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Monday, April 04, 2011

TAKS for the memories

TAKS day 1 is officially done. Not TAKS day 1 for MY kids, of course, but for the 5th graders who have to take their tests today and tomorrow. Today was the math test, and I was monitoring a group of 19 kids, who seemed to have gone to bed at midnight last night, judging by how often they kept dozing off.

At least none of them snored loudly or drooled on their papers. That's always a mess. But there were 3 kids who fell asleep BEFORE handing in their tests, and one of those fell asleep less than an hour into the test! AFTER the test, there were more like 10 or 11 who nodded off.

I haven't seen the movie "Little Fockers" yet, but I've seen the previews and the first 2 installments, and I kept thinking of De Niro today while walking around the room. No, not so much that I kept wanting to mutter, "Double dose" while looking at some of the kids' answer choices, but more because there were several times I made a gesture very similar to De Niro's, "I'm watching you." You know the one where he points at his eyes then points at Ben Stiller? Any time a kid would look back at me today or look around the room, I would point at my eyes and then downward.

For the most part, the kids seemed to understand my message as, "Keep your eyes on your paper," and nobody mistook it for, "I'm watching my crotch."

When each student finished his/her test, I would collect it, examine it for stray pencil marks or incorrect bubbling, and then ask him/her to sign a paper with the time they had finished. I sincerely hope there were not too many clock questions on this test, because no fewer than 4 kids in my group wrote the wrong time on this sign-out sheet.

After I collected the tests and answer documents, I brought the kids their book(s) to read for the rest of the day (if they weren't sleeping). One boy was midway through "Old Yeller." As I handed it to him, I said, "What a sad story, when they have to shoot him at the end!"

I'm just kidding, though I WAS tempted to spoil the ending.

One of the little girls in my group has a twin sister (they were both in my class 2 years ago) who was taking the test in another room. This little girl only asked to use the restroom one time today, around 1:30, and right as she was leaving the room, her twin sister walked by, headed to the restroom as well. SPOOOOOOKY twin psychic connection!!

In addition to test monitoring making for an incredibly slow and long day, this week is my grade level's turn to have morning duty. So I got to the school before 7AM. Tomorrow is going to seem even worse, because the NCAA college basketball championship game is tonight, starting at 8:23 CST (why so late??), and of course I have to go out with the guys and watch that. THEN, have another 7AM start AND another feet-dragging, soul-draining, skull-boring test monitoring day!

Hump day will never have looked so good!!!


Anonymous said...

I have used the "I'm watching you" motion myself- very effective! If it makes you feel any better, my principal assigned all the "regular" homeroom teachers afternoon dismissal duty *every day*, and all support teachers morning 7:00 duty. As a resource teacher, I am out there at 7:00 every stinkin' day- only good thing is at least we swap out duty stations each week. I do get off at 3:00, not that I ever leave by then. Sucks to be special!! Good luck tomorrow on keeping your charges awake long enough to read their stories and show those strategies!

Mister Teacher said...

I used to have 7am duty every day. But I was getting paid for that, and I volunteered for it!