Tuesday, October 9, 2007
To me, this is a mixed bag feeling. On the positive side, I am always up on trying new ways of presenting information to students instead of totalling relaying on the traditional textbooks. There is so much information out there on a specific topic plus the information is always changing, particularly in the sciences. However, on the uncertainty/negative side of this issue, printing out the pdf files from a textbook can be quite expensive. This would cost the student tons of money. For instance, the printing could cost anywhere between $0.05 to $0.20 per page depending on if the page is printed in black and white or in color. Also, it would be a huge paper usage. A high school science textbook usually has about 500-600 pages. So, if the student printed out every page...the total cost for one textbook could range between $25/$100 to 30/120 (depending on if the pages are printed in black & white or in color). After the term or school year is over, what happens to all of the pages used? Thrown in the trash or recycled?
As of right now, there are only four states (Alaska, North Carolina, Indiana, and Virginia) that allow low-income students early access to schools for tutoring. It can do one or two things, either help these students to catch up with their peers or help them on their homework. When these two students go home in the evenings, they rarely get a chance to complete their homework assignments. Tutoring services are provided by private companies approved by the state Department of Education. Tutoring can take place before or after school. Some tutors meet with small groups of students; others work with individual students in their homes. Some providers even offer online tutoring. The online tutoring may be difficult for these students to obtain due to their limited living income.
Can testing between science back after it has been ignored by mathematics and reading? In the past 6 years, elementary and middle schools has considered science to be unimportant in hopes to raise reading and mathematics test scores. This is a shame because reading and mathematics can play a role in sciences. These two subjects do not leave once a student either goes to another class or the teacher switches to another subject in the classroom. When a student makes a calculation during a laboratory assignment, that is mathematics. Also, while a student reads their textbook or directions on an assignment, that is reading.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
This is an interesting idea on how to teach mathematics. Students can e-mail or call people that run "Count on us" for help on mathematics problems. Sometimes it helps the student see on how to solve a math multiple times in order to learn how to solve similar types of problems. The first hour is aimed at elementary school math; the second half is for middle school math. Unfortunately from the article, the level of math is not much higher than 8th grade math, which in unfortunate. I feel that watching someone solve a mathematics problem can benefit high schoolers too. Hopefully in the future, the level of math on this show would extend into high school level.
Reading vs. mathematics standards
schools aim too low
It is amazing that no state has similar standards in terms of the state reading and mathematics exams. Even though NCLB is a national act, the states determine on how they want to run their educational systems. Each states sets its academic standards and designs its tests and scoring methods, including the required number of points to pass a test – called a cut scoreI wish that they can agree on common grounds on what is passing on the state exams. In this way, it might be easier to compare states in terms of how much progress they are making on a yearly basis. Also several reports indicate that reading standards are much lower than the mathematics.
- In reading, Colorado, Wisconsin and Michigan generally had the lowest proficiency standards.
- The highest standards in reading were found in South Carolina, California, Maine and Massachusetts.
- In math, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin were cited as having the lowest proficiency standards.
- The highest math standards were found in South Carolina, Massachusetts, California and New Mexico.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
According to this article, teachers in France have found that they damage their vocal cords due to trying to talk over noisy classrooms. As a result, they are encouraged to use microphones in save their vocal cords. I wonder where I can get a small microphone to use a classroom because I am pretty soft spoken. Sometimes it is difficult to hear me if a student is talking while I am talking. This unfair to everyone.
Most people believe that if you live in a poor school district, the students would not be able to perform well on state reading tests. In most cases, this might be true. However, there are several poor rural school districts in Colorado did the exact opposite. In these 5 school districts, the fourth graders out-scored students in Denver and Colorado Springs. Every teacher and administrator in these poor rural communities helped the students achieve to the best of their ability. This shows that if there is a will, there is a way.
This above article indicated that students are expected to learn tons of information while they are in school. To determine how adults would perform on a sample standardized exam, they asked 6 professionals of various educational backgrounds to take the exam. The majority of them got somewhat frustrated with the sample test. I took it online and it was not terribly bad but it was no walk in the park. Out of the 35 questions, I missed only 7 of them.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
In the past, the weaker students tend to cheat so that they would not get bad grades in their classes. Only a few number cheated in high school. But now, it is accepted as a normal part of school life, and is more likely to be done by the good students, who are fully capable of getting high marks without cheating. It is the students with very good grades that are cheating. The students are under so much pressure to get admitted to the good colleges that they resort to cheating in order to keep their grades up to par. Nationally, 75 percent of all high school students cheat. But the ones who cheat more are the ones who have the most to lose, which is the honors and AP (advanced placement) students. Eighty percent of honors and AP students cheat on a regular basis. Wow!! This is absolutely nuts. Some students claimed that if they get one B average, their application is tossed into the reject pile. So they have to perfect in every way in order to get into the good colleges. As a result, cheating is like their safety net to be successful in life.
Top 5 Ways to Cheat
-- Copying from another student
-- Plagiarizing by downloading information or whole papers from the Internet
-- Cell phone cheating - text-messaging answers to another student, taking a picture of the test and e-mailing it to another student, or downloading information from the Internet
-- Getting test questions, answers or a paper from a student in a previous period or from a previous year
-- Bringing a permitted graphing calculator into the test loaded with answer material previously input into the computer portion of the calculator
Top 5 Ways to Curb Cheating
-- Create an honor code with student input so they're invested in it
-- Seriously punish cheaters according the academic integrity policy
-- Create multiple versions of tests to make purloined answer keys useless
-- Ban electronic devices in testing rooms
-- Develop multiple modes of assessment so the grade is not determined primarily on tests
Saturday, May 12, 2007
High school teachers are working very, very hard at following and teaching their state standards. However college faculty feel it was more important for students to learn a fewer number of fundamental but essential skills. In terms of science, high school teachers consistently rated factual knowledge more important than process and inquiry skills, such as understanding a hypothesis. This is where the high school teacher and college faculty can agree on. College faculty generally ranked evaluating the similarities and differences, or strengths and weaknesses, of scientific viewpoints important. Whereas, high school teachers were more likely to cite understanding the physics principles involved in collisions.
This coming July, the last of the series will be published. There is nothing after this book for Harry Potter fans to look forward to. Harry's effect on many young people – and their love of reading – may be magical enough to last a lifetime. More than half of Harry Potter readers said they hadn't read books for fun before the series, and 65 percent said they have done better in school since reading the books. The study also found that the reading habits of boys – who consistently have lower literacy test scores than girls – changed the most as a result of reading the books.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
AP courses, tough and easily compared across jurisdictions, are often used as a measure of how much a school is challenging its students. The teachers in the class backed their expansion, saying it would allow talented students to take tough courses no matter where in the county they went to school. Some students take advantage of AP classes in order to determine if they are ready for college. I am one of those people. I took AP Biology during my senior year because I wanted a challenge plus I ran out of required science classes that were given at my local high school. I did well in the class even though it was challenging. However, I did not perform very well on the annual AP exam so I did not get any course credit for biology. But, I felt that I knew what I should expect from a college class in biology. The very first midterm, I received a low B, which in my mind is a job well done.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
When I was in high school, I took one of the AP exams and it was tough. I felt that I was not ready to take the rigorous AP Biology exam. I did not think that anyone in the class was fully prepared to meet the demands of the test. Even though I took the course, that does not mean that I automatically get college credit unless I got a certain score on the test.
As admissions into higher education becomes more competitive, AP courses may offer information that the student might be ready for college. But this is not always the case. I think that AP courses need to meet standards that are relatively similar to a college level course.
Friday, March 23, 2007
These are the end-of-course exams that students would need to pass in order to get a high school diploma in Texas.
•English: English I, English II, English III
•Math: algebra I, geometry, algebra II
•Science: biology, chemistry, physics
•Social Studies: world geography, world history, U.S. history
By looking at this listing of test areas, not many students would be able to take the physics test unless there are differential levels of physics in a high school. Also, not every student learns at the same level or pace. So, this means that each of these tests would have to be at different levels. Or, will there be only one test given to each student?