Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What a literate bunch!

Today was dominated by the PIRLS test, as mentioned in previous posts. It is a test that is administered every 5 years, to assess literacy levels, skills and preferences in English-speaking nations around the world. The test took about 2 1/2 hours from end to end, including a questionnaire similar to the one that was sent home to be completed by parents.

This was a more formal test than I would usually administer, so was good practice for students. Everybody complete it to a satisfactory level, and seemed to have a good comprehension of what they were reading and expressing. Since there is a lesser focus on levelled readers know, it was interesting to see students reactions when confronted with texts that are (theoretically) right on reading level. I kept some of the resource materials to extrapolate on these tests during class.

This afternoon, we completed most of the remainder of our ArtsSmarts projects. These will be presented at a school-wide Art Day celebration, something that the class seems excited to participate in. Today we attached pictures and decorated the covers to reflect the content in their project. As usual, it was neat to compare and contrast the finished projects as reflections of their varied understandings of the project. Fun stuff!

As a lead-in to our next unit in health (outdoor/summer safety), we went outside to brainstorm and explore some situations that can present risks during the summer. In groups, the class spotted possible activities that they could be involved in (boating, swimming, climbing trees, playing sports, etc.) and wrote a list of precautions they might take to make sure they can complete the activity in safety. This was a great way to assess their prior understanding.

I have decided that part of the assessment for out science unit on sound will be to create a simple demonstration of a noise-maker or contraption that uses sound somehow. This will be complimented by a very straightforward quiz, which should take place by the end of May. I will give plenty of examples, but some students are already thinking of instruments, noisemakers or demonstrations that they might be interested in creating. They will be accompanied by a short write-up/illustrations/presentation as usual.

I made a couple of omissions and errors on the revised player lists for our hockey pool, which will be rectified by tomorrow. As we stand now, everybody is within 25 points of one another and things seem to be getting closer by the day.

Have a great evening, and let me know if you have any questions.

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