Today, the first day after the state writing test, was a day of decompressing, reflecting, and celebrating. I began each class with my assessment of how I thought the day had gone. “I’m not allowed to read your work,” I explained. “None of us are. But all of your teachers spent the entire day circulating […]

Drill Down

standardized test

Today was our second of four days testing kids. Keep in mind that this is only the ninth day of the new school year. I know that teachers must have an idea of the abilities and skills of their students in order to proceed with appropriate instruction during the year. But, with the number of […]

Bye for Now


Over the weekend, I had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life. I had to take the step and euthanize my dog, Lola. Lola was a rescue from Puerto Rico, being 1 of 13. When we were researching adoption options, we saw this and traveled about 2 hours to pick her up. […]

Online assessments


No more grading numerous quizzes and tests by hand. No more bringing a number 2 pencil to the test. The days of scantron sheets are over. Online assessments allows teachers the ability to grade quickly and easily. Data is compiled into a Google Sheet that can help drive future instruction. A few options that are […]

Strategies for Reducing Student Stress

student stress

Testing, of course, is a big reason for much of the stress in today’s classrooms. Stress is not conducive to learning. Dr. William Stixrud summed it up quite nicely when he wrote, “stress hormones actually turn off the parts of the brain that allow us to focus attention, understand ideas, commit information to memory and […]

What the Tests Don’t Tell Us

It is no secret that today’s youth are tested and re-tested at astounding rates.Ever since the implementation of the 2002No Child Left BehindAct(NCLB) which mandated annual yearly testing for students in all 50 states as a means for measuring progress; teachers, parents, and students have been inundated with a kind oftesting mania. Clara Hemphill in […]