We are three days away from our winter break and I am testing, testing and testing. Today it was two classes of third graders. A reading test. I know the teachers were hoping the test might give them data to begin the new year with. BUT…
These two classes of students – very mixed group of students from a high poverty neighborhood – were working hard. They sat at the computer
- crossing out answers,
- building charts that show the order of the story
- sorting through words and phrase very foreign to their home language
They were quiet, still and thoughtful. When they finished the days sections their eyes were a bit glazed and I know that lunch and recess would bring life back into those small bodies. BUT…
Still as I think about it tonight – they should have been reading stories to each other today, building gingerbread houses, checking out books from the library exploring each others traditions and holidays. They should have been asking each other –
- What are you doing on winter break?
- Do you celebrate a holiday in the winter?
- What foods do you eat at your holiday event?
- No, you are not celebrating now so when do you have celebrations? What are they like?
I know they are doing some of these things when they are not with me in the computer lab but oh my heart went out to them today. They were working so hard – I am not sure they are going to want to read for fun over break if reading is only about testing.
All I wanted to do was ask them to join me on the small carpet and tell them a winter tale or two. I do hope someone will be doing just that with each of them over the two weeks of winter break. Just spending time reading when it is fun!