Anyone who has any dealings with the Clovis Municipal Schools will be aware that the next couple of weeks with be consumed with standardized testing. It's that time again, when the New Mexico Standards Based Assessment is administered to measure how well our students are learning. Principals and teachers have been working hard to prepare students so that they'll put forth their best efforts as they test in grades three through eight and, also, grades 10 and 11
Schools use a variety of creative and innovative strategies to engage students during preparation for the tests. Clovis High School went on their "21-Day Diet" that has worked well in the past. During the 21 prior to testing, teachers work with students, "blitzing" those academic areas where students still may be struggling. This is no worksheet solution, but rather deliberate, teacher-created and dynamic, hands-on activities to address weaknesses across content areas. The program has developed momentum, and students have responded well.
Meantime, elective classes at CHS continue, no doubt providing a release from test-associated stress. Keith Ingram's drama classes are in the midst of preparing a play, "All's Well in Rosewell (cq)," a spoof about Roswell and its UFOs. These CHS student actors had me laughing out loud with their amazingly confident and professional performances during recent rehearsals.
The nine-weeks final exam for speech classes previewed students speaking on "The Personal Long-Term Effects of Classroom Success or Failure," eliciting a tear or two through some of the insights revealed and demonstrating remarkable, college-level thinking that many of these students exhibited.
Earlier this year, Ingram's classes created an original play entitled, "Are You Making a Difference?" in which students portrayed six well-known local citizens, whose contributions to the community were highlighted. The individuals portrayed were only revealed at the conclusion of the performance in a surprise ending, at which time they were introduced and invited to interact with the audience, chatting and answering questions.
This unique performance was so well received that there has been talk about repeat performances for next year; rewritten, of course, with a new group of local citizenry highlighted. Discussions have taken place considering a possible venue during an upcoming Clovis Chamber of Commerce event.
From conversations with some of the students in Ingram's classroom, it's evident that the skills students have acquired have served them well; one or two shared that their class had changed their lives, and all agreed that they'd learned self-confidence and how to comport themselves, not only speaking and acting in front of fellow students, but, more practically, in job interviews.
During the stress of testing time, it would seem that a little high school drama is in order, so mark your calendars for the Roswell/UFO play, which will be presented April 3-May 1 at Clovis' historic Lyceum Theatre on downtown Main Street.
Adlin Sinclair noted, "You are the embodiment of the information you choose to accept and act upon. To change your circumstances you need to change your thinking and subsequent actions."
Cindy Kleyn-Kennedy is the instructional technology coordinator for the Clovis Municipal Schools and can be reached at email@example.com