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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:04 pm 
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I have 3 double periods. I have advanced students 2nd and 3rd period (26),
regular class 4th and 5th periods (29), and another regular class 6th and 7th periods (30).

I am going through diversity training so I have to build in lessons that cover many cultures.

I am getting my graduate degree in ESOL (English as a second language) so I have to build lessons that my students whose first language is not English can understand.

Plus, NCLB says that these students can master English after two years. Ha! They speak English very well, but do not read, comprehend, and write it very well.

I am not complaining though. I do love what I do. I just wish there was a way to show and prove improvement (like a protfolio) without subjecting them to this standardized test. Upper-middle class to elite schools do well on these tests. Schools with a large number of minorities and low-income students do not do well. The test is not a good measure of improvement and success.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:52 am 
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Hi, sadie53

Sounds like you are really have to work hard at it. Sounds like a lot of extra work to me. Better results in the long run would make it more worth while. Talking is always far easier then reading / writing and etc. Memorizing shows itself here. Well, tis good you enjoy doing what you are doing, as that is always a plus. Good luck with getting your ESOL.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:55 am 
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It is the standardized tests that stick in my mind. It just doesn't seem right. It is like trying to fit every peg into a square hole, no matter what shape that peg is.

Do you believe NCLB can be changed in a way that would benefit our children? Or should it be scrapped altogether? I have not seen it as any step in the right direction. Especially since the feds didn't fund it.

Buffalo and Rochester have terrible school systems. They have little property value to base good schools on.

We have the cream of school systems out here. Every school has swimming pools, huge playing fields outdoors plus beautiful gyms inside. We have score bords like professional teams. Our kids are carted all over the state for functions like sports meetings, music fistivals, and varions field events. There are the trips to Washington, Germany and wherever else the kids decide they want to visit. These big houses out here pay big taxes.

I always worry about how the kids in inner city schools can survive with so little on their side. Good that they have people like you, Sadie, because they have so little else. I am sure you make a big difference in many a child's life, and admire that you do.

Thank you for all you are doing.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:00 pm 
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Thank you dori. I just want all kids to have the same oportunities to a good education. Many of my kids will never get to take a trip to another country.

I don't know about improving NCLB. It is a good idea to measure improvement in the schools. It just isn't fair to expect the same results in EVERY school district, by EVERY child, at the SAME time. Some kids have everything they need because they were lucky enough to be born to a good set of parents who provide for them. Others aren't that lucky. There are many flaws in NCLB. By the year 2012 the expectations of NCLB is that 100% of students will pass the "TEST". That is a bit unrealistic when we have many kids who don't even speak the language! Every state is free to choose how they will go about making this happen. Every state goes about it differently. Each state has a different "TEST". Some states have higher expectations that others. Some states have more money to pour into their schools. There are so many variables you just can't expect the same results everywhere.

I remember one of my kids journal entries many years ago. They were to write about: "if you could change anything in your life what would it be?" A student wrote about wishing they could eat a bowl of cereal in the morning without any roaches. I just sat there and cried when I was reading the entries. How do you learn when you come to school hungry?

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:31 pm 
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How do you learn when you come to school hungry?


You don't. That's one of the reasons the school breakfast program was implemented in NC during my career. (It might be ongoing in other states, too...hope so.) The kids are served toast, cereal, juice, milk, and other typical breakfast items...sometimes bacon, eggs, sausage, and biscuits. I was very glad to see the program dump the doughnuts they started out serving, though.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:44 pm 
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We have the breakfast program too. We have many kids who parents have not filled out the necessary paperwork so they can get breakfast and a free lunch. We make home visits and do everything possible to get all kids signed up. Some are on the list but never make to school until breakfast is over.

School starts at 7:45. Our wing does not get lunch until 12:50. I keep a "snack cabinet" in my room. Everyone (students and myself) contribute healthy snacks to put in there so if anyone is hungry they can grab a snack during class. It is amazing - no one takes advantage. They actually only get something when they are hungry and all kids try to contribute when they can, even those who cannot afford it.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 3:29 pm 
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I also allowed my students to bring healthy snacks and keep them in the room, sadie. I let them keep water at their desks, too.

Many of the children got to school before 7:30, especially if they rode a bus. Breakfast was served from 7:30 to 8:05...my kids would come to the room, stash their belongings, and rush headlong to the cafeteria. Our lunch time was 11:30 to 12:00. They had an afternoon recess from 1:30 - 2:00. That's when they'd eat their snacks. My kids seemed to be hungrier in the afternoon than in the mornings. I kept a supply of apples and bottles of water for them, and parents would often contribute to the "stash."

One of their favorite activities was the monthly Camp Read-Alot, usually on a Friday afternoon. They'd have a full hour to munch on healthy snacks, lie on a blanket or sleeping bag they'd brought from home, and silently read.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 6:16 am 
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It has to be heartbreaking to see children in such need. I can't express how much I admire teachers who do everything they can to improve these children's lives.

Thank you all--you obviously don't work for the pay, you work for the kids.

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