I’m linking up today to Celebrate with Ruth at Discover, Play, Build for her weekly Celebration! You really should too! Who doesn’t like a chance to CELEBRATE?!
In first grade we find things to Celebrate EVERYDAY! We celebrate a lost tooth. We celebrate a new pair of shoes. We celebrate reading words, books, sentences. I tell you we CELEBRATE the big and the small!
But what is so very hard for me is the celebration that must occur in spite of my thoughts and feelings…for instance timed tests. I despise them, and have never liked using them. I think they breed anxiety (especially for those kiddos who struggle just to get a number down, and in the right direction). I think they are NOT a definition of fluency- fast and timed does not mean fluent. I would rather my child know what numbers are, do, represent- than memorize a set of facts. And although yes I want my kiddos to be fluent and know those facts inside and out, I DO NOT believe timing them is the best method to show this.
But sadly others in my school and Mr. Principal believe it is the best method- for kindergartners and up.
So how does one celebrate something they don’t really believe in, but want the kiddos to be excited about?
Well besides the usual Whoo Hoo’s and Good Jobs, big smiley’s and gold stars we now have in first grade….
"The Wall of Fame!"
This is where the passed tests go from the dreaded timed tests, and where other awesome work will go. The kids get so excited to see their papers on our “Wall of Fame” which of course just a part of empty wall space with fancy letters. But it gets the kiddos excited about their efforts, and shows Mr. Principal that I am indeed doing his mandated timed tests.
There is one thing I can guarantee you- every.child. will.have.a.test.on.the.wall.of.fame.- by the end of November when the challenge comes to an end! Then we will really celebrate!!!
I am also celebrating today because I get to go out of town with Mr. Hubby! Do you know how long it’s been since we’ve been…anywhere? It’s just to Tulsa but hey it’s away and tomorrow the kids join us to check out the wedding venue for June! That is really a cause to celebrate! I think it calls for cheese cake from the Cheese Cake Factory!