Sunday, January 07, 2007

Sunday Funnies

ELA season officially opens next week and kids all over NYS will be reminded to eat a good breakfast, go to sleep early and have the required No. 2 pencils sharpened and ready to go. In our region - erasers have become optional as students need only cross out the incorrect answer on the answer sheets. But I digress.....

In looking at the assessment data from last year, many districts in our region have started to notice that kids at all grade levels missed questions that required them to select the "best" answer. This is a question that requires some critical thinking and the bad news is that our students aren't doing too well.

When I think back to asking my students to brainstorm answers in class, I realized that all answers were accepted and written down on our graphic organizer. And I mean ALL answers - the ones that made me cringe, the ones that were duplicates, the ones that were literal, and the really good ones. I never made a point of distinguishing between the good and great answers - so that I could preserve their self-esteem of course!

So I have been discussing with the teachers in our region how we could start to have students determine the best answer. One strategy that we have come up with is to share pictures with the class and ask the students to brainstorm discriptor words or a caption. ALL answers would be listed - but then we would go the next step in asking students which suggestion was the best. Of course - any answer would have to be supported with details, details, details.

It seems simple but it might have some interesting results. Anyway - I thought I might share some of the funny photos I have collected over time each Sunday in order to help those who might want to try this strategy. And - as a means of getting teachers to write!!

I'll post the picture each Sunday - if anyone is reading, feel free to provide the caption in the comments section!!! Here's the first one:

Photo reference:

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