FEATURES FOR TEACHERS
Features For New Teachers
Volume 4, Issue 13
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AFIís recent tribute to movies in the form of developing a list of
the top 100 quotes from movies got me thinking.
How many of us have lists of books for studentsí summer
reading? How many of us ask
that they write book reports on what they have read?
No matter what form these reports take in terms of length or
comprehensiveness, can we agree that these reports often end up being
less about how much fun the book was to read than they are about
answering a list of forgettable questions about the book?
So, hereís my idea. When
your students return to school this August, instead of that book report,
ask them to find a phrase or sentence from the book that encapsulates
the theme of the book or a memorable character from the book.
The student has to use critical thinking in order to select just
the right phrase or sentence. I
think a great way to showcase this effort is to create a poster for the
book that contains the selection; along with the title and author, the
student could include a graphic of some kind.
Once the poster is complete, it can be hung in the media center,
in the school hallway, or your own classroom.
What a great way to advertise a book!
To get you started, can you guess the book from which these quotes were taken:
For more information on the American Film Institute, quick click the
Text messaging has become one of the most popular ways for students to communicate. It has a language of its own such as r for our and u for you. This form of communication happens anywhere they want through cell phones or computers. It can happen anywhere and at any time.
We need to decide how to handle it. Should we control it or make
adjustments in our classes to integrate it into what we do? We live in
the midst of a changing world, probably similar to what people felt like
when the industrial revolution came along. This change takes a number of
years as everyone adjusts. If we are going to prepare the students for
their world we need to make some changes in our present world.
We need to decide how to handle it. Should we control it or make adjustments in our classes to integrate it into what we do? We live in the midst of a changing world, probably similar to what people felt like when the industrial revolution came along. This change takes a number of years as everyone adjusts. If we are going to prepare the students for their world we need to make some changes in our present world.
We grew up with communication being letter writing and phone calls.
Today we have e-mail, cell phones, text messaging, blogging, podcasting,
video podcasting, video conferencing, and who knows what else around the
We grew up with communication being letter writing and phone calls. Today we have e-mail, cell phones, text messaging, blogging, podcasting, video podcasting, video conferencing, and who knows what else around the corner.
In the past, to become an author, you had to get a book or article
published by a publisher. Today, anyone can publish on the internet. To
make movies you had to be a professional. Now anyone can make a movie
with easy to use software and upload it to the web.
In the past, to become an author, you had to get a book or article published by a publisher. Today, anyone can publish on the internet. To make movies you had to be a professional. Now anyone can make a movie with easy to use software and upload it to the web.
So what does this mean to us as educators? Can we continue to do things
the same old way, or is it time that education took a leading role in
preparing students for their future? It might take a learning curve on
our part, but if students are suppose to learn to be life long learners,
we should become their role models.
So what does this mean to us as educators? Can we continue to do things the same old way, or is it time that education took a leading role in preparing students for their future? It might take a learning curve on our part, but if students are suppose to learn to be life long learners, we should become their role models.
In practice, standardized tests can be composed of multiple-choice and true-false questions. Such items can be tested inexpensively and quickly by scoring special answer sheets by computer or via computer-adaptive testing. Some tests also have short-answer or essay writing components that are assigned a score by independent evaluators. These can be graded by evaluators who use rubrics (rules or guidelines) and anchor papers (examples of papers for each possible score) to determine the grade to be given to a response. A number of assessments, however, are not scored by people. For example, the Graduate Record Exam is a computer-adaptive assessment that requires no scoring by people (except for the writing portion)
There are two types of standardized tests: norm-referenced tests and criterion-referenced tests, resulting in a norm-referenced score or a criterion-referenced score, respectively. Norm-referenced scores compare test-takers to a sample of peers. Criterion-referenced scores compare test-takers to a criterion, and may also be described as standards-based assessment as they are aligned with the standards-based education reform movement. Norm-referenced tests are associated with traditional education, which measures success by rank ordering students, while standards-based assessments are based on the egalitarian belief that all students can succeed if they are assessed against high standards which are required of all students regardless of ability or economic background.
There can be problems with human scoring. For example, the Seattle Times reported that for Washington State's WASL, temporary employees were paid $10 an hour. They spent as little as 20 seconds on each math problem, 2 and 1/2 minutes on an essay on items which may determine if a student graduates from high school, which some believe is a matter of concern given the high stakes nature of such tests. Pearson scores many other state tests similarly. Agreement between scorers can vary between 60 to 85 percent depending on the test and the scoring session. Sometimes states pay to have two or more scorers read each paper to improve reliability, though this does not eliminate test responses getting different scores.
The considerations of validity and reliability typically are viewed as essential elements for determining the quality of any standardized test. However, professional and practitioner associations frequently have placed these concerns within broader contexts when developing standards and making overall judgments about the quality of any standardized test as a whole within a given context.
In the field of psychometrics, the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing place standards about validity and reliability, along with errors of measurement and related considerations under the general topic of test construction, evaluation and documentation. The second major topic covers standards related to fairness in testing, including fairness in testing and test use, the rights and responsibilities of test takers, testing individuals of diverse linguistic backgrounds, and testing individuals with disabilities. The third and final major topic covers standards related to testing applications, including the responsibilities of test users, psychological testing and assessment, educational testing and assessment, testing in employment and credentialing, plus testing in program evaluation and public policy.
In the field of evaluation, and in particular educational evaluation, the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation has published three sets of standards for evaluations. The Personnel Evaluation Standards was published in 1988, The Program Evaluation Standards (2nd edition) was published in 1994, and The Student Evaluation Standards was published in 2003.
Each publication presents and elaborates a set of standards for use in a variety of educational settings. The standards provide guidelines for designing, implementing, assessing and improving the identified form of evaluation. Each of the standards has been placed in one of four fundamental categories to promote educational evaluations that are proper, useful, feasible, and accurate. In these sets of standards, validity and reliability considerations are covered under the accuracy topic. For example, the student accuracy standards help ensure that student evaluations will provide sound, accurate, and credible information about student learning and performance.
One of the main advantages of standardized testing is that it is able to provide assessments that are psychometrically valid and reliable, as well as results which are generalized and replicable.
Another advantage is aggregation. A well designed standardized test provides an assessment of an individual's mastery of a domain of knowledge or skill which at some level of aggregation will provide useful information. That is, while individual assessments may not be accurate enough for practical purposes, the mean scores of classes, schools, branches of a company, or other groups may well provide useful information because of the reduction of error accomplished by increasing the sample size.
While standardized tests are often criticized as unfair, the psychometric standards applied in the development of standardized tests would produce fairer testing if applied in other types of testing. In particular, the effectiveness of each test item in accomplishing the goal of the test would have to be demonstrated.
We like to have the students create a Grammar Handbook where they can
write in the various rules we discuss during the year. Never assume your
students know and understand the rules you'll cover during the year. We
do review the various parts of speech, though we won't spend much time
on those. Through the course of the year, students will continually add
rules and examples to their handbooks. Some of these are from notes I
provide students, and others are from the discussions we have in class.
I also allow the students to use these Grammar Handbooks on quizzes and
tests, and they are always available when students write in class.
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Preparing for Student Teaching
Technology & Teaching: Seamless Integration into Curriculum
Getting Ready for Next Year
Setting Up Your Classroom
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