Friday, September 01, 2006

Draw Me a Picture

Today is the Writing Assessment test.
It is a yearly tradition that strikes fear in the hearts and minds of all the little children.

Writing Assessments give students a writing prompt, usually something socially relevant or outrageously fictitious, and asks them to write a paper.

For several hours, and for possibly the only time this year, silence echoes in my classroom. Only the gentle scratch of pencils against paper, the crinkle of turning pages, and the muffled thud of an eraser being thrown from one head to another breaks the eerie quiet.
They think I don’t know, but I know.

I am in class right now. Staring out at the sea of bent little heads, all working diligently, or at least faking it fairly convincingly.

The fun part about the writing assessment test is the creativity involved on both the part of the student and myself.

You see, when a students finishes the test, like in most other academics situations, they cannot disturb the others still testing. They must sit quietly and read or work on another assignment.
The problem: students have an unlimited amount of time to finish the test. They are given 3.5 hours this morning.

Two finished in the first half an hour. At least one will take the entire time frame.
One unfinished tester is currently napping.

So, you ask, what will those hyper active 12 year olds do for several hours in complete silence?

They color. They draw. They make pictures.
They avoid, at all costs, the bonus puzzles and math games that I spent hours working on.

Throughout the morning I receive many pictures.
One of my favorites was a detailed drawing depicting one of my angles hovering over a pile of dead lemmings. His stick figure self grinned at their broken bodies as he added to the heap.

Another was a pretty picture of a pair of purple eyeballs. I smile, thanked the student, and began to add the small sheet to a pile of others. But this girl had other ideas. She quietly took the eyes back, found some tape, and taped the paper optics to my ponytail.
She whispered, “Now you really do have eyes in the back of your head.”

Wow, I am impressed, you already have them thinking that you have eyes in the back of the head!! Surely one of the lil darlings wants to work on your creative puzzles or math problems...don't any of them want ot brown nose the teacher?? lol. Aline
There are a few smuged noses in the group, but after several hours of quite time even the brownest of brown get restless.

I mean, they are 12.
Silly hormones.
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