Sunday, November 27, 2005

test pr*p

Although I wish I had been able to totally break myself away from lesson planning during the course of the break, I found myself rather perplexed as to how to approach the formal launch of my EL@ test pr*p unit.

I'm, uh, kind of at a loss as to how to structure the lessons.

Four of my students are alternate assessm@nt, and will not be taking the actual exam. What they will be doing is some horrifically time intensive task (for me), over a course of three trials, which is meant to gauge their oral or written skills. Their trials must be independently verified by another teacher or administrator, with at least two types of evidence submitted (such as written work and audio tapes). Is this sounding complex? Is this sounding like a pain in Mr. B's rear end?

One of the suggested tasks for my alternate assessm@nt students is demonstrating that they can maintain a conversation about a specific topic. Sounds easy. Uh, no. I ran a mini-trial last Friday with one of my students, and this is basically how it sounded on the audio recording:

Me: What did you think of our trip to the Historic Soci*ty yesterday?

Student: (silence)

Me: The Historic Soci*ty! We just went there! Did you find it interesting?

Student: What? Yeah.

Me: What did you think was interesting?

Student: (staring out window, starts spinning globe)

Me: Tom, enough with the globe, okay? Were just going to talk a little bit, okay? You can do that, right? See this tape recorder? I'm recording our conversation, so I need you to pay attention, okay? Uh, is this working? Oh man, this isn't working? Oh, okay, it is working. What were we talking about?

Student: The globe.

Me: You want to talk about the globe?

Student: Yeah.

Me: What interests you about the globe?

Student: Huh? (starts spinning globe)

Me: Okay, Tom! Enough with the globe! Don't make me Super Glue your hands to the desk, okay?

Student: Glue what?

Me: Your hands. Not that I would ever do that, I'm just saying that you gotta work with me here, okay? What do you like about the globe?

Student: I gotta go to the bathroom.

Me: Gotcha.

*end of recording*

So I'm off to find another task for Tom. Holding a conversation is not his best skill.


Chaz said...

I thik you should bring in Klein & Bloomberg and have them do the alternate assessment. Maybe they would appreciate what a special education teacher must go through.

I hope you don't sign up for the February ELA's? Let them find some other fool.

ms. frizzle said...

I'm sorry, this is probably not the right response, but that was hilarious. And that kind of conversation is not limited to Special Ed students!