Thursday, May 23, 2013

Formative Assessment

Creating classrooms that focus on achievement requires teachers of all levels to use formative assessment. A child does not know if she is learning, improving, or failing to understand the content unless there is feedback. Formative assessment provides that feedback to both the child and the teacher. Used correctly, the teacher will take the formative assessment results and modify instruction to address the needs of the child. Too often though the teacher emphasizes only summative assessment. There is no chance for instructional feedback that will allow the child to make adjustments only final commentary. In this video clip, Rick Wormeli, an amazing teacher from Virginia as well as the writer of the book, Fair Isn't Always Equal, discusses the need for formative assessment.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Getting our kids reading at the levels that challenge them: Using Lexiles.


What is a Lexile® Measure?

(Click on the word Lexile in the title to go to the lexile website)

"A Lexile measure is a valuable piece of information about either an individual's reading ability or the difficulty of a text, like a book or magazine article. The Lexile measure is shown as a number with an "L" after it — 880L is 880 Lexile.
A student gets his or her Lexile reader measure from a reading test or program. For example, if a student receives an 880L on her end-of-grade reading test, she is an 880 Lexile reader. Higher Lexile measures represent a higher level of reading ability. A Lexile reader measure can range from below 200L for beginning readers to above 1600L for advanced readers. Readers who score at or below 0L receive a BR for Beginning Reader.
A book, article or piece of text gets a Lexile text measure when it's analyzed by MetaMetrics. For example, the first "Harry Potter" book measures 880L, so it's called an 880 Lexile book. A Lexile text measure is based on two strong predictors of how difficult a text is to comprehend: word frequency and sentence length. Many other factors affect the relationship between a reader and a book, including its content, the age and interests of the reader, and the design of the actual book. The Lexile text measure is a good starting point in the book-selection process, with these other factors then being considered. Lexile text measures are rounded to the nearest 10L. Text measures at or below 0L are reported as BR for Beginning Reader.
The idea behind The Lexile Framework for Reading is simple: if we know how well a student can read and how hard a specific book is to comprehend, we can predict how well that student will likely understand the book.
When used together, Lexile measures help a reader find books and articles at an appropriate level of difficulty (visit Find a Book ), and determine how well that reader will likely comprehend a text. You also can use Lexile measures to monitor a reader's growth in reading ability over time."

This explanation was taken directly from the Lexile webpage. I hope that you will take time to explore it if you have not done so already. Georgia has an initiative that schools should help reinforce that encourages parents and schools to use the lexile framework to make appropriate reading recommendations for students for the summer time. Take a look at this link.


Spend some time looking at the Lexile framework. As an educator it can assist you in helping to push students to excel. The framework is user friendly for parents as well. Your children (students) will benefit as they begin to read more challenging material. Their successes will increase as their vocabulary development will surge. happy reading!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The ACT:


If you are at the middle and high school levels, have you ever visited the website for the ACT?
Go to www.act.org
Click on the link titled The New Act: Beyond Tests.
Watch the video and then explore.
Then go to the solutions tab...find the link for College and Career Readiness on that page look in the box at the right hand side and you will find See ACTs College Readiness Standards and See ACTs College Readiness Benchmarks
Take time to explore these.

The ACT (another day I will talk about the SAT...performance on these tests helps your school with the CCRPI in Georgia) has created an awesome website for educators to help their students prepare for college and careers. When you look at the benchmarks page, think about the performance level that they are suggesting for a student. What the ACT people have discovered is that students will often get the composite score that is required to gain entrance to a college but find that they are struggling in their chosen major. Why? Glad that you asked...because they did not look at the analysis of the scores. An accounting major who is weak in math may want to look at what is needed to boost her math understanding or consider changing majors. The standards and benchmarks can help adults advise their students.
Spend some time in this area.

Soon I will visit the Career Readiness area...but don't wait for me...Go ahead and explore...
http://www.act.org/solutions/career-success/

Developing an understanding of the ACT website can help you help your students and help your schools.

Have fun learning!


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Do you know how to spell RESA?

What is RESA?
RESA is an acronym for Regional Educational Service Agency. RESAs (formally CESAs) have been in existence since 1966. There are 16 RESAs serving 180 school systems across the state of Georgia.

Purpose of RESA
The goal of each RESA is to help local school systems meet their education needs through the sharing of services across school system lines. Numerous educational services can be offered more effectively and efficiently by pooling resources. All RESAs are required to provide services in the seven areas of:

1) Research and Planning; 2) Staff Development; (3) Curriculum and Instruction; (4) Assessment and Evaluation; (5) Technology; (6) Health; (7) School Improvement

The Heart of Georgia RESA serves ten counties: Bleckley, Dodge, Pulaski, Wilcox, Telfair, Wheeler, Montgomery, Treutlen, Dublin City, and Laurens.

Our website is www.hgresa.org

This blog will contain my thoughts about services we offer, current trends in education, instructional strategies and tasks that public schools are required to pursue.

Hope that you will join me.