Friday, August 27, 2004

Caldecott Award

Caldecott Award. I always like good pictures books. As such, I have always been a big supporter of the ALA Caldecott Award. This essay has a list of past winners with lesson plan ideas.

From the site:

The Caldecott Award:

This is awarded by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association. It is given to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. The award has been given annually since 1938. A list of past award winners is included at the end of this essay.

There are many ways that these books can be used in serving children in libraries and schools. Here are a few ideas:

1. Hold a Caldecott Award party. Have the children read winning books by themselves and with each other. Have the teacher or librarian read a favorite winner or two. Decorate the library or classroom to fit a theme. Imagine a "Where the Wild Things Are" theme!

2. Have a Caldecott Award alcove in your library or classroom. Have all the past winning books on the shelve. Explain to students, parents, and patrons why these books are important. Encourage that they be checked out and read.

3. Assign each student in a class or reading group one of the Caldecott Award books. Make sure each child has a different book. Have them report back to the class or group about the book the student read at a latter date.

4. Have a costume day based on one of the Caldecott Award books. Again, "Where the Wild Things Are" would be great for this theme. However, other books that have won the award would work good as well.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Mrs. Burn's Classroom

Mrs. Burn's Classroom. Elementary resources for first and second grade such as hundreds day, Dr. Seuss, and trips to the Teddy Bear Factory. Also includes personal information about her classroom. Arroyo Mocho Elementary School, Livermore, California.

From the site:

Hello and welcome to Mrs. Burns' Classroom.It's a whole new year,with a whole new First Gradeat a whole new school.WHEW! Be sure to bookmark us so you can comeback and join me and our "Curious Cubs"as we Leap Into Learning!

Monday, August 23, 2004

Standardized testing

Standardized testing. If you are like most teachers, you are probably tired of standarized testing. They don't really tell a lot except how ell a particular teacher and school are at teaching the test. Here is an article on the basic concept from Wikinfo.

From the site:

Standardized testing refers to any test that is used across a variety of schools or other situations. Designers of such tests must specify a discrete correct answer for every question. This type of test includes both achievement (which measures knowledge already known) and aptitude (which attempts to predict future performance or potental) tests given to grade-school students, the English GCSEs, and the American SATs.

Standardized tests generally include at least some multiple-choice and true-false questions. These can be graded by computer, or by humans who do not understand the material in depth, as long as they have a list of the correct answers. One potential defect in such tests is that the test-taker can accidentally skip a line and then be marked wrong on material to which he or she knew the correct answer.

Standardized tests often include written portions as well; these are graded by humans who have use rubrics or guidelines as to what a good essay on the subject will be.

Some believe that standardized tests make it possible to compare the achievements of students from different schools, eliminating bias from grade inflation and the influence of schools' reputations on university admissions officers. Others contend that standardized tests reinforce bias in education because students whose families have access to enrichment opportunities do better on such tests than students from other parts of a society. Such tests, as objective as they try to be, are tools of culture and are rooted in whatever cultural or philosophical understanding gave them rise.