The Lab Rat, Guinea Pig, and the Student

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What do all the above have in common? Innocent victims or willing participants, right? As we enter the high-stakes testing season, be mindful of our youngsters that must undergo these assessments that determine if learning took place for the whole year or semester.

As I blogged before, teaching methods have changed over the decades, but standardized testing has not. Call these tests a necessary evil if you wish. In order to hold teachers accountable these tests are needed to generate data. As you know data is very valuable and has its own language. Data is used for research to improve education.

Continuing to embrace these days of testing anxiety that we all have experienced in the past, we can feel empathetic for all of our furry adolescent testing subjects.

Cannot make a race horse out of a mule

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A few years ago after sitting in a staff meeting, all teachers were charged with the expectation for pushing all students to excel in their high stakes exam called the End-of-Grade assessment. I happened to overhear a veteran teacher proclaim what was instructed in the above title of this blog post. IMHO, that statement reflects a great sense of negativity, therefore I feel that this is an unfair statement to say about any student that is capable of demonstrating academic excellence.

May is upon us now, and all teachers are in test preparation mode. Teachers have to break out of the habit of teaching to the test which they have been accustomed to over the NCLB years. Race horses are built for endurance and trained all their lives to be number one. So do you think there is any truth to this veteran’s statement? Please share your thoughts.

Writing Ideas: Super Heros!

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Yes… I am a math teacher. However, students must be able to communicate when using numbers. Since reading and writing are important elements of communication, I should give students the opportunity to use these skills in my classroom; especially now high stake assessments in math are less computation and more application and performance-based.

So, I will always talk about writing and reading in addition to math activites on my blog. I ran into this really cool website that maybe more geared to middle schoolers.ty-tyn

With this website, I would use it to challenge my students to create a NEW super hero and write a story, word problem, or narrative chain involving their creation!

If you have any ideas on how to use this website in the classroom, please let me know!