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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: standardized tests, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 23 of 23
1. Go Make a Difference

Tonight’s post is just a little reminder. Your story matters. Your teaching matters. Take a minute and remember why you joined the profession in the first place. Do you remember? I do. I… Read More

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2. Talking with Taylor Mali + a Giveaway

On a tough day in the classroom, all of us have turned to Taylor Mali‘s poem “What Teachers Make” for some solace.  Last month Taylor published a book, What Teachers Make: In Praise… Read More

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3. Writing Territories + Test Prompt Writing

One of the causes of anxiety regarding the writing prompt, is the unknown. We don’t know what genre students will be asked to write. We don’t know the topic. Test situations are stressful enough, but when we add in these unknowns, the stress levels skyrocket. Here’s the deal, though. Students can have an idea of [...]

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4. Writing Territories + Test Prompt Writing

One of the causes of anxiety regarding the writing prompt, is the unknown. We don’t know what genre students will be asked to write. We don’t know the topic. Test situations are stressful enough, but when we add in these unknowns, the stress levels skyrocket. Here’s the deal, though. Students can have an idea of [...]

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5. Fusenews: At the sign of the big yellow fuse

  • Ain’t he just the sweetest thing?  Author/illustrator Aaron Zenz recently wrote just the loveliest ode to his four top favorite children’s literary blogs, and then went and created original art for each.  In my case he created this little Fuse guy (or possibly Fuse gal) based on the bright yellow Fuse you see at the beginnings of each of my posts (I put it there in lieu of my face because I can only look at myself so often before going stark raving mad).  This, I should point out, is not the first time a little Fuse person has been created for this blog.  Katherine Tillotson, an artist of outstanding ability (I’m biased but it also happens to be true) created not one but TWO little Fusemen in the past, both for separate birthdays.

I’m a fan.  So thank you Aaron and, once again, thank you Katherine.  Fusemen of the world unite!

  • *sniff sniff*  Smell that?  That’s the distinctive odor of a brouhaha brewing.  Sort of a combination of burnt hair, dead goldfish and patchouli.  And you wonder why I don’t cover YA books.  Sheesh!  One word: drama.  Seems that a YA blog called Story Siren plagiarized the work of others for her own blog posts.  Folks noticed and suddenly the internet was was heaping helpful of flames, burns, accusations, and other forms of tomfoolery.  For a sane and rational recap we turn to our own Liz Burns who gives us the run down in Today’s Blog Blow Up.  Ugly stuff.
  • And while we’re on the subject of YA (which I just said I don’t cover, and yet here we are), I thought we were done with whitewashing, folks.  So what’s up with this?  Harlequin Teen, you got some explaining to do.
  • In other news, book banning: It’s what’s for dinner.  Take a trip with me to The Annville-Cleona School District where a picture book fondly nicknamed by some as Where’s the Penis? is getting some heat.  If you’ve ever seen The Dirty Cowboy by Amy Timberlake, illustrated by Adam Rex, then you know that calling it “pornographic” works only if you are unaware of what the word “pornography” actually means.  I would like to offer a shout-out to librarian Anita Mentzer who has handled the whole situation with class and dignity.  You, madam, are the kind of children’s librarian others should aspire to be.  Well done.  And thanks to Erica Sevetson for the link.
  • We may not yet have an ALA accredited poetry award for a work of children’s literature but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a Poet Laureate or two instead.  Rich Michelson, gallery owner and

    0 Comments on Fusenews: At the sign of the big yellow fuse as of 4/25/2012 10:57:00 PM
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6. Poetry in Motion


Guest post by Mia at Pragmatic Mom

My 4th grade daughter, PickyKidPix, came home furious a few weeks ago. She said that she was the only person in her grade that got poetry for her MCAS open response standardized test. Worse, I had kept her home sick during the one day they practiced poetry open response essays at school.
I'm sure it went fine, but she will be forever scarred associating poetry as something designed to confound her for a multiple choice Common Core Standard test. I had felt the same way about poetry too until just a few years ago. Sharon Creech's Hate That Cat novel in verse had completely blown my mind. I had no idea that 1) novels in verse existed, 2) that novels in verse could tell a  story and 3) that I would actually enjoy it.
I read Love That Dog next also by Sharon Creech (out of sequence, I know) to see if I'd feel the same way about another novel in verse. And, yes, the water was fine!
5 Comments on Poetry in Motion, last added: 4/28/2012
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7. Standardized Writing Prompts

In Indiana, many students will be taking the state writing test next week. So I’ve been thinking about what is most important for our young writers to know prior to taking the standardized test.  I’ve decided it is this: You know everything you need to know to be successful. As with most things when it [...]

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8. Birds : Dodos :: SAT Questions : Analogies


Was anyone else disappointed when the College Board eliminated analogy questions from the SAT? I know it’s been a while, but I’ve been lamenting their demise since their phase-out in the 2005 exams. It’s not the first time a breed of questions was jettisoned. In 1994, the Board stopped asking antonym questions in favor of other question types.

Analogies are powerful tools for arguments. Business author Jonathan Kantor explains, “The use of analogies … allows your target reader to grasp an unknown concept by using something that they already know.” This is powerful advice for advertisers. Someone who is adept at writing and understanding analogies is likely to be an effective communicator, a more informed consumer and citizen, a more critical thinker.


Being a solid thinker includes being able to construct, extend, and effectively use analogies, and it also includes the skill of recognizing flawed analogies. Adam Cohen wrote in a 2005 editorial published in the New York Times, “Obviously, every American should be able to write, and write well. But if forced to choose between a citizenry that can produce a good 25-minute writing sample or spot a bad analogy, we would be better off with a nation of analogists.”

Among the many other standardized tests that one may encounter are the GRE, the LSAT, which asks its takers to find analogous arguments, and the Miller Analogies Test. Some graduate schools, and even the high-IQ society Mensa, accept high Miller Analogies Test scores as evidence of an applicant’s cognitive capacity.


Certainly skills in analogies aren’t obsolete. The College Board decided that testing writing would provide an informative glimpse to college admissions officers of a student’s a

1 Comments on Birds : Dodos :: SAT Questions : Analogies, last added: 4/13/2011
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9. Florida Reading FLASH!

Think the Marlins will make the playoffs this season?


Maybe. But right now your goal is to pass the Florida Reading test.


Amsco’s Florida Reading Grade 6, Florida Reading Grade 7, and Florida Reading Grade 8 will help students review the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for Grades 6–8 English Language Arts. The student books, by authors Dana Henricks (6-8), Amy Himes (8), and Virginia Pake (8), include eight chapters that cover all the benchmarks assessed on the Florida Reading test. There's also a Practice Test modeled on the Florida Reading test right in the book (with more to be found in the Teacher's Guide with Answer Key and Test Bank).


Special Features
  • Benchm

    2 Comments on Florida Reading FLASH!, last added: 4/16/2011
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10. Controversial Question in New York State Algebra 2 and Trigonometry Regents Exam


They say that there is no such thing as a stupid question. New York State mathematics teachers whose students took the Regents Exam in Algebra 2 and Trigonometry last month (June 2011) are likely to disagree. The test contained a controversial question that asked students to find the inverse of a non-invertible function. Here’s the problem in question:
The problem was in the 2-point, or short answer free response, portion of the exam, testing the learning standard that demands students “determine the inverse of a function and use composition to justify the result.” (A2.A.45) The wording of the question strongly implies that the inverse of the function does indeed exist. However, since the function given is not one-to-one, there is no inverse. Teachers got loud, complaining to representatives of the Board of Regents, the group that writes, edits, and distributes the exam. The Board responded with a memo called, “Scoring Clarification for Teachers,” which acknowledged several ways that students could interpret the question and demonstrate their understanding of invertibility of functions.

Was the response satisfactory? The Board's memo cites “variations in the use of [inverse] notation throughout New York State,” which seems to evade blame for a lousy question. A prominent math teacher blogger responded on his blog, “How could the test-makers not be aware of variations in notation? Also, notice how there is an asymmetric justification burden on a kid claiming (correctly) that the inverse does not exist.” A lousy question shakes the faith that teachers and students have in the standardized test as a valid assessment of student understanding. For instance, the same blogger concluded, “I have no confidence in New York State’s ability to create a good test of mathematics, at any level.”

It is my sincere hope that this controversy and the appearance of a misleading question will lead to both (a) more opportunities to explore the meaning of invertible functions and one-to-one functions, demanding students to be more savvy test-takers; and (b) increased scrutiny and more careful construction of New York’s Regents exams. In short, as educators, better instruction and better assessment should be our smart answer to this, or any, stupid question.

1 Comments on Controversial Question in New York State Algebra 2 and Trigonometry Regents Exam, last added: 7/12/2011
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11. How do you know?

Often when I’m working with teachers, I get the question: How do you know? This can be in response to a number of things: minilesson ideas, conference teaching points, share sessions, anchor charts, unit planning, blogging, tweeting. Truthfully, the answer is often I don’t know. I’m just trying things that make sense. I’m trying things that [...]

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12. Remember This…

I’ve been thinking a lot about the upcoming standardized test. I have a whole post percolating about it, but because it’s late and I’m completely worn out — in six schools, with seven different teachers today — it’s just going to have to wait until Saturday. I’m telling you this so I feel a little [...]

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13. “Test Prep”

This post has been marinating in my mind for awhile now. I made myself promise it to you last week to make sure I would actually write it. I need to write it. Then Saturday came…and went in a lazy-busy way that is perfect for Saturdays, but not so perfect for remembering to blog. Which [...]

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14. Releasing Teachers’ Individual Performance Assessments Does Nothing to Strengthen Teaching

Last Friday New York City released the individual performance assessments for 18,000 elementary and middle school teachers in New York City.  While teachers have long known how they’ve been “ranked” based on their students’ test scores, the data was made public last week for the world to see. I’ve spoken at-length with several former colleagues [...]

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15. Welcome SCBWI Midsouth Members!

SCBWI-Midsouth RegionWe’re thrilled to announce that Just One More Book! is currently featured in a generous article in the December 2007 edition of Borderlines — the quarterly electronic newsletter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Midsouth Region.

BorderLines is a free online newsletter providing helpful articles and tips to those interested in the children’s publishing industry.

Thank you to Karen Knox for her very kind words and for introducing friends and colleagues to our show.

Welcome SCBWI members! We hope you’ll return often and we’d love to hear your thoughts on a favourite children’s book. Send your MP3 recorded or type-written review in email to justonemorebook@gmail.com, or phone it in to our listener feedback line (206-350-6487).

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16. thinking things through.

The past week of my professional life has been dedicated to meeting with teachers and reflecting on their writing workshops.  The gist of our meetings involves discussing successes and general good stuff happening in workshop, as well as goals and hopes for next year.  I’m touched by how driven many teachers are in the quest [...]

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17. Students and Standardized Tests

MOteacher’s comment on Ruth’s post last night reminded me of those demoralized kids and the children I used to spend countless hours preparing for City and State Tests. MOteacher wrote: “Once talk of MAP testing (Missouri Assessment Program) started this week, I found myself in a tizzy about my teaching. I hate the self doubt [...]

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18. An International Teen's Take On The SATs

Today's Ypulse Youth Advisory Board post comes from Akanksha Aurora, a teen in India who is currently facing the universal struggle against standardized tests. Akanksha shares some insight towards what makes the process especially frustrating for... Read the rest of this post

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19. Better Written Responses

As some of you know, one of my colleagues and I put the finishing touches on a p.d. we’re doing, later this week, yesterday afternoon.  One of the things we spent some time planning yesterday was a mini unit of study on how to apply the qualities of good writing to test writing on standardized [...]

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20. Testing Demands and Writing Workshop

Literacy Spark asked: Do you have to deal with testing in writing…if not how would you deal with?  I’m trying to teach it as an immersion genre, like everything else but I’m meeting resistance from administration that wants “test prep.” In short, I do deal with testing.  In fact, fourth graders in Rhode Island have to take [...]

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21. What's Wrong With This Picture?

Several things have happened lately that have left me wondering exactly what is happening in education.

I heard of a Superintendent of Schools who, after a grant was awarded to build a new computer lab, did not pay the grant writer for his services. The Superintendent paid himself, saying that while the grant writer had tried, the award was made on a grant submitted by the Superintendent. The Superintendent, shortly thereafter, purchased a new private automobile.

I also heard of a Superintendent who, after the school system was awarded a very large grant for the Elementary School Reading Program, used a part of the funds for sports equipment and when the Elementary Principal tried to purchase books, she was told there was no money.

Another Superintendent of Schools visited a small, rural school and announced there were "too many books in the library" and "get rid of them" was his solution. When he heard that Dr. P. J. Nickels would be visiting the school to present copies of her books to the students, his response was, "Oh great! More books!" My question: "How can there be too many books for children to read and learn from?"

I have heard that another school district is hiding two million dollars they have skimmed off of funds from their state. "It's for a rainy day." Speaking of rainy days, each time it rained, the Elementary Principal, teachers and custodian had to place waste baskets around the school to catch the drips from the leaking roof. (They were applying for an emergency grant to repair the roof.) This same school district would not fire a Superintendent who had numerous sexual harrassment charges brought to the board because, "we would have to buy out his contract."

On the bright side, one Superintendent wanted a new computer and laptop. He pushed the district to allocate funds to upgrade computers for the schools and had his "wish list" included. He called it a "win/win" solution.

What can patrons of a School District do to stop the abuse by Superintendents who are all about themselves and their agendas and not about the children and learning.

The answer, nothing as long as School Boards are more worried about Sports Championships than reading, math and the other core subjects.

The small, rural districts seem to be the ones getting the low ratings the majority of the time. Could the fact that funds in these districts are not being used properly and small district administrators think no one will check up on them be because they are a long distance from the Office of the State Dept. of Education be the reason for this abuse of power? That seems to be the prevailing attitude in many rural district's.

Don't get me wrong, there are many small school districts performing very well and whose students have a high rate of attending institutuions of higher learning, but there are many more who hire Superintendents who are lacking in the abilities it takes to run a district and seem to let them work without any supervision or allow the superintendent to "take over" not only the running of the schools, but the School Board's duties as well.

Take a look at your schools ratings, not if they have a great football or basketball team, but if the students score well on the Standardized tests (don't get me started on that one) and if there are a majority of students going to college and trade schools.

That is, if you can even get the stats. If you can't find the information, attend the school board meetings and watch what happens. Many of the Boards are "rubber stamp boards," where one person makes all the decisions and the "board sitters" agree to whatever is presented.

It is time to become involved, but understand, you are in for a long, uphill battle and many hours, days, weeks and years of dissapointment and frustration.

0 Comments on What's Wrong With This Picture? as of 8/24/2009 2:14:00 PM
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22. Best Practices and Tests CAN Go Together

This week’s guest blog post is written by Lynnelle Snowbarger who is in her tenth year of teaching fifth grade in the Jenks Public Schools.  A frequent participant in the Slice of Life Story Challenge, Lynelle also documents her journey with her students at the Bohemian Teacher Blog. Teachers don’t join the profession because of [...]

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23. An Education Reform Article Worth Reading

Everywhere I turn these days, I seem to be faced with another article about education reform.  From Time Magazine to The New York Times, it seems everyone is covering education a lot more than they used to… or perhaps it’s just that I’m paying more attention than I used to because I’m shocked about the [...]

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