Sunday, May 30, 2010

Two big chunks of cake delivered by neighbors in 2 days

Man I love this town and our neighborhood

Posted via email from Mark Ahlness on posterous

Today's a welcome chance to catch up, and gas up, for the final stretch...

Memorial Day weekend at last, can't believe I made it this far. The year has been a challenge, certainly. A chicken is simmering on the stove for a comforting and sustaining soup later. It feels like fall here in Seattle, mid-50's and rainy. Got some paperwork taken care of, much more to do of course, but the next three weeks feel more do-able at the moment.

I'm working on a first - an agreement/contract allowing my third graders to check out one of our seven XO laptops at home for a day or two. The demands of the year have relegated them all too often to a locked file drawer, many days never even getting them out. I hope to at least put them in the hands of more people by the end of the year, just for the experience. Back to the soup, smelling real nice right now...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Young Authors Day celebration underway at Arbor Heights Elementary in Seattle:

Kids sharing books they wrote, listening to each other, signing each other's beautiful shirts, it's always a special day.   Here's last year's, with links at the bottom to many years past...

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Outa ink and air

Now I’m not usually much of a whiner, but this afternoon was a bit much. This morning my classroom color laser printer told me I needed to replace the black cartridge. I called the local Staples and learned it would be $93. This was just as I was beginning to print out my third graders’ “Best of My Blog” books. Ouch.

On my way home on my bike I headed on a side trip to the store. Halfway there I got a flat tire. Second one in two weeks. Goodness, I’d  gone two years in a row without a flat before.

So I walked my bike home, replaced the tire (thank goodness for two spare bikes I have kept around for parts), and headed off to Staples when my wife got home with the car. I just went to the garage to check the air in the repaired tire. A-ok, yippee skippee!

In the silver lining department, while walking my bike home, I found a glove I had lost five days ago by the side of the road…
Posted via email from Mark Ahlness on posterous

Friday, May 21, 2010

Third graders respond to high stakes test

My third graders blogged brief thoughts on Washington State's latest high stakes test, the MSP, replacing our WASL. Lots of references to the snacks and doing well, so I guess I did my job just fine - giving them confidence and goodies to take away some of the sting of test anxiety, just like the test prep manuals suggest. Right.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

msp testing, day 2

Kids really concentrating at the outset on the reading test. Will see well how their concentration holds. Test is long, and pretty tough. I don't think the IOWA tests of my youth were this bad - nor were they as hard on us.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Testing sign

Outside room 12 on the first day of MSP testing

Posted via email from Arbor Heights Elementary

msp testing, day 1

First break time a few minutes away. Snacks await my third graders. Most are finished with the math test. Deathly quiet in here...

Posted via email from Mark Ahlness on posterous

Monday, May 17, 2010

High stakes testing starts tomorrow, feeling ill...

Disheartened by stories of colleagues spending not just hours, or days, but weeks - doing schoolwide, daylong test prepping. Thanks NCLB and RTTT.

Doing my best to not succumb to the insanity, to keep the kids relaxed - and even have a little FUN in school. Here goes...

Saturday, May 15, 2010