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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

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.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Day one of assessments

We started day one of JD’s assessment at 10:40 am, after a breakfast of Chex cereal and Organic Fat Free milk. Sarah buys organic everything and JD accidentally poured it in his bowl and this set off his day. (Grr!) Before we started on the assessment I emailed Jeff and asked him for prayer that JD doesn't get stressed out.

The first test of the day was vocabulary. Twenty minutes into the assessment JD asked for a “Poop break.” He came back and completed the assessment in a total of 47 minutes. I even stopped the clock for this break. Last year it only took 20 minutes. It looks like he only missed three questions out of 40. He didn't know the opposite of slacken. (Resume, adjust, quicken, support). He was stuck on slacken "not even being a word." I said, “Is there a prefix or suffix you could drop to figure this out?” Next was fill in the blank. He missed “Prior to the development of more _____ machines, only certain coins could be used. (The possible choices were: automatic, authentic, methodical, and sophisticated.) He couldn't pronounce sophisticated so he didn't even look at it as a possible choice. He also did not know what bewildering meant. But that’s okay. He got all three of the Latin or Greek words correct and did great on suffixes and prefixes. He also did a super job finding a word that fit in both blank spots of two sentences. It was frustrating trying to get him to stop being ticked with me. I told him to read aloud all questions and possible answers so I could see he understood what he read. I also told him to keep sounding out words until they sounded like a word he has heard before. This made him mad and we struggled with him slamming his finger down to show me what was the correct answer. I put a stop to his attitude, but only for a short time. He laid his head down repeatedly and I asked that he sit up.

The second test was on comprehension. JD was still ticked because I had him read aloud all questions and possible answers. He tended to gravitate toward one answer before reading all of the possible choices. On a few questions he would say, “I don’t know the answer.” I had to say, “Reread the passage or story and find the answer.” He still maintained his attitude during this assessment. But he ROCKED it I don't think he missed any out of 50 questions! Though some are questionable even for me...JD spent 51 minutes on this assessment.

The third assessment of the day was spelling. JD bombed the spelling test, but I'm not worried about that. The majority of the questions were a list of four possible spellings of a word and he had to pick the correct one. Out of 30 spelling words he only got 13 right. I was amazed at how he got some really big words like: regulations, distribute, sympathetic, and influence right, but missed some smaller words. I admit, even I had to look some of them up in the dictionary. This assessment took only twenty minutes to complete.

The fourth and final assessment of the day was the language mechanics assessment. This was on punctuation and capitalization. I had to stop the assessment 15 questions in because JD was extremely fidgety and missed two in a row. He kept running his hands inside his pants to rub his thighs, he was jumpy, and he was pulling his hair out methodically. After our short break I was secretly entertained by JD beat boxing, snapping his fingers, and whistling. He didn't even realize he was doing it. (LOL) He missed 5 out of 36 questions on this assessment. He was again, not reading all of the possible answers and had his head down. I know now that I need to work on letter writing with him. This assessment took 40 minutes to complete.

Total testing time on day one was 158 minutes or 2 ½ hours. Thank goodness we are done for the day. Hopefully tomorrow JD will have a better attitude. I’m so over the age of 12! (Has puberty started? I think YES!)