So, the MAP test is coming up for Bird. That would be the standardized test the kids in public school take in Missouri to assess performance and compliance with No Child Left Behind. Third grade is the first year a child is evaluated and man have they been doing a lot of practicing. Bird brings home lots and lots of MAP practice tests that they have done in class. This doesn’t bother me because the test covers exactly what they should be learning anyways. But apparently, Bird is picking up on the fact that it is important.
It is important to the school because of No Child Left Behind. It affects the schools funding. It is a big deal.
It is important to Bird because her teacher feels she should be in the “gifted” program (REACH) and the REACH teacher said he will use her MAP scores to evaluate her.
Bird actually has no idea why the MAP test is important to her personally. I certainly don’t want her to feel like she failed if she doesn’t get in to REACH. And I only want her to get into the REACH program if that is where she should be. So, no I haven’t done anything over spring break to prepare. No multiplication tables, no reading comprehension worksheets. Just the normal spring break with perhaps a bit too much boredom.
Except. She knows it is a big deal and the tension has been building. About two to three weeks ago I noticed she had started to sass again. She was picking on Mare more. Doors were slamming, screams were heard, pinching and hitting had resumed.
She is stressed.
And then yesterday we had a tantrum of epic proportions over nothing. Well, there was something – but not really. Sadly, my old coping techniques don’t work anymore. When I tried to hold her down so that she could calm down, I found that she has grown a lot since the last tantrum. She is too big now. And so I negotiated, left her an out, didn’t demand she have complete control before I released her. And she recovered and was in make-up mode for the rest of the afternoon and evening, sweet as pie.
The MAP test starts April 6. I’m counting down the days.