Another day of Tutoring

Well, yesterday was another day of staying after school to offer extra help. Six kids stayed this time, two of them were boys from the first day, and four new ones. Three boys and three girls. They self-separated by gender, the boys on one side of the room and the girls on the other. The boys were quite serious about working, and Alfredo and Juan finished the work they had begun last week. Today when I had to give an (ahem) alternate assignment because class behavior was preventing me from teaching anything at all, Alfredo asked if he could get his folder and continue with the work he was working on yesterday. This could turn into something!

The girls didn’t accomplish much at all yesterday. They got their folders out and rummaged around in them, but it seemed like they mostly talked. Suddenly an hour had passed and it was time to go.

Here is some data about these boys (Remember this is part of an inquiry project):
Alfredo’s state (CST) score in English is 257. In order to be redesignated out of ELD he needs a minimum of 324 on this test.His CELDT (California ELD test) is Early Intermediate in Reading and Writing, Intermediate in Listening and Early Advanced in Speaking. He seems to get things pretty quickly, but executes the work in a very minimalistic way. His handwriting is huge and sloppy, less readable than that of most first graders. He is very serious, seldom joking around, and doesn’t talk a lot in class. I’m hoping he is actually going to start making an effort, at the level which is possible for him at this time. I’m wondering if he smokes pot or if he just brought it to sell and doesn’t actually smoke it. He doesn’t seem stoned, nor have I ever smelled it on him, so maybe he doesn’t. Seems unlikely, doesn’t it?

Juan’s CST score in English is 241, even lower than Alfredo. His CELDT scores are a little higher. His reading score is like that of Alfredo, but his Writing is Intermediate and his Listening and Speaking are Early Advanced. He too is very serious in class, seldom even cracking a smile. He has relaxed a little, finally, and has even asked to sit with a friend on occasion. His handwriting is smaller than that of Alfredo, but he writes quickly and not very legibly.

These two boys have been extremely focused in our after school sessions, so I wonder if their low level of performance is simply a reflection of their low test scores. I know, their low test scores are also a reflection of their low level of achievement. (Achievement may not be the word I want, but I don’t want to say their capability is not there. That sounds like such a dead end.) I am so mixed about using test scores to evaluate kids. I think it’s just a moment in time, and all that, but. BUT…using those scores in class placement and lesson planning seems to be pretty effective. It’s a quandry. Or is it a conundrum? Both I guess. More to come. I’m tutoring again on Thursday. We’ll see who shows up.


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