23 April 2014

How Evil is the Testing Machine?

This evil.  Copy/pasted from Moyers Public School's facebook page in Oklahoma:

"In my 25 years in education I have seen many changes. As a teacher, principal and superintendent, I have always tried to make these changes adapt to our particular school in a way that follows the guidelines but also takes into consideration the individual child. This has worked relatively well as I feel that we follow state guidelines and our students' needs are always considered.

" Personally, as an educator, I have always felt that too much emphasis has been placed on testing but if that is what is required by individuals more qualified than myself, then that is what we will do. However, with that being said, I find myself in a very difficult position.

"We have a family of students whose parents were both killed in a car accident this week. When our district test administrator called the State Department of Education to ask for an emergency exemption for these students, it was denied. This is not considered a reason for exemption by the SDE. The SDE believes these students should be tested and their scores be used to not only judge them but also used to evaluate their teachers and their school at a time in their life that is unimaginable to most.

"So as administrator of our district, I have made the decision to go against the SDE rules and exempt these students from taking their tests. This may or may not cause our school to receive an 'F' on our school report card for not meeting our testing percentage but it is the only decision that best meets the needs of our students.

"As an educator and a human being with a reasonable amount of common sense, I don't feel like any test these students take during this time would be valid in any way. Testing and its importance are quickly escalating out of control and our common sense appears to be going in the opposite direction."

-- Donna Dudley

As one of the commenters stated, "This needs to go viral."  I agree. 

22 April 2014

Socialization at Middle School

The internetz tell me that kids need that socialization, and you get a lot of it at middle school.  Thankfully Emperor goes half days so he can learn how to act from the righteous and upstanding models of humanity in his class.  And you know, Emperor needs to learn how to fit in a little better.

Emperor snorted when he heard this!  "Do you even know what they say in school?" he asked incredulously.  "The behaviour there is horrid, I'm serious."

It can't really be that bad... I don't think...

"I'll give you just one example," he told me.  "Yesterday, when Miss C went out of the room to make some copies?  Trent stood up and screamed, 'BOOBIES!'"

I couldn't help busting out laughing at this being the most horrible thing the kid could think of to relate to me.  I was expecting something much more awful.  Elf was aghast at my laughter and took me to task.

"You do realize that you are giggling at the equivalent of a young girl shouting 'PENIS' in school, don't you?  This is quite inappropriate!"

Sorry. Elf raised an eyebrow at my immaturity.

"Yeah, I know!" said Emperor.  "When Miss C got back into the room, I tried to tell her, 'Do you know what Trent just yelled out?' but she wouldn't listen.  Can you believe that?"

21 April 2014

Palcohol: Get Drunk Without Drinking!

Government approved!  So you know it must be good for you.  It's alcohol powder.  You can sneak it anywhere!  Get soused without paying outrageous drink fees at the stadium!  Bring a bunch along in your suitcase so your business associates don't figure out what an alcoholic you are!  Slip some into your girlfriend's food or drink and take advantage of the situation!

Only imagine the possibilities!  Did I mention you can snort it, too?  "Take your Pal wherever you go," Palcohol's website read.  Oh, and they also remind you to use their product "responsibly."  Makes perfect sense. 

20 April 2014

More Handmade Barbie Clothes.

Because now we have SOOO many Barbie-type dolls.  Guess how many we just got in a bag at the thrift store for $21 total?  Just guess.  I have spent all weekend washing the few wearable outfits that came with the set and running conditioner through the hair to de-mat and de-tangle.  Now they look almost new, and everyone has an outfit.  I didn't make the three t-shirts on the end, or Barbie's stockings, but everything else is pretty much "sew a straight line and stuff Barbie into the outfit."  Woodjie also got some man-dolls as he calls them.  I will show them to you later.

Sew Your Own Barbie Clothes!

 If you want to make your own Barbie clothes, there's only one real thing you need to remember:  Barbies don't wear things out, and they can't be uncomfortable.  So you don't need to worry about durability, triple-stitching, or any of that business.  Want to see how easy it is?
 Here we go.  I made this little dress out of Rose's old fleece pants.  Fleece never frays, and that means I don't have to bother hemming anything!  Do you see I hemmed the dress above?  Then I wound up just hacking that with scissors because it was too long.  I didn't bother with sewing in elastic, either.  I turned Rose's old pants inside-out, and sewed in such a way that the elastic from her pants is the elastic of the new garment.  Why complicate things when they don't need to be?  Rose is six.  She will be thrilled when she finds these tomorrow morning on Easter.
 I held a Barbie up to the cloth and sort of traced a t-shirt pattern, left a space for the head, cut a V-shape and *zing!*  Then I wound up chopping off the sleeves because Barbie arms don't bend!  It still looks good once it's on the doll, I think. 
And this?  Is just a strip of cloth tied around Barbie's back.  It will do for a "shirt" with her little skirt.  Eventually I will make better clothes but I was tired of seeing the mega-bag of Barbies we just got for Rose going around nekkid.

18 April 2014

Emperor Teaches Math

Here's a bag of coins, some plastic animals and a dry erase board.  Go do some fun stuff for "homeschool" today with the little people and I'll pay you a dollar.  Keep the math simple, though!  They are only just learning to add simple numbers.

Emperor begins to explain to the children that presently, each plastic pig is three cents, but due to inflation and gas price increases, they will be five cents each next year.  He's not going to get into why, but prices go up.  So how many pigs do you want to buy?  Ten?

Great.  Now all your pigs are dead because you forgot to buy food and fence them in.  Want to start again?  OK.  Yes, maybe seven pigs is a better idea.

Yes, I'll pretend you can buy food and a fence with the rest of the money.  Now the price has gone up and you can make a profit!  Want to sell your pigs at the local bacon stand?

Great.  But then you have to pay your farmhand.  And sales tax.  And now the income tax man has come around.  You just lost a lot of money.

Rose suggests they sell the plastic bears at this point.  Now Emperor gets into the various differences in price, feeding pigs vs. bears, resale value, and who are you going to hire to take care of your bears?  Plastic bunnies now enter the picture.  Easter drives the cost of the plastic bunnies up.  Is it still a good idea to buy a bunny?

The plastic horses are now unbagged and they are discussing how much a pony ride would cost.  Woodjie has all the plastic animals fighting with Ka-Pow sounds, but Rose is determined that there IS a way to make money in this game.  She will find a way.

Next time I will hand the kid a textbook.

15 April 2014

School Dress Codes... For Parents?

A Florida school district is considering a voluntary dress code for parents.  They say it's pretty hard to enforce the student dress code when Pops shows up with his pants halfway down his butt. 

Why the need to focus on how Mom is dressed?  She showed up, right???

The school board decided to host some totally lame "fashion show" next fall so everyone will know how to put their clothes on in the morning.  So. Insulting.

Would you go?  Could you imagine your child's teacher telling you what clothing is acceptable for you to wear?