Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Day #98

My best and brightest kids are dropping like flies: their parents are transferring them out to other schools or they are moving to the GT class downstairs. I used to have 65 students, now I've got 44. And we're starting to get the trickle of students kicked out of other schools with no place left to go. Wonder how many of those knuckleheads I'll end up with.

The big annual MSA exam starts next week with three days of Language Arts testing. I'm taking things pretty calmly, reviewing skills the kids have down as well as those they don't. If we review only the hard stuff they lack confidence going into next week.

It's an exciting time of year because after the MSA I can actually give the kids a bit of an education, instead of simply teaching to the test. We need extensive writing practice; most of my students can't write a sentence, let alone a paragraph. I have a biography of Obama published by Townsend Press which I hope to read with the kids. Along the way I want them to do projects about WW2, segregation, Hawaii, Kenya, Indonesia...

A major problem with the MSA (there are many) is its timing. We stress it so much that once it's over the kids think school is done for the year, even though we've still got 3 months left. It's harder than ever to focus and engage them. But so be it. What is likely my final year at the March is winding down.

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