February 11th, 2007
Lois Christie | Ananda Mahto | Dawn Parrish | Christopher Wood
Standards-Based Curriculum and Instruction
Testing has always been commonplace in schools—and while students have had to take tests for years, the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) was first administered in 1926; high-stakes testing is largely the result of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. The intention of standardized tests is to capture student educational achievement and compare results of different schools in different districts. Parents and politicians are demanding more accountability by increasing the focus on a school’s academic record in addition to a student’s academic performance. These tests are now used to make policy decisions that extend beyond impacting only students; the standardized tests have become high-stakes tests for multiple stakeholders. The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) is an example of a high-stakes test. The purpose of this paper is first to examine whether it is appropriate to use high-stakes test like the FCAT for high-stakes decisions and secondly are there better ways to assess students, teachers, and schools.
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November 30th, 2006
Integrating Educational Technology in the Classroom
The Task: For this group assignment, we were supposed to develop three inter-related lesson plans, preferably multi-disciplinary, which included the integration of computers in some way.
The Inspiration: I made the proposal to my group based on my work at both the Education Enhancement Program (EEP) at Peoples’ Self-Help Housing as well as my work at the King Open Extended-Day (KOED) program in Cambridge. At the EEP, we had done a store-type project with several of the younger students, and they all really enjoyed the whole process. At KOED, I did several cooking projects with the students—pizza being one of them. In the process, I made broccoli converts out of at least six students.
The Lesson Plan Set “Introduction”: Everyone eats. Everyone likes to make money. This instructional plan appeals to these facts by engaging students in nutritional research, exercises in cost and profit, and advertising. Pizza was selected because it is a favorite food of many middle school students and thus has high appeal. The “store” format allows students to engage in learning in mathematics, language arts, nutrition, visual arts, and economics. The overall result is an engaging, student-centered, problem-based series of lessons incorporating several disciplines and integrating several technological applications.
The Lesson Plans: Download this PDF document to view the three lesson plans.
The Other Team Members: Marilee Warner and Christopher Wood.
July 24th, 2006
Foundations of Curriculum and Instruction
I tired to make it nice and colorful to appeal to a 3rd- to 6th-grade age group and included lots more “motion” than I usually include in my web-designs.
This was one of the more interesting activities I’ve done so far in my online classes. Essentially, what we were supposed to do was create a “self-directed” online learning experience and present it in the format commonly known as a “WebQuest.” Overall, a lot more enjoyable than creating a PowerPoint presentation—which we usually have to do to accompany our papers….
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