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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day two of assessment week

As I sit here typing this blog I so want to add humor but I simply can’t. It was an extremely frustrating day for the math assessment.

Today we did a short review of complete sentences, simple subjects, simple predicates, combining sentences, topic sentences, and supporting sentences before the language expression assessment. JD ROCKED this test! I can’t be for sure, but I think he only maybe missed 2-3 questions out of 48. It took him 55 minutes to complete it. He was nervous again. He was rubbing his fingers through his hair leaving hair all over the assessment pages. He got up for a tissue and used that as a distraction tool. I asked him to throw it away. He was moving his legs back and forth so his pants made a rhythmic sound. He was also dropping his arms off the sides of his chair and swinging them back and forth. When he read aloud he did so in a British accent. He was so busy I’m surprised he found time to answer his questions. (LOL) I thought it was odd that he kept reading a sentence as “The farmer raises (it was raise) cows.” He kept saying raises instead of how it was written - raise. So he thought that answer was correct. Oh well. I also know I need to work on transitional words like: similarly, consequently, subsequently, furthermore, however, in contrast, and for example.

Now for the Math Computation assessment. Oh where do I start? Okay from the beginning. The assessment rules stated “you should not use calculators.” We started the simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division test at 11:58 am. Fourteen minutes later JD only answered 5 problems out of 44. (Oh this is going to take awhile.) The reason it took so long was because JD is apparently allergic to #2 pencil lead, or so it seems. I asked him to “pick up the pencil and write it out.“ I guess he thought he’d lost his right arm in a freak accident or something because it took him awhile to locate the bright pink pencil in front of him and then grip it. That’s also when all the drama began. The moaning and whining were ridiculous. I stopped the assessment after five problems and emailed Jeff so he could have a pep talk with JD. I think I’m extremely patient with JD during our school days and I really thought keeping my cool today was the best course of action for JD to complete his assessment today, but truth be told…I was furious and wanted to scream, “Pick up the stinkin pencil and write of the five little digits and subtract them, for crying out loud!” But I didn’t…

Take two…after a short dip in the pool with Sarah and the girls we came back in at 12:33 and started question #6. Thirty minutes later we finally reached question #21. I’ve said, “Write it out” so many times in the past 30 minutes I’ll be having nightmares about it tonight.

Take three…after a sandwich and another dip in the pool we started question 22 at 1:40 pm. I didn’t write down where we stopped at but another break happened at 2:10 pm.

Take four…We’re in the homestretch and I’m ready to start drinking hard alcohol! I let JD finish the remaining 15 or so questions on the calculator. (After all the rules said, “Should not, not do not.” During one of the times JD was writing out a math problem and figuring it out I went online and ordered "Arithmetricks: 50 Easy Ways to Add, Subtract, Multiply, and Divide Without a Calculator." JD will slowly work on this throughout the summer break. So an assessment that should have taken 38 minutes according to the rules took JD 1 hour and 45 minutes. As slowly as he calculated on paper he still got the right answer on all but two questions. Yippie.

Even after all of that math drama can you believe I thought I could squeeze in another short assessment? I tried to have JD complete the Study skills assessment but quickly realized the error of my ways when he just would not settle down enough to focus on finding the author on a library catalog card. I stopped the assessment and said to myself, “Well, the testing days will have to be extended from three to four.” Last year we were able to do 10 different assessments in three days.

So day two of the assessment week is finally over.  JD ended the day with, "Mama, I don't think God helped us out today." I laugh inside as I'm typing this because, Yes, Jonathan...God actually helped you to live another day my little friend."  His guardian angels were working overtime to cover my mouth from screaming at JD and having hours of crying and misery and he didn't even know it.  Thanks guys, I owe ya one.

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