Archive for the 'Benchmark' Category

How Many Academic Firsts Do You Celebrate?

My wife and I went to see our son, daughter-in-law and our grandson. These parents proudly talked about each first success of the baby- the first time he rolled over, the first time he had cereal, the first time he made something move…

I wonder how proudly we talk with our students about their successes. Do you acknowledge each of the students’ firsts? Do you let your students know on a daily or weekly basis their successes? Do you break your curriculum down so that they can celebrate small successes instead of waiting until the end unit test to be able to show a success? Do you celebrate each success to motivate them in their learning? Do you celebrate each success to show them that they are moving forward? Do you celebrate each success so that when they find a task especially difficult they can look back to their previous successes and know that they can achieve this task? Do you scaffold the curriculum so that they can easily move from success to success or do you have a sink-or-swim approach to student learning? Do your students look forward to the next challenge so that they can show how well they are doing or do they dread the exercise that they know they will fail at?

How do you make your curriculum a success one for students so that they constantly have new learning firsts?

If you are interested in implementing formative assessment in the classroom, my book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students is available through Eye-on-Education.

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Quarterly Benchmarks Programs and the Role of Teachers

Many companies are now selling quarterly or more frequent benchmarking of the students. The companies make it sound like the benchmarking will solve the educational woes of teachers and schools. I agree that benchmarking can provide a valuable summative assessment of the student. Unless the benchmark specifies what the student can do to improve than the benchmark is summative, not formative. The teachers have to spend time going through the data to figure out what each student needs. If a school’s solution is for a computer program to diagnose and then give formative feedback (i.e. have the student do certain activities which the benchmark happens to provide), I wonder what the role of a teacher becomes. Do teachers in such environments simply become managers instead of instructional classroom leaders? Does all their expertize get thrown away since the computer program does it all? Teachers could be working with small groups of students but then the benchmarking program would not have that information to keep track of students’ progress. How do teachers integrate these benchmarks into their class?

Shulman’s Student Accountability as Narrative

Accountability Story One Dimensional or Multi-Dimensional

Shulman offers seven pillars of assessment for accountability (telling the story of each student). Shulman, L. S. (2007). “Counting and Recounting: Assessment and the Quest for AccountabilityChange

1 Become explicit about the story you need to tell and the rationale for choosing it.

2. Do not think that there is a “bottom line.” What does any instrument measure and not measure? Assessment is only meaningful in the larger context.

3. Design multiple measures (array of instruments) to avoid narrowness of scope

4. Work on combining multiple measures. Develop rules for deciding how to display, organize, and aggregate the indicators.

5. Remember that high stakes corrupt.

6. Embed assessment into ongoing instruction. Do low stakes/high yield forms of assessment.

7. Become an active site and collaborative site for research on new forms of assessment, technologies to support such work and better strategies for integration of such approaches with instruction.

He feels that “we need a strategy to combine the local with the national and to meld low-stakes assessment with an accountability approach that will be minimally corrupting.

What is your story of your students’ learning? Is it a one dimensional view of state test scores? Is it a one dimensional view of quizzes and tests? Is it a multidimensional view that includes state tests, your tests, formative assessments and students’ goals? How big of a story can you tell at present about any student? How can you use technology to tell a fuller richer story about each learner?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

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Preparing Students for State Math Benchmarks

Math Resources for Math Test Preparation

Prepared by Harry Tuttle, Jan. 2007

This list is to help those teachers who feel that need to do some last minute preparation for the state Math benchmarks. These sites provide handouts for students, tutorials, online activities, or old state benchmarks.

Math Resource Guide
http://accelerateu.org/resourceguides/Math/Intro.htm

NYS Math Standards
http://nanunet.lhric.org/NYSstandards/NYSMST/NYSmst3.htm

Math 8 Resources
http://mathforum.org/library/levels/8/

Math Online – many online activities organized by category
http://skonline.org/website/mathonline/

EdInfomatics has old math benchmarks
http://www.edinformatics.com/testing/ny.htm

Elementary Test Prep
http://www.studyzone.org/testprep/math4.cfm

Math Magician-Math fact practice for speed
http://oswego.org/ocsd-web/games/mathmagician/maths1.html

Number patterns
http://www.netrover.com/~kingskid/patterns/demo.htm

Room 108 Elementary Math – listing of math activities mostly primary
http://www.netrover.com/%7Ekingskid/Math/math.htm

Aplusmath creates worksheets for your students
http://www.aplusmath.com/Worksheets/index.html

FunBrain has a collection of online games
http://www.funbrain.com/cgi-bin/getskill_s.cgi?A1=selects&A2=math&A4=0&A7=0

NCTM math practice by Pre-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12
http://standards.nctm.org/document/eexamples/index.htm

CoolMath4Kids has many math tutorials with good examples
http://www.coolmath.com/home.htm

CoolMath4Kids also has many math problems organized by topic
http://www.coolmath4kids.com/

NCTM Illuminations has online math activities by grade level
http://illuminations.nctm.org/ActivitySearch.aspx

Educatellc’s Bookmarks has many online sites organized by category- scroll down to find the math
http://www.mybookmarks.com/public/educatellc/exo_folders/

3orhigher.com has many problems organized by grades 1-6.(I think they are more difficult than the grade level given.) The problems are organized by categories.
http://www.3orhigher.com/

KidsZone Dare to Compare let’s you select the subject, grade level, and number of questions. Questions are from TIMSS and CivEd
http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/eyk/index.asp?flash=true

Scholastic’s Max’s Math Adventure has about 20 categories each with an online activity
http://teacher.scholastic.com/max/index.htm

So what other good Math Review sites do you know of?

 

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

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