Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Blinded By Ben, Tom, and Carrots

Even though it’s summer break, I’ve been working at our school district office on various summer curriculum projects a few days each of those weeks. 

This week’s work was scoring writing prompts for the district.  Each year, every grade level takes an end-of-the-year writing test.  Most of these assessments are scored by the grade level teams at each school site, but a couple of the grade levels are chosen to turn in their tests to the district for district-wide scoring.  Since I am on the writing committee, I have spent the last two days scoring 2nd and 5th grade writing. 

I have also spent the last two days losing my eyesight.  We read SO many papers.  On the first day, 2nd grade’s summary of narrative writing was scored.  The story that was summarized was The Giant Carrot.  The word “carrot” has probably never been read so many times as it was that day.  I dreamt about carrots that night.  The only perk to that day was since I teach 2nd grade I was very familiar with the story and the requirements so was able to score each paper fairly quickly.

That was not the case on the next day.  We scored 5th grade’s persuasive essays about Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.  Students were asked to write a letter to the US Postal Service explaining why they thought BF or TJ deserved to be on a new postage stamp.  These essays were not only longer than 2nd grade’s they were also written in cursive.  stuff 027These pages and pages of cursive writing started to play tricks on my eyes after just a couple of hours.  The only thing that got me through the afternoon was some of the non-factual reasons the students came up with like…
”I know you may think that it wouldn’t be good to have a hairless 81 year old on a stamp…”
”Just imagine what other things he (Franklin) will invent given the chance.”
At least those were good for a few laughs, in a depressing kind of way.  By the end of the day, I didn’t want either of them to be on the stamp!  If I never read about Franklin, Jefferson, or carrots ever again it will be too soon!

This task was my last of the summer until August 5.  Thank goodness as I may need to recover my eyesight over the next couple of weeks.


  1. Yeah, I hear the Benjamin Franklin is as cool as that Dyson Vacuum Cleaner guy. Those two should get together.
    Your Friend, m.
    p.s. Maybe you can use Rigby as a Seeing Eye Dog? m.

  2. Oh my goodness Pumpkin : )
    I can't imagine reading cursive over and over again.

  3. I agree with Kaishon. It would really be a challenge to read 5th grade handwriting. It would be lots of flourishes or very sloppy. Handwriting is a lost art.

  4. Haha, that hand is 95% better than mine and I've a joint honours degree in Arts.

  5. I'm so happy I've taken the summer completely off work. Even though I should be working, because, as I know you understanding, I'm spending money like I have it.

  6. I hear carrots are good for your eye sight.

  7. Heh. Heh. How'd my class do?? ;)