Friday, October 15, 2010

Time to Think About the TAKS Test?

Is October too early to think about the TAKS tests? That depends on (1) how well you want your child to score and (2) what grade your child is in. When there is a writing test or a science test, then there is more testing and you need more time to prepare. Also, the writing tests are administered earlier because they take longer to grade.

Here is a link for the TAKS test schedule.

The Taks tests have different objectives and some are more difficult than others. Math usually has 6 objectives and 2 of them are more difficult. Objective 2 is "Patterns, Relationships & Algebraic Reasoning." Objective 6 is "Mathematical Processes & Tools." These are the more difficult objectives.

I just opened a Taks prep book for objective 6 and found a really goofy problem. Some of the problems given to the kids on the Math Taks are hardly math problems at all, they are puzzles using numbers.

Remember: large numbers of parents in Plano provide private tutoring for their children on Math. Be careful about relying on classroom instruction only for your child's math education. That holds true for the Taks tests as well!


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Das Rheingold in Plano

I had a choice of viewing Das Rheingold at either the Cinemark in Plano West or the Cinemark on Legacy today. The performance was part of The Met Live in HD series. We are lucky to have two theaters in Plano broadcasting the performance because otherwise patrons would be turned away for lack of seats.

If you can cultivate a love of opera in your children, their lives will be enriched. What worked for my daughter was being exposed to opera music in the house or in the car, just a nice song here and there. Puccini's arias are beautiful. Then in high school or senior high a trip to a good opera can be a great experience.

I loved the staging for this production of Das Rheingold. The set was unusual but brilliant. I found it effective, but impossible to describe. You have to see it to believe it. It allowed the Rhine maidens to swim, Donner to rise into the sky and create lightening with his hammer, and the Norse gods to walk over up the rainbow bridge to Valhalla.

There will be an encore performance Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010 6:30 p.m. local time, so if you missed today's live performance you can still watch a recorded performance later.

When I got home I told my son how much I enjoyed the opera and expressed my hope that he would someday enjoy opera as much as I do. I don't think he is old enough now to sit through 3 straight hours of Wagner.

What we did enjoy today as a family was a UIL band competition at Clark Stadium. If you haven't enjoyed one of these band competitions, I encourage you to go with your family. The competition is all day and all night, but you can go whenever you want. You just have to know the schedule to avoid going during a dinner break. It is a very pleasant experience to watch all the talented high school marching bands. James Bowie H.S. from Arlington played the Polovtsian Dance by Alexander Borodin among a sampling of Russian music.

Plano is a wonderful community with much to offer.