As of 3:00 yesterday, I am on Spring Break. I celebrated with a Skinny Girl Margarita and a movie. Well, the movie was Superman: Brainiac Attacks. Obviously, the toddler's choice. Actually, he calls it "How Superman Gets Brainiac." Cute, right? Either way, it was celebrating because we don't watch TV on weeknights.
I have a very rough class this year. Positive behavior rewards aren't working, behavior charts aren't working, consequences and loss of recess aren't working. I'm out of ideas. I'm hoping what will work is a break. For me and for them.
When we get back to school, we have one week until the dreaded OAA. Actually, I'm not dreading it so much this year. I feel my students are as prepared as they can be. But those darned test makers like to switch it up on us every year, so you never know. I didn't focus so much on test prep this year. We probably really hammered down in small groups over the last month and a half or so. Prior to that, we were just doing a lot of guided reading and skills groups. One thing we have been doing for the last five weeks are daily extended response and short answer practice. My coteachers and I took turns taking short reading passages and creating OAA-style short answer and extended response questions on a variety of skills-cause and effect, sequencing & timelines, predictions, character traits, etc. I think this has been a very valuable practice. My students always have a very difficult time answering these types of questions and those are the ones worth the most points! It is not uncommon to have a student get all of his/her multiple choice questions correct and miss ER/SA questions, which cause them to not pass a practice test. We have created these ourselves because I have yet to find a reproducible that features these types of questions. I would love to be in contact with a publisher to fill this missing niche! I just have no idea how to even get started. Any ideas?
I hope everyone has a great Easter! I'm super-excited for my Pinterest-inspired Easter Baskets this year! Stay-tuned for an upcoming book recommendation post. I've been very busy reading!