A Common Core Teacher's Toolbox!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Summertime, Standardized Testing, and Seattle!

   My summer break has officially begun! It was very bittersweet for me this year, because I absolutely adored my class this year.  I was amazed at watching how much they grew this school year. We had a wonderful year together, and I am really going to miss them. However, what teacher could not be excited about summer break. I have a beautiful 2 year old princess that I get to be a stay at home mom to for the next two months, and I excited to have all that time with my sweet girl.  Of course school stuff will be thrown in. I'm looking forward to attending training for Common Core Reading and training to become a  Learning Coach.  We teachers know, summer break, is never truly a break!

   The last day of school we received our state standardized testing scores, and my students had some of the highest scores in our school! I can't begin to describe how proud I was of my kiddos! We normally get the scores back after school is over. I'm so glad we got them the last day, because I we were able to celebrate together.  I teach in an inner city school system. We are always compared to the local suburban system. By compare what I really mean, is that we are always displayed as inferior and incompetent compared to the local suburban system. I won't get into my feelings on the comparisons, but as a teacher in the system I have very strong feelings about what is said about the abilities of our students and teachers (Some of the hardest working teachers I have ever known work in my district, but that's a story for another day).  In general for every 1 student who scores proficient or advanced in our school system, 2 students score proficient or advanced in the suburban system. My class's scores were on par with  the percentages of the suburban system! Sadly, we won't ever get the recognition of the suburban district schools when their scores are revealed. So I had to brag on my students to all of you, because the worked extremely hard this year!

  While my students in general did well on the standardized tests this year, I still have very strong feelings about it. It's still extremely unfair to base so much on this one test. I read an interesting article today that parents, teachers, and students have boycotted standardized testing in Seattle. Well all of it paid off, because as of today standardized testing will be changing in Seattle. You can read this article for all the details.  Here's to hoping maybe other school districts will take notice of what Seattle is doing, and finally think twice about standardized testing!

   I hope everyone has a great start to their summer break! If you are still in school, hang in there! There is a light at the end of the tunnel!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

It's May Currently!!

It's May already?! April flew by faster than I ever imagined. I love linking up for Farley's Currently series; so here we go again!

* Listening: Pandora is the greatest thing ever! Just saying! 

* I'm loving that in less that 3 weeks summer break will begin! 

* Thinking: It's amazing how opportunity  can knock when you least expect it, needless to say I'm very blessed to for the opporunities that have presented themselves to me!

* I'm really wanting to start our living room makeover. Thanks to pinterest I've got some amazing ideas for how I want our living room to look. I'm going with a gray and teal theme. I think it will look pretty darn nice, once we finally get started. 

* I really need to finish spring cleaning out clothes for myself and my daughter! It will be fun to go out and purchase a new summer wardrobe once I finally finish cleaning. I also HAVE to start working in my classroom. I will be moving rooms, and I need to purge a lot of excess stuff.  

*Summer Bucket List:
1.  I can't wait to spend time with my husband and daughter. I'm looking forward to being a stay at home mommy over the summer  and doing all that goes along with that. We have lots of mommy/daughter dates, family dates, and mommy/daddy dates planned! I can't wait to have time (and extra energy) to devote to the two loves of my life. 

2. In my younger days, I was quite adventurous. (I'm talking skydiving-fly by the seat of your pants adventurous). Over summer I'd like to bring back a little bit of that old spirit of me and try something new. What that is yet, I don't know!

3. I'm going to be hosting my first book club girls night this summer. It's on my bucket list to be the hostest with the mostest! Since I'll be out of school, I'm going to go all out with a cute theme, and I hope my book club girls love it! 

4. Last year, I finally completed the Couch to 5k program (which works!!!). I have even ran a few a 5ks since then. I'm hoping to start the Couch to Half Marathon training over the summer, just to see how far I can really push myself. 

5. I'm reorganizing all of my files/books etc once again. I think this binder method I've come up with will work better than anything I've used before. So my plan is to have EVERYTHING organized once and for all by August. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful May! I hope those of you counting down to summer break have a great few last weeks of school!