Why so much pressure already?

After sending Belle and Little Bear to school on Wednesdays, Little Lamb and I head back up to Belle’s school to help her teacher.  I do simple stuff like make copies and change out the bulletin boards.  We get there just before snack time, so I always pack LL’s lunch bag with a snack.  She sits with Belle and the big kids until they head out for Gym class.  Then we head back to the copy room to get down to business.  I’ve enjoyed helping this way because it allows me a little time to talk to Belle’s teacher, and I get a preview of what they’ll be doing in class.  I asked about the second grade teachers this morning, just to see what info she might give me.  I don’t know any of them well enough to request one over another, not that I’d likely do that anyway.  Well, maybe I would if I had a good reason to…Anyway, what Mrs. G did tell me was that the 2nd grade teachers this year took the SOL’s (stupid state test) very seriously.  They don’t actually begin testing until 3rd grade, but the prep begins well before that.  Mrs. G mentioned that many of the hands-on activities were put aside in the interest of SOL work, which is just terrible in my opinion.  She encouraged me to do fun learning activities on the weekends to help relieve stress for Belle, which I’m happy to do, but not happy that I might NEED to do it.  I’m praying that which ever teacher she gets will be a good match for her, as well as the other students in the class.  Her class this year has lots of strong boys, but the girls are all fairly timid.  I’m hoping next year she can have some good female leaders in her class.
Because LL and I spend our morning at Belle’s school, Little Bear goes to JS’s house after school for a couple of hours.  He absolutely loves going over there-they have ALL the coolest toys and they eat macaroni and cheese every time!  It gives LL and I a chance to run errands or snuggle on the sofa or whatever we see fit.   Today, we ran to our fancy new grocery store and then came home to snuggle and watch Little Einsteins.  She did introduce a few new characters to our repertoire today, The Imagination Movers!  She’s watches the show on occasion, mostly when there is nothing else  of interest to her, so I was somewhat surprised when she wanted to wear goggles and be Scott.  
Once Belle and LB were home from school and such, I set to work on Pioneer Woman’s Strawberry Shortcake Cake.  Oh wow!  It is amazing!!  It’s an involved recipe, but well worth every step.  We took Belle to her last soccer practice while the cake cooled.  Dinner was Salmon and rice.  I’d planned to make a salad, but I spent the time on the cake instead.  I’m not usually much for fruity desserts, but this one is right on the money.  LB said the frosting was like a creamy, white waterfall.  Sounds delicious, no?  I have some pictures to share of the cake, but I’ll have to add them tomorrow.  It’s time to get off the computer, and spend a little time with my hubby.


2 Responses to “Why so much pressure already?”

  1. Unfortunately, a lot of education dollars and such ride on the results of those scores. If your school doesn’t test well, you can lose a lot – including your “status”. Our school had an increase in ESL kids and our test scores went down because of it. Now our school, which is terrific, is considered not so great. Once you see the breakdown, you realize that it is not the teaching that’s an issue – it’s a language barrier.

    They will work on SOL skills, but it will be fun. When LLB took her first history SOL in 4th grade, they played all kinds of games to help them remember the facts. It worked. They all did great.

    Don’t worry. It will all work itself out. The kids must have been missing something that they should have retained from Grade 2.


  2. Mary Beth Says:

    Yikes!-hands on at home to “help with stress”! Grace already freaks out that she doesn’t know enough on her math tests, which is just her against the test (not for state scoring). She just started multiplying and dividing. But she still hasn’t mastered adding. Work for us this summer!

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