Sunday, January 11, 2009

Week 18: January 12-16

CHANGING HOW WE more finals (unless...)
Calvin and Hobbes
Giving a Semester Final:
This is, or was, what we used to call finals week. It is no longer. Well sort of, but not really. If that confuses you, you're in good company. This is the last week of the first semester of the 2008-2009 school year. We are no longer changing the hours we teach and test to offer students with two or less absences the opportunity to be exempt from testing.

If you teach a class that is only a semester long, you ARE giving a comprehensive final exam; however, it's now called the End-of-Course (EOC) exam. This test is not to be confused with the MAP EOC (also End-of-Course Exam, but still MAP). If you are teaching Algebra 1, Biology, or Communication Arts 10 (and you know who you are), then you are not only MAP testing this year, but you are doing so on-line with our students.

MAP Practice Test (that really tests the SERVER):
The first week of February, our freshmen and sophomores will practice the on-line test. We are really trying to take a first run at the testing to see what gives and what doesn't at our technology end as well as at the state's. There really is no telling. The impact to most of the district is that TMC may close YouTube for a small time to conserve bandwidth (or they might not to see what happens). Either way, if the server crashes, you'll know.

Formative Testings of our Literacy Initiative:
January 20th brings Janet Allen to Benton. It's really almost like a formative assessment of sorts. Are we really bringing about change when it comes to advancing literacy in our school. Is our plan -- our school improvement objective that keeps us knee deep in Word Walls and Eyes Past Print -- really working? I think she will give us feedback that will redirect or buttress. Not unlike the kids, it would really help if everyone would give an extra effort right before the test.

Early Outs (2 Hours) on Thursday and Friday:
These are for you! Dr. Sumy, Mrs. Godfrey and I asked the Superintendent's Council for time for teachers to put in their grades at the end of the semester. You got it, so make good use of the time! And with that, the semester is over. Enjoy Monday's holiday!

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