Friday, August 22, 2008

A Foreign Language

A friend of mine told me that the kindergarten teachers are doing assessments this week. I really had no idea what that meant, so I emailed Abby's teacher to see if I could get some insight into the process. She told me that they were doing MMI and DIBELS this week. OK, that's great, but what does that mean? I've quickly realized that school is a whole new world, and one that I know very little about. I'm not the type to just let things happen - I have to understand the what and the why. So I've been doing some research and trying to decipher all these new acronyms. I've got DIBELS figured out; in fact there's an official website and you can even see the exact questions they ask the kids. The MMI is still a mystery, but I'm sure my sister can help me. I know it's a math assessment, and I think it stands for Mobile Math Initiative, but I don't know what types of questions are asked.

Maybe I shouldn't concern myself with things like this. I asked the girls if they were asked any questions about letters or reading or math, and Abby said "no" while Sarah said "I think so but I don't remember what the questions were about." So obviously they weren't concerned by the process. And, I know we'll be faced with assessments and standardized tests for the next 13 years. But I want to understand what's going on in the classroom. Am I the only one who has the need to know?

A funny Abby story: After dinner, she asked if we could have movie night. I really wasn't up for it - I was willing to watch a short TV show, but I didn't want an hour and a half movie. So as I paused, thinking of a compromise, she said "I really want to watch 27 Dresses." I almost choked on my tea. Where did she come up with this?! A few months ago, Perry rented this for me, and the girls knew I wanted to see it and knew that it wasn't a kid movie. But why did she remember it? So funny. Then she asked if she could watch it when she's a teenager. Too cute.

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