Spring Doesn't Bug Us!

Yippie! I survived giving my very first standardized test to kindergarteners! Now, it was a total disaster as one might expect when testing kindergarteners. The content was no problem...the problem was in the wording of the questions and the length of the test. They got restless after the first 15 minutes and just began to bubble in any answer without trying. Overall, they did as well as   can be expected and I am proud to say that it is over until next year!

In between testing and preparing to test, we enjoyed a fun unit on insects. Here are just a few highlights from our learning about caterpillars and butterflies....


After reading the usual caterpillar to butterfly books, we listened to an adorable song Butterfly, Fly by Janice Buckner. It tells the story of a caterpillar changing into a butterfly. Here are the little ones starting out as an egg on a leaf.


The caterpillar grew and one day he began to get sleepy so he built himself a cocoon. The picture on the left shows the students helping their partner build a cocoon by wrapping them in tissue paper and the picture on the right shows a caterpillar somewhat wrapped in his "cocoon". The song then talks about how the caterpillar wakes up and discovers that he can fly....the kids LOVE breaking out of the tissue paper cocoons & then fluttering around the room! (Sorry, the pictures all turned out very blurry so I didn't post them). I have some butterfly wings that are each the size of a piece of 12 x 18 construction. Normally, I would have them decorate them before this activity and they slip the wings on their arms after breaking out of the cocoons but time was limited due to the testing.

We also made coffee filter butterflies that turned out so pretty! I'll post a picture of them when we get the bulletin board put together tomorrow.  During our math centers, we used dot art painters to make c-ADD-apillar booklets. My little darlings loved this activity! They used 2 colors to create a caterpillar and then wrote the addition sentence to show how many circles they used in all. (I gave them a couple of addition sentences to create at first and then they were able to make up their own after they got the hang of it. When the paint dried, they added feet, antennae, and a face.
So cute!

These are just a couple of things we did this week. I can't wait to tell you about our bumble bee learning tomorrow! As for now, I am exhausted and ready for bed!


Miss Trayers said...

Congrats on surviving testing! :) We give ours in the beginning of December-yes, it's a bit of a fiasco. Bubbling in answers is just not very developmentally appropriate!


Anonymous said...

After 36 years i retire as I did not like what was happening in K. They seem to have forgotten the child and only care about the numbers (Test scores) I had an experience wit the tests that were given in the beginning of the year that was suppose to help drive instruction. One little one looked at a series of dominoes type boxes and was suppose to make the sets that had 10. This child counted each of the boxes separately over and over and said none of them had 10. the divided line in each set tols her to count each set. Early K have very little experience with joining sets and almost never with a dividing line in the middle of the set. Who makes these tests.
Another student in a friend's class, frustrated with the computer who repeated the question when the didn't make a choice and forgot that he could just guess, removed his headphone placed the earpiece to his mouth and said, "Lady, I already told you, I don't know!" You have other children that don't understand that time is important as the test count the number of correct answers done in a certain time period. These kids live only in the moment (lucky them) even the threat that if they do not hurry putting on their winter outside clothes they will miss most of recess doesn't sink in until about the time you are ready to be done with winter clothes. Testing like this is so wrong. If this must be done come to each room take the children one at a time and do as much as the child can do at that moment. This will be different for each child. Give them breaks as needed or send them back take another child and then go back to the first child later. Record for the child. hat is the purpose of the test...to find out what he knows or to see how well he can work in a situation that is not appropriate, maintain his attention and care about the outcome... Glad I am out of this... in the words of my fellow teachers who retired years ago, "the pendulum will swing."

Jen Elliott said...

I can believe that you are testing them, but I CANNOT believe that they are having to bubble in answers! That is so NOT appropriate for K's! I hope that we don't have to start doing that in our K classes. :(
On a side note, I LOVE your caterpillar addition! What a great idea!! :)

Kelly Young said...

Thanks Jen! It is amazing what WONDERFUL ideas "they" can come up with but yet never even walk into a kindergarten classroom! It was quite comical and I pity the person/machine that has to score those test bubbles! I bet the bubbles will be much larger next time around!

Yes Anonymous, the focus of education has shifted so much to teacher accountability and test scores rather than instilling a love for learning in our students. Although it is extremely frustrating, I try to remember that the pendulum will definitely swing right back around in just a few short years.