Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I'm a little behind, but it's better late than never, right? 

Link up with Oh' Boy Fourth Grade!

Oh..I also did this on my Mac. Here's how I did it...
1. Saved the blank image to my computer
2. Opened Keynote (Apple's Powerpoint...I chose the white background and started with a blank slide)
3. Insert to Choose (all the way at the bottom of the choices)
4. Found where I saved the image and inserted into the blank slide
5. Added a text box and my answers for each one
6. When I was finished, I went to File and chose Export. From there I could chose image and then clicked on Next.
7. I gave it a title and clicked Export.
8. I had to open the image into Picassa to crop the white spaces. I'm not sure if there's a way to do that in the first place. This is the first time I've done this on my Mac. I just played around with it. 
9. Saved the image again and then uploaded it to my blog. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring Break

This week is/was our Spring Break. Thankfully, the weather decided to cooperate. It's been close to 80 and clear all week long. I have indulged in reading some books on my "want to read" list and starting one that wasn't on the list. I avoided school work like it was a plague.

I decided today would be the day that I got some of my ridiculous paperwork done. I have spent almost 3 hours at Panera Bread grading tests and filling out data forms. Clearly, I procrastinated doing this for far too long. But, oh well. I hate grading papers. I used to think I'd love it when I was a kid. Why would I think that? I have to look at the same papers 24 times. Who wants to spend their time doing that? I need an assistant. Or just to quit procrastinating. Yah..that's probably it.

After grading two Reading theme tests, I can officially say I am irritated. Why do I spend all my time trying to get them reading, when they go and bomb the tests? I expect them to take their time and do their best. We talk about it ALL.THE.TIME. !! When our tests ask for the students to fill in the missing words, we have practiced over and over again how we try all the words to find the one that fits and not just choose the one we know how to read right away. 

I know at least three of my students continually rush through the test without even reading it. Do they expect to do well? It's a READING test. You HAVE to read it. Oh. my. 

I am going to give them an ear full on Monday and all next week. This laziness has to stop. I can't continue to have these terrible scores when do so well on everything else. The majority of the class is reading on-grade level. Our Early STAR Literacy scores are top of the district (as a complete 1st grade). They continue to show growth every time they take it. As a grade level, we probably have at least a third of our students who are taking the STAR Reading test that begins in 2nd grade. We have students that are learning the 2nd and 3rd grade Sight words. Our Math scores are great. 

Why are they bombing this reading test EVERY TIME!?!?

Now, I realize that they have to read the test on their own, but it's words we see all the time. I make sure that we spend a good portion of time learning the phonics skills for the week. It's reinforced in our stations, spelling lists and stories. I don't get it. If I could I'd test them all in small groups, but with 24 that's not possible. So depressing and frustrating.

I guess it's just fueling my fire for the rest of the year. I fell like coming out guns blazing.    Hopefully, we can pull it together before testing next month...which has been pushed back two weeks!!! We won't be taking our test until the last week in April. But then we will be about 3 weeks until the end of school. PTL! :)