I am falling in love with your teaching style, beliefs and practices. There are best practices and there are Bunyi practices - a combination of theory, research and reality. I am truly blessed to stumble across your blog and I kick myself for not looking online sooner. It is my first year teaching 3rd grade and I am in love with all the possibilities. Especially since I was able to loop up with 14/18 of my students from last year. But I am completely weighed down with the daily/weekly/monthly battle of keeping high stakes test preparation out of my plans. I swore to myself I wouldn't mention the test until it was time to worry about it. (unless of course it was brought up by one of my students because I do not want to undermine their feelings about it.) But I failed at least twice already. We are now on day 20 of third grade and I can honestly say that for about 7 of those days, the main activity of the day was formal assessment. (For the obvious purpose of establishing baseline data) But seriously!! I feel like all I do is test, test, test. I am not even completely done yet- one of my personal favorites, the DRA still has to be done. But the point of my post here is to ask: how confident are you that all the efforts put forth in the reading/writing workshops that you foster and conduct will not only produce lifelong learners, but also students who can pass those darned standardized high stakes tests? I began the year with F&Pinnell's 20 days of school. Our reading workshop is underway. Unfortunately I am also mandated to teach from our reading anthology series "with fidelity." I believe I have found a way to find a happy medium between both (workshop/basal) but I that ugly test monster is constantly haunting me at night tempting me to print and run off a whole load of test prep. I guess what I am looking for is assurance in the form of proof, proven results, and sweet advice from someone who has been through it. (I did enjoy your blog on test prep with the "Great Bunyi"
Uggh... and one more question. What elements of the reading workshop do you use for reading grades on your report cards? What do you do outside of the workshop to assess them and count towards that report card grade? I know how to assess each individual as a learner. I am working quickly towards achieving my reading "doctorate" so I can be a physician!! But that report card piece is always tricky...
Thanks for your help and good luck in your running. You completely inspire me!
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