Monday, May 31, 2010

Blogging Coma

I apologize to the 3 people that read my blog because I have been silent for 3 months. Though I have been silent I still want to be devoted to this blog. I still feel like I have semi-meaningful things to say I just need to create time to actually blog those things. So, I apologize and I hope this is the last time I apologize for my lack of blogging.

The past few months have flown by. I have gotten a few new students and lost a few students. I guess that's the way it goes in public education. My students lives are so fluid that they're in Indianapolis one minute and then the next week they're living with dad in Oklahoma. One of my Hispanic students left for Mexico immediately after ISTEP. Strange but I guess that's the way it goes.

Probably the most important part I haven't mentioned over the past few months has been the success of my students in the classroom. At the beginning of March, my students and I began to bond like we hadn't earlier in the school year. There were a lot more smiles and a lot more laughing. I think the longer they were with me the more they actually bought in to what I was trying to do as their teacher. Either way, it made things really fun for both them and I.

My students finished up taking the "NWEA" exam a few weeks ago. This is a test my school takes to track students growth. My students took the NWEA exam at the beginning of the year (like a diagnostic), at the middle of the year (to see how much growth has accrued), and at the end of the year to see how much my students really have grown this school year. The NWEA is extremely important to me and I communicate that importance to my students. When students, like mine, come into 5th grade years behind in math and reading then I'm less worried about how they do on a 5th grade standardized test but MORE worried about how much they grow. I want them back to grade level or beyond. My class goal, as my students would proudly tell you, is to grow 1.5 years in both mathematics and reading. My goal is not for my students to pass a standardized test (though that would be great) but for them to have growth that will ultimately change their mindset and trajectory in education.

Needless to say, my students met our classroom goal. With their weekly assessment scores combined with their NWEA scores my students grew 1.5 years in both Math and Reading. Awesome right? I'm proud of how hard they worked. I'm proud of their investment in the goal and in the test. I'm just happy I reached my goal as well. I can honestly say that I would have walked away from my first year of teaching with an extremely bitter taste in my mouth if I would have not had "significant" gains with my students.

That was a brief snapshot of the last few months of school. I now have one more day left (a half day, field day). This summer will be quite a busy one. I am taking a few different masters classes as well as teaching summer school with an organization in Indianapolis. I am also moving to a new location in Indianapolis on July 1st. I am moving in with Ian Yearwood and Josh Woodward in a house right in Broad Ripple. I hope to rekindle my feelings for blogging over the next few weeks and to continue updating my life on the internet for the few that read.

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