One of my favorite things about education is researching.
I love the thrill of the hunt when I am on the trail of a fabulous new activity or teaching method. Over the years I have discovered many valuable resources. Below are a few of my favorite resources. Get a cup of coffee (in Australian, a cuppa, throwback to my friend Maxine Driscoll), click on a few links and learn a little! I hope you enjoy a few of my favorite things.
Continue reading “A Few of my Favorite Things”
I love to read.
Yep. I have a book problem. It’s my one vice in life. I think I might even need intervention. While I love my Kindle, there’s nothing like the smell of a new book, fresh from the printer.
When I was a ‘tween, my favorite thing to do on a rainy Saturday afternoon was to get a Snicker bar, a pack of Bubblicious Grape Bubble Gum and a Nancy Drew book and lose myself with Nancy, Bess and George for an entire afternoon. While my snacks and literature choices have changed since those early years, one thing remains the same— I LOVE to read—until recently.
Continue reading “Why Student Voice and Choice Matter”
So you get an official letter from the state and it says you child did not pass THE TEST. Your mind reels. How could this happen? Oh, my goodness! Now she will have to repeat 4th grade, she won’t get into college and she will have to live at home forever! Not. True. Please read on to find five things to do if your child did not pass THE TEST.
I mean it. Don’t over react or punish your child. Standardized tests have their use, BUT they are just the floor not the ceiling of education. Standardized tests cover a narrow range of standards and skills. They do not test innovation, creativity, compassion, leadership, perseverance, grit, drive, determination, communication, or entrepreneurialism. If your child did not score well it does not mean they are not smart, talented or gifted. Remember the guy you went to school with who couldn’t seem to cut it in class, what was his name … Steve Jobless or Bill Fence? Yeah.
Face the Facts
You know how the media is always talking about how poorly American students rank in high-stakes international tests such as PISA? Singapore, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan ranked 1-2-3 in math on the PISA in 2009. United States came in at about 18. Dig this: while we scored lower than the previously mentioned countries in math, we blew Singapore, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan out of the water in the category of perceived entrepreneurship capabilities according to GEMS in 2011. Only the UAE scored higher than the United States in entrepreneurship. According to usnews.com the United States ranks 4th in the world in entrepreneurship.What do we want our children to become–successful test-takers or successful people? I’d rather have students who can think outside and inside the box, reverse-engineer and re-purpose, collaborate and communicate than take a great standardized test.
Read this Book:
You have to. It is one of the best books on education I’ve read this year.It will give you a rational view on standardized testing, its purposes, and the dangers. It will open your eyes to outdated teaching practices, the NCLB act and other ineffective educational practices. Read this book and you’ll begin to understand why we must be committed to 21st century learning methods and remember the real purpose and advantages of standardized testing. If you want to learn more about 21st century methods and practices, please go to Maxine Driscoll’s website. Think Strategic. (By the way, Maxine is coming to GCS in August of 2016!)
Get Tutoring if Needed.
Ask your child’s teacher if tutoring is really needed. But don’t go over the top. Make sure your child still has time to play, create, do sports, and just be a child.
Invest in Your Child’s Gifts.
What does your child love to do? Run, dance, take photos, sing, play an instrument, paint, code, blog, write, read, garden, draw, knit, sew, create video games, cartoons, memes? What are his/her strengths? How can you help them hone their gifts? Ask your child to name three things they really would like to learn and see what you can do to make one of them happen.
Your job as a parent is not to help your child become whom Common Core or IAS says they must be, but whom God has created them to be. Do a little homework and talk to your child’s teacher. Encourage your child and help them strengthen their gifts.
How do your feel about standardized tests? Are you for or against? Leave me comment below! I’d love to chat with you!
By Mary Kane
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