Saturday, April 30, 2011

YouTube - fireworks2final

YouTube - fireworks2final

Our goal was to get the kids excited and upbeat about OAA testing.  Above is the resulting video.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Education Week: Computer Glitch Kicks Ind. Students Off State Test Again

Education Week: Computer Glitch Kicks Ind. Students Off State Test Again

Online high stakes testing doesn't look ready for primetime yet. Really three straight days of computer glitches and every students isn't using the online tests. How will the system respond when everyone hits it?

Perhaps reps. from Amazon or some other company whose websites are designed for high traffic should get involved rather than the testing company.

These tests can handle multiple choice questions....yet Amazon can get me what I order in a matter of days and get the billing right to boot.

Monday, April 11, 2011

From Spencer's Scratchpad

from Spencer's Scratchpad a regular read of mine. Strange as the article was in my RSS feed but no longer on his site.

Mr. Spencer discusses testing week and what is means. He finishes the post with some great questions....questions I've kind of wondered about myself.

But still, I have questions. Unanswered questions. Rhetorical, perhaps. Yes, I have questions:

  • If we say we want differentiated instruction, why does every child take the same test in the same way?
  • If we say we want critical thinkers, why are the tests created at the lowest base knowledge level?
  • If we say we need multiple intelligences, why are the tests only in one modality?
  • If we say it's important that students learn to ask questions, why do they spend the entire time filling out bubbles, answering other people's questions?
  • If we say we need students who can make connections between multiple sources, subjects and topics, why are all the test questions separated by subject?
  • If we say that students need to articulate an answer in their own words, why are the tests based upon recall instead of synthesis of knowledge?
  • If we say we want creativity, why aren't students actually creating anything? Why aren't they developing solutions and actually solving problems?
  • If we say we want students who can collaborate, why do they test in isolation? And why are we creating a system where

Yeah, I have questions. Not just about the test, but about a nation that holds eighth graders accountable for meaningless facts while the Wall Street execs who bankrupt our economy got off with a golden parachute.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

What I learned this week 04/11/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Reeves: "Toxic Grading Practices"

YouTube - Tox:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

TeachPaperless: Twitter: The IV-drip of Professional Development

TeachPaperless: Twitter: The IV-drip of Professional Development: "Twitter: The IV-drip of Professional Development"

I love the title of this blog post.

Twitter is indeed an "IV drip of PD" and if you aren't careful it is a flood!

I actually think of it as a safe river. I take a dip when I want to or can afford the time. The current can be rough and sometimes I have to work hard to stay with it. But when I'm tired I just swim to the bank, get out, and dry off and then carry on.

Tough cat - Lolcats 'n' Funny Pictures of Cats - I Can Has Cheezburger?

Tough cat - Lolcats 'n' Funny Pictures of Cats - I Can Has Cheezburger?

How are schools doing with technology? It depends who you ask « Generation YES Blog

How are schools doing with technology? It depends who you ask « Generation YES Blog

So how well are schools leveraging new technologies....well it depends on who you ask.
74% of HS teachers say "yes, we are"
72% of HS principals say "yes, they are"
62% of parents of HS age children say "yes, they are"

What about the actual audience...the kids themselves?
Only 47% of HS students agreed.

Will Richardson presentation

Love this quote....

CPSI: "“In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”--Eric Hoffer"

Will Richardson

CPSI: "Kids aren't distracted...they're just looking for more interesting stories from us. "

Monday, April 4, 2011 - Teacher Dodgeball - Teacher Dodgeball

Do we really a game like this online?

I'm all for why the confrontation? The media has already beat us up pretty bad, then comes the Republican party and tea party slash and this.

Talk about kicking or hitting us when we're down. Ouch

Friday, April 1, 2011

Visit classrooms early and often, and give new tools to principals - The Boston Globe

Visit classrooms early and often, and give new tools to principals - The Boston Globe

So much is being written about teachers right now and how they are overpaid and there is no way to remove ineffective at best or poor teachers at worst.

There has to be a happy medium. Certainly there are excellent teachers and then there are less than excellent or average teachers and of course as in all professions there ineffective or even poor teachers.

Much of the legislation being passed (or about to be passed) in various states is being done (at least according to the experts) in order to make it easier to remove teachers. Kim Marshall argues in the Boston Globe that our current evaluation system is a big part of the problem.

I like many of his suggestions but wonder if is it within a principal's capabilities to accomplish what Marshall is asking. I see how long the evaluation process is for my own administrator and wonder if she could pull off the number of evaluations Marshall recommends. I certainly agree with Marshall that it would lead to a truer assessment of a teachers capabilities. I also think more assessments will lead to more accurate assessments of teachers and less of a the typical dog and pony show teachers will put on for a scheduled assessment. Advance notice of an evaluation is just silly.

What I learned this week 04/02/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

YouTube - Introducing Gmail Motion

YouTube - Introducing Gmail Motion

Ohio’s Anti-Union Law Is Tougher Than Wisconsin’s -

Ohio’s Anti-Union Law Is Tougher Than Wisconsin’s -

Interesting read....I've wondered why Ohio's SB 5 didn't get as much attention as that of WI. Related to state history and simple timing.

Now were is that petition I need to sign to get this on the ballot?

A Nation of Bubblers

"One thing I never want to see happen is schools that are just teaching the test because then you're not learning about the world, you're not learning about different cultures, you're not learning about science, you're not learning about math. All you're learning about is how to fill out a little bubble on an exam and little tricks that you need to do in order to take a test and that's not going to make education interesting."
Guess who said the above quote.  Well, who is it?

That's was said by our own President....Mr. O'Bama.

Well, I'm glad you are starting to notice what is actually happen in our school Mr. President.

Sadly, I think we are already at the point (have been there for some time now) where much of what we do in the classrooms is geared towards filling in the correct bubbles.  Why is that?  Teachers want to teach and they want to grow their kids....yet, at the same time they know how they are being measured if not evaluated.  They know they are being judged on how well their kids fill out the bubbles.

Mr. President....what gets measured is what gets taught.  Sadly, what is most valued isn't what is being measured and as a result the best we can say is that those same things we value most are not being taught (at least as much as they were before).