the most important concept we have learned in the first nine weeks of school is how to behave and work and respond in a group. Many parents tell me how different their child acts at home: “he never talks back, he doesn’t get rowdy, and he doesn’t get distracted”. Most of the time I believe them. They aren’t asking their child to behave well and pay attention and follow directions and be quiet in the company of fourteen other children! So we have learned to walk in a quiet line down the hall, sit in a group for story time, follow along with lessons, and do our work without looking at our neighbor’s.
Today we will find out how to take a standardized test and fill in a little “bubble” under the correct answer. Oh the joy of accountability! Some of my students will do quite well and will give this task their full attention and answer with their best brain power. Others will be fascinated by the little bubbles and fill in all of them or they will be distracted by a noise outside and skip an answer or they will forget everything they have learned in the last nine weeks because they didn’t get any sleep last night. I try to re-direct the distracted ones and watch for those who are decorating the bubbles. If a child’s test score is vastly different from their normal skill level and I suspect they didn’t feel well, I will give them another test later in the week with the group of children who are absent today. And no matter when we schedule the test there are always at least two students absent!
So here we are…nine weeks completed and twenty-seven to go.