Sunday, May 29, 2005

Tales From The Trenches: Classroom Teachers Speak

Once again, we present our regular Sunday feature, (updated throughout the day; newest posts at top) of entries that we have selected from those sites that are written by classroom teachers. We like to think of this collection as a group of posts that have been written by those who helped make reading possible.

The other day, Darren attended the anti-Schwarzenegger rally sponsored by the California Teachers Association. After reading his post at Right on the Left Coast, be sure to go to the "home page" and then scroll down and have a look at the numerous photos that Darren took of the event.

The upcoming administration of the SAT is on the mind of Erin at Critical Mass. Here is a sample:
The "new SAT," with its essay and grammar sections and its absent analogies section, will be administered for the third time on Saturday, and speculation about what the new format really tests continues. Shortly before the second administration of the test earlier this month, an M.I.T. writing instructor announced that he had discovered a direct correlation between essay length and score; more important than correct grammar, clarity of argument, accuracy of fact, or lucidity of expression, it seemed, was the sheer volume of prose a test-taker could produce during the allotted 25 minutes.
At Hube's Cube, the regrettable decision by Lincoln Middle School (in the Vista Unified School District, near San Diego) to abolish its classes for the gifted and talented is the subject of a post that offers a classroom teacher's viewpoint of this attempt at "leveling" students.

Retired highland soldier and student-teacher Dave T. over at The Carbarfeidh Pages offers his take on recent criticism of British celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the Allied victory over Fascist tyranny. Be sure to check out Dave's personal profile!

At A Series Of Inconsequential Events, they had a classroom Funfest that featured some parents that have been a little too involved. Here is a taste:
Dear Parents,

Though it pleases me to see you take an interest in our school functions, it pains me to explain to you that this little contest at school today was not, in fact, for you. Your children worked very hard to earn the right and the money to participate today. See, you have already attended and graduated from the fourth it's your children's turn.Despite your neighborhood newsletter, this event was not meant to spawn a cutthroat competition among the parents. It was not intended to be a show of who could spend the most money, nor was it a contest for Most Artistic Parent. While we invite you to attend the Funfest, we did not actually mean for you to run the booths yourself so that your child would have more shopping time than your neighbor's child.
One of the unforeseen consequences of The No Child Left Behind Act is that there's lots of money to be made in after school tutoring. In a sign of the times, some of this tutoring has now been outsourced to India. Clarence, over at Remote Access, has some thoughts on the new paradigm.

is taking on the New York Times for its continual bleating about "Teaching to the test." Didn't somebody say that tests were supposed to measure what the kids have learned when taught to the standards?

North Carolina history teacher Betsy N. at Betsy's Page has written a post in support of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. She examines the Act's positive influences on helping to close the achievement gap of minority students.

As the year draws to a close, Mr. McNamar at The Daily Grind is reflecting on the use of blogs in the classroom:
The Blogging Goal--the classroom blog is a place where students react to the literature we read in class. The blog gives them a place to wrestle with theme, plot, characters, and self-to-text connections.
Bronwen, at Suburban Decay, had a humorous incident in her classroom the other day that involved a child telling her teacher the proper way to clean one's fingers after eating cheesy snacks...

Here at The Education Wonks we
humbly submit for your approval our take on the school that is refighting the Civil War using slingshots, water balloons, and super-soaker squirt-guns.

See last week's Tales From The Trenches
right here.
Submissions for The Carnival of Education: Week 17, should be sent to owlshome [at] earthlink [dot] net no later then 10:00 PM (Pacific) Tuesday, May 31st, 2005. The Carnival should open here at The Wonks Wednesday morning.

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