New Student on Day 1 of Big Test – Went Well!

May 21, 2007 at 11:20 pm | Posted in behavior, education, high stakes testing | 3 Comments

Went very well!

Actually, I was agog at how well my students behaved in the morning.  Usually, they are well behaved (months of training of course) and get right on task doing their morning routines and morning activity.  Today, they did everything they’re supposed to, and quiet as a mouse!

With all my students working, the new student joined in and just picked up our routines as if he was an old pro.  It was funny watching him read the morning routines one step at a time and following it, one step at a time.  Everyone else just do things automatically by now.

By 8:10 all my students were at their desks, working on their vocabulary activities.  I told them to continue working quietly while I give them direction for getting ready for the test.  I directed the students to move to their test-taking seats, passed out the dividers (you know, the test dividers so students can’t peek at each other’s work?), got everyone books to read should they finish the test early…and the whole time I was prepping the classroom, the students were all working quietly, including the new student.

By 8:20, we were ready for the test.  Reminded them of the rules and expectations.  Reviewed some test taking strategies.  Then, they got busy for two hours.  I walked around whispering encouraging comments like, “I like the way you are reading the passage carefully.”  Tried to keep one of my girls awake. (She was homeless for a long time and now lives in one of those small, crowded, noisy hotels.  She doesn’t get much sleep at night.) Other than that, the kids behaved very well and tried their best.

Later, after lunch, for math, we cut up construction papers to make our tangrams for tomorrow’s math activities.  It’s a hands-on activity using a lot of geometry vocabulary and builds spatial sense.  Everyone was very excited and very engaged.  They also used words like “parallelogram, rhombus, and right triangle” which thrilled me.   My new boy was completely focused on the activity and very excited to demonstrate to me that he was smart in math.

Things look promising!  On to Day 2!



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  1. I am so glad to hear everything went well. Another thing I am thinking is that because you have your classroom under control, your students are setting a fantastic example to the new guy. Oh, he might test you down the road, I wouldn’t be surprised… but then again, he might not! Congratulations!

  2. This posting and the preceding one are a tribute to your utter professionalism CT. I really enjoyed reading them; thank you. I know that sometimes a school’s timing is a little out (and sometimes a lot) but the care and thoughtfulness that show in your approaches to students can usually offset any clumsiness on the part of the system. I am pretty sure that, though there may be some set-backs, your new lad will be fine. Despite the test he had a great start and you made that happen.

  3. Thank you both of you! I just learned some new information about our new boy that I will keep in mind during my interactions with him. He recently lost his father. 😦 Just found out today, so I think I will invite him to join me for lunch sometime on Friday, just to talk.

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