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Monday, May 24, 2010

Day one of assessments

The devotion today was about “A Penny Saved” is a penny earned. Trivia time…did you know that 300 billion one-cent coins with 11 different designs, have been minted since 1787? Edge to edge, those pennies would circle the earth 137 times! Then it transition into the pennies given to charities and how much pennies can add up to. The very fitting bible verse to day was from 2 Corinthians 8:12 and it says, “If you are really eager to give, it isn’t important how much you are able to give. God wants you to what you have, not what you don’t have.”

We only read chapter 8 of the book of Exodus. It was about the plague of the frog, gnats, and flies.

Now onto the second most important part of the day. It’s assessment week and I have a breakdown of the testing we accomplished today. There were 114 minutes of total testing done today. It took 20 minutes for vocabulary, 50 for comprehension, 16 for spelling, and 28 for language mechanics. We did vocabulary and comprehension before lunch and spelling and language and mechanics after lunch. I scored the assessments the best I could, but never revealed the final possible score to each test. I just praised him for “rocking” each individual assessment. I encouraged and praised him the whole day and I most certainly never said “awe” or “bummer” if he answered anything incorrectly. I have to say this is a huge eye opener into JD’s mind, learning method, and focus areas for 6th grade.

The Vocabulary assessment - The five sample questions at the beginning of the assessment started the anxiety wall and JD was tapping his head on the table moaning like he was in trouble. But once I told him to relax that this was only practice he overcame that mood. This portion of the assessment went well and he tentatively obtained a score of 90%.
- The word answer again to JD means the same thing as the word agree.
- He also had trouble with the word reluctant. Is it to be watchful, unwilling, unreliable, or neglectful? He answered unreliable.
- He couldn’t pronounce essential. Once I pronounced it he easily picked the right answer.
- He thought the driver of a glider plane was an astronaut, but finally changed it to aviator when I read the four choices.
- Is a venous fly trap is specially organized or adapted. JD struggled with this because the word he wanted was not in this list. He then said, “If choice “A” was fit instead of unfit I would choose that. He finally picked organized. (bummer…the plant files things…)
- What word means the driver acted before he had time to think about it? There were two tough choices. JD picked quickly instead of instinctively. I later asked him what instinct meant. His reply, “Something that doesn’t live any more.” (Ok…extinct)
- What does the suffix “ous” mean in the words glorious and joyous? I had JD say full of joy/glory, always joy/glory, less than joy/glory, and similar to joy/glory in order for him to finally pick full of.

The Comprehension assessment - JD was trying to rely on his memory of the passages instead of rereading them for the accurate info. He also gravitated to selecting the first answer that seemed right instead of reading all four possible answers. I reminded him about both potential pitfalls and short cuts. He only missed four out of 50 questions that I’m aware of so that gives him a potential 92%.

The Spelling assessment - There were 30 8+ letter spelling word questions, but a total of 46 spelling words to look at. Only two of the 200+ words we studied this semester were on the assessment. So I was hoping he wouldn’t get easily defeated. (And he didn’t) His final score was a 56%, but I’m thrilled. I thought he would only get less than 20%. I offered two approaches to finding the correct spelling of the words. One was try to remember how it looked while reading it somewhere during your hours of reading. The second method was sound out all four options and narrow down your choices. His method of choice was neither of these. Instead he said, “I choose the one I know I would not spell like.” (Meaning he spells phonetically and if a word is spelled phonetically he knows it’s incorrect.) That little boy is so smart about figuring out his own methods. I had to look up three words in the dictionary to see if I was right. I’m super proud of that 56%!

The Language mechanics assessment - This assessment focused on capitalization and punctuation only. Because I did not spend too much time on these this year we I did a quick review on the basic’s of punctuation like: exclamation mark, question mark, period, quotation marks, comma, apostrophe, colon, and semi-colon. Then, we did a quick review on about 20 different rules for capitalization. This worked well because he only missed 5 out of 36 questions for a possible score 86%.

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