Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pressure!

I have been feeling a lot of pressure at work lately.  One of the reasons is the Hawaii State Assessment that my class is required to take.  The state allows the students to take it up to three times to try to obtain a passing score.  One of the difficulties with this test is the fact that it is very unauthentic.  I don't think it accurately reports what the students are capable of.  Another challenge is that it is on the computer.  It can be hard for students to read a passage that is on a computer screen instead of front of them on paper.  On paper, they can easily use their finger to follow along a line of text (as they do in class).  They would be able to highlight, circle, and underline things that are important.  On the computer screen they cannot do these things.  I personally don't like to read lengthy articles on the computer myself.  In college, if I had something long to read, I would print it out so I could have it right in front of me.  So that is frustrating. 

The other thing that has put pressure on me is this big conference that my class is going to.  It is called the Ku'i Ka Lono Indigenous Education Conference.  The principal chose my class to represent the school this year.  It is a pretty big deal because we have to travel to Oahu to be a part of this.  We will be staying there for three days!  My class is required to give a presentation in Hawaiian and in English.  They will be presenting non-fiction books that they are currently writing.  They are working in groups, and each member is working on their own chapter, or section.  Once they have perfected their piece in English, it needs to be translated into Hawaiian.  They are also making pictures to go with the pages.  At  the conference they will not only be presenting their books, but describing the writing process as well!  They are given an entire hour!  According to one of my co-workers, she has never seen any presentations from elementary students at the conference before.  I really hope that we will be fully prepared and that it will be a meaningful and exciting learning experience.

Below is the description of the conference from their website.

Native designed and controlled public charter schools will share their educational practices and accomplishments among themselves and with other Indigenous educators, parents and other interested stakeholders.  By sharing strategies for success, such as “EA-Education with Aloha”, this conference hopes to help all native communities create quality culturally-driven schools and programs that empower native students to walk successfully in two worlds and assure that No Child Is Left Behind.  Thursday will focus on student, teacher and community presentations with an evening of cultural performances.  Friday will focus on public charter school visits and service learning projects.


Here is the website to the conference...

 http://www.kalo.org/kuikalono

-Emilie


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