Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Sigh of Relief and a Surprise To Go With It!

SOL - that does not stand for something nice in my book. It's an abbreviation for a rather crude term. Here in Virginia is stands for something else entirely! It's their Standards Of Learning - their state test. For those of you used to Texas -it's the TAKS. I really wish that there was not so much emphasis placed on this test. As a teacher, I hate it. I don't see how one test can be created to measure the learning of every child. Honestly, the idea is absurd. Nevertheless, children have to take it and trickling down from the very top is the pressure to pass. Again, as a teacher, I am very mindful of what the results mean to the school system.

Brooklyn and Caleb took the SOL test in late May. Brooklyn felt very confident. She did well on all the exercises and practice tests. She was worried about social studies since Virginia history would be on the test and they studied that in fourth grade, when she was not here. The teacher worked hard to review with her and Brooklyn did her part by reading and studying. It must have sunk in. She was one point away from Pass/Advance on that part. She did pass/advance on math, reading and writing and made pass/proficient on science. That is a lot of testing for a kid and I am so proud of her! She worked very hard on her studies this year and did it, pretty much, independent of me. She did her homework with no prompting and only asked for help in studying for her tests.

Caleb was not so sure. He wasn't so worried either. He was not doing well on any of the practices or exercises. He told us that he didn't read everything on the test because it was just too much. I was worried. I was worried because without practicing for the test, giving it his best, he would not build the stamina he would need for the real one. He had to take four tests in third grade: Math, reading, science, history/social science. That seems like too many tests for someone in third grade. I encouraged Caleb to read everything. Bobby and I reminded him to take all the time he needed. Not only did Caleb pass every test but he made pass/advance on his history/social science! I think he is pretty proud of himself. He grinned and looked down and said, "I told you it was easy."

Way to go kids - good job!


Blarney Girl said...

Sounds like it still means what it does here in TX; if you don't pass it, you're definitely SOL!!

Stacey @ Tree, Root, and Twig said...

I can tell you, there is just not this kind of craziness in Oregon. Yes, they have state benchmark testing, but it just was so STRESSFUL! I hated moving to Texas and having teachers call me on the phone and tell me that my kids might not advance to the next grade because of the TAKS. They all did very well on the tests, but why do much pressure! Ugh. Congrats to your kids. :)

Heather said...

Stacey - it's called No Child Left Behind and it's causing many to drop out when they get to HS. It needs to go away!

Grammy said...

Way to go kids! Caleb is really smart, as they all are. But he does ask lots of questions...lots of questions, and his sense of humor is great. Seth is just delighted to see and hear it all. They are wonderful children Heather. Need to know the little guys better.

brooke said...

I never stressed about SOL's. In my school district so many kids fail them that they should probably shut down the schools. Anyway... good job kids!!
(I always thought it was funny when they talked about SOL's because of the crude definition- I'm immature sometimes.)

Holly said...

I am not surprised by their scores, but I am very PROUD of them!!!
If Seth tries reading all the books he wants to this year, I'm sure he will do great on the tests. They are all smart little kiddos.

Love them all and miss them,
Aunt Holly

Anonymous said...

I HATE EOGs!!! Let's see the legistlators pass them!

Marla said...

Smart kids!! YEA!!


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