By Diana Knudson Feb-March, 2014
I am on the road too much. I just asked Brianna if I had written a February “Golden Apple” and to our surprise, I had not. So, this is a wish for a great testing window with your students as we are closing in on March. Remember, this year is a field test for the Smarter Balanced test. That means students will not be scored, but what they will be doing is helping the test company find the validity and reliability of the questions and any bias that may show up. Encourage your students to do their best, but let’s try to keep the stress level low. The test this year will not be adaptive. That means that if the questions are too hard, the test will not get easier and if the questions are too easy, the test will not get harder. Next year, though, the test will have the adaptive feature, which will be a great feature for our students. We will be able, over the years, to really see the growth of our students.
Time for a contest! Send you name to Brianna (firstname.lastname@example.org) and one of you faithful followers will win a $100 gift card to
WalMart. The drawing will be March 28.
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Upcoming Committee Meetings & Events...
Spring Leadership Conference*NEW
I would love to see every teacher go into
SmarterBalanced.org, the consortium designing our new state test. That
sight has practice tests for the new Montana Common Core Standards’ test. Math
and English Language Arts tests and performance tests are given for every grade
level 3-8 and 11. Every high school teacher should take the English
Language Arts tests to really see what will be expected of our students for
reading and writing at grade 11. Now is the time to begin the learning
curve to understand how to teach complex reading strategies and how to teach
writing strategies so students can succeed on these tests. Elementary and
middle school teachers can each take tests for their grade level and then work
together with other grade levels to build continuity with what happens from one
year to the next.
Smarter Balanced Practice Test
Smarter Balanced Practice Test
COMMON CORE RESOURCES LIST
COMMON CORE RESOURCES LIST
Solve for Tomorrow Contest (Deadline:
April 16, 2014 - Samsung)
Up to $140,000 technology grants for teachers (grades 6-12) who describe how STEM can help improve the environment in their communities.
Free Cyberbullying Toolkit for Educators (Deadline:
Ongoing - National Cyber Security Association and CyberSmart!)
Free materials for K-12 schools to build a sustained cyberbullying prevention campaign.
Everything We Make Sweepstakes (Deadline:
Ongoing - GoPro)
Individuals age 13+ may win 1 GoPro HERO3 Black Edition camera plus 1 of every HERO3 Black Edition compatible accessory that GoPro makes.
eduClipper Free App (Ongoing
A free iPad app for teachers and students to build personalized learning portfolios
Have you struggled with a student who openly defied your authority, became aggressive if confronted or was a threat to other students? Do you feel that you have been seeing more of these students recently? Much of what you may have previously thought about oppositional students may not be completely accurate. For example, rewards and punishments typically don't work. Nancy Hall's Educating Oppositional and Defiant Children combines research with teacher-tested tips for working with these students. (ASCD Books)
Check lists of standards that you can print off and sign and date for when each student mastered the standards...
Wonderful website for teachers.... Choose the 'iPads in the classroom' on the left
Teaching Channel is a video showcase—on the Internet and TV—of inspiring and
effective teaching practices in America's schools. They have a rapidly growing
community of registered members who trade ideas and share inspiration from each
Teaching Channel is a video showcase—on the Internet and TV—of inspiring and effective teaching practices in America's schools. They have a rapidly growing community of registered members who trade ideas and share inspiration from each other. www.teachingchannel.org
Do all your students look forward to each grammar lesson? We didn't think so. With NoRedInk, your students will get differentiated instruction based both on their skills and their interests. (So Miguel Cabrera and One Direction may show up in questions.) If students get stuck, they'll see tutorials to help. You can get charts showing your students' strengths and weaknesses. You can also view their quizzes and homework. The site offers free content for everyone. (www.noredink.com)
Learning about simple machines is a way to introduce students to basic physics. Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry has created Simple Machines, a game to help students learn about of levels, pulleys, planes, axles and wheels. A robot named Twitch roams the museum collecting the parts needed to create a simple machine. But that involves climbing over things (inclined planes), lifting (pulleys and levers) and moving heavy objects (wheels and axels). (www.msichicago.org/play/simplemachines/)
Text messages to parents can be efficient--and more reliable than crumpled messages at the bottom of a backpack! But you may not want parents to have your cell phone number. ClassPager provides you with a free way to contact up to 25 parents. When you register on the site, you will receive an enrollment code. Share it with parents, who then send a text message to opt in. Every text message will go to those who have joined your group. (www.classpager.com)
The Library of Congress should be your go-to site for primary sources. From photographs and films to maps and books, you are sure to find material for your students. The Library has also developed a series of resource guides to help students understand how to use each of these documents. The guides suggest questions to ask students about documents, sound recordings, political cartoons, images and more. All are available online or as PDFs. (www.loc.gov/teachers/usingprimarysources/guides.html)
There is no question that today's kids aren't active enough. Rates of childhood obesity are skyrocketing. That's why the National Football League launched NFL Play 60. It encourages young fans to be active for at least 60 minutes a day. The Play 60 website has a collection of ideas for how teachers and schools can be part of the effort to get kids moving. The site also includes fun activities targeted especially at children. (www.nfl.com/play60)
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