Tag Archives: CaHSEE

Exit stage right

The whole state of California was in test mode yesterday and today with the major stakes Exit Exam, also known as CaHSEE (California High School Exit Exam).  The majority of the test takers were the sophomores, class of 2011; however, any junior or senior who has not passed must take it again.  And again, and again, and again…because this test must be passed to receive a high school diploma from a public high school in California.

I may have been the only teacher on our campus who was happy these past two days.  I did not test this year (usually I have sophomores and so proctor the test for my students), but rather spent the 4 1/2 hour period each day with my marketing 3 seniors.  We freeze the school in period 3 and those not taking the test spend the time in that classroom.  I used the days for a guest speaker and business plan presentation preparation.  

Most teachers see it as a waste of time and many kids get bored and want to go to other classrooms.  I have a few kids who spend some time in my room who aren’t my period 3 student, but they have to have a project on which to work.  They cannot hang out, or so I thought until today when I let a girl come in during the second two hours and she ended up being a goof-off.  I finally sent her back to wherever she came from.  The time is too valuable to waste, or so I believe.  I’m not in the majority on the campus.

It was a very good week

Two of my students who had made a video for the intellectual property unit won third place for video production at our county career skills challenge.  I had a tough time convincing them to attend this as they seemed to think it was some sort of punishment.  You would have thought I had asked them to stick their hands in saw blades instead of walk two blocks to the community college and compete.  “Why do we have to do that?”  “Do we have to go?”  Then, when they returned with medals, they acted like it had been their idea all along.  

My last two seniors who had not passed the exit exam (CaHSEE) learned this week that they finally passed.  Both had difficulty passing the math portion having passed the language portion on the first try.  Math took six tries to get it, but get it they did.  Almost all of my students pass the English portion on the first try.  Math is just harder for them.

The yearbook class enjoyed Chinese food for lunch on Wednesday as a reward for making the final deadline.  They are now working on their own layouts that I hope to enter into a contest sponsored by my yearbook publisher.  I’m seeing some very good work.  

It did not rain on our fieldtrip to Sacramento, and the kids all had a good time.  Although today was what they officially called “senior ditch day,” most of my seniors were at school, in class, doing as they were supposed to be doing.  The parents were called for the few who decided to ditch, and most were very surprised to learn their kid was NOT IN SCHOOL.   Wonder how their weekend will be?

More intellectual property lessons

Today’s lesson with my sophomores involved an article I had downloaded from Microsoft. It discussed a survey of teenagers and their opinions of what is legal and illegal in the matter of music and video downloads.

The students are required to enter all articles which I give them into a bibliography log in the back of their journals. This gives them practice for writing bibliographies but it also gives them knowledge of an area that is on the exit exam (CaHSEE). Today’s entry was from a website so it gave them practice working with a different type of reference material. They recently finished a project that required internet research and some of the students have trouble with those references in the bibliography. After the bibliographical entry, the students discussed the article and they were quite pleased to realize that the curriculum we’ve been using was mentioned.

The article talked about a website developed by Microsoft where students could go and engineer music which could then be registered and downloaded as ringtones. The kids were really excited to do this so we logged on, registered, and they got busy designing their own ringtone. They could also listen to pieces done by others and either download or purchase depending on the rights assigned by the originator. Some of the kids were aghast that another student would think his music worth selling, or that the student could even restrict the use of the piece. It generated more discussion about intellectual property and the use of it. Since today was the day after Valentines, and the day before a 3-day weekend, I figured it was time for a little fun. The kids enjoyed a day where they weren’t expected to do very much.