19 October 2008

Testing, Testing 1, 2, 3...

I woke up in a terrible mood this morning...that mood stuck through church, and even grocery shopping. It was a day of frustration at the inconveniences of life in Kitale: no washer/dryer (washing clothes in a basin), no car (walking everywhere), no microwaves or drive-thrus (cooking beans for 3+ hours), my inability to speak Swahili...I had a headache for most of the afternoon...I was just being a baby.

Then, I spent the afternoon testing fifteen fifth, sixth and seventh graders in Math and English...Oasis boys and girls (and two extra friends) met us at The Coffee Shop after church. They were each handed a practice Math test (which were purchased and duplicated at the local bookshop)...once they finished, they traded for an English test. I'm not sure how stoked they were to spend their entire Sunday taking tests, but it will help me to know where help is needed...and it gave me and Daina a chance to read our books--since we weren't taking tests.

I left remembering why I love being here...Those faces and personalities so strongly overshadow the crazy process of making dinner or cleaning clothes...Spending the afternoon with them helped me to kick my bad attitude.

We came home (I de-bugged the beans--Daina started cooking)...and I began grading tests. I noticed a pattern in the questions that students were missing...so I began to look at the questions. After finding a few that were mis-marked in the answer key, I thought I'd better take each test and see what the real answer key should be.

After about two hours of testing (three Math, two English), I found over two dozen incorrect answers on the answer keys. So, I went back to re-grade the tests...

Turns out, the boys are smarter than the national practice exams...
Oh, and I really do love Kitale.

**Tomorrow is a national holiday, so we're spending the day prepping for exams...more photos and stories to come...

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