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Mike Dunagan

Free Technology for Teachers: 10 Sites and Apps for SAT Vocabulary Review - 4 views

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    Like many of their peers across the country, this Saturday all of the Juniors at my school will be taking the Sat. Although it's kind of late to start prepping for the test, better to do some review this week than not do any at all. The following ten websites and mobile apps are designed to help students review the type of content they're likely to encounter on the Sat.
Tracy Tuten

The Irascible Professor on "The SAT that isn't (the death of aptitude.)" - 2 views

  • It used to be that the SAT was distinguished from its competitor the ACT by the fact that the former was seen as measuring aptitude and being effectively un-coachable, while the latter was a gauge of achievement in learning.
  • At the risk of sounding pejorative, I'd say that I was expecting the test to be a measure of who I was, while some of my fellow students and their parents treated it more as a test of how they could present themselves to admissions officers.  And while I wouldn't suggest that people tend to think of it in these terms, I believe that the latter perception relies on the academically damaging belief that an individual student's capabilities need not matter to what goals he sets for himself.  That perception leads people to believe that there is something inherently unfair about a test that you can't study for.
  • And if after four years of high school they haven't developed much skill for reasoning, that's okay – they can take preparatory courses to learn how to fake it for an exam, and let that be their stepping stone toward academic accomplishment.  As a society that values the promise of formal education more than the satisfaction of actual learning, we have precipitated the death of aptitude.  We are afraid to acknowledge that it exists, because aptitude, whether the product of inborn talent or effective rearing, makes some people better suited than others for certain goals.
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  • Lori Gottlieb, writing in The Atlantic last year, claimed that child-rearing in the current generation has been excessively focused on preserving self-esteem.  As an illustration of one symptom of this, Gottlieb quoted clinical psychologist Wendy Mogel as saying that parents are actually relieved to be told that their struggling children are learning disabled, so that today "every child is either learning disabled, gifted, or both – there's no curve left, no average."  To claim a learning disability is the only way to set legitimate lower benchmarks for performance.  Kids are never just bad at anything anymore, because that's seen as being more harmful to self-esteem.
  • But my worries about the individual effects of the death of aptitude are dwarfed by my concern for its effect on the institutions of higher learning that those individuals are entering.  College is not a one-directional relationship of dispensing knowledge to young people.  The entire institution gains or loses value on the basis of what its students put into it.  By telling students with low aptitude and low interest that they can, should, and must strive to accomplish the same things as their higher-achieving peers, I fear that we're saturating higher education with people who subtract value from their institutions by committing minimum effort and lowering whatever curve still exists for the measurement of performance.
  • We all seem to agree that standards for college readiness need to improve, but you'll hear virtually no one asserting that when those standards are not met, the student ought to leave off college altogether, or to defer it until they have acquired, by sheer will or by natural intellectual growth, the aptitude to be successful at the proper level.  Indeed, just as common in criticism of education is the sentiment that we must see to it that more children enter and complete college.  But if those children don't have the aptitude to do so, the goal of improving college curriculum contradicts the goal of college-for-all.
  • We can't keep pretending that there is no such thing as aptitude and that every child has equal cause to vie for the topmost positions of intellectual esteem.  It does a disservice to the student and the school in kind.
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    An essay on what the SAT says about society's view of education, accomplishments, aptitude, and self-esteem. 
Amy Roediger

INeedAPencil.ck12.org | Free SAT Prep - 48 views

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    Free SAT prep!
Martha Hickson

Free Technology for Teachers: A Simple Tool for Finding SAT & ACT Vocabulary Words on Any Website - 4 views

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    Professor Word operates as a browser bookmarklet in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. When you're reading a webpage click on the Professor Word bookmarklet to quickly identify SAT and ACT vocabulary words on that page. You can also use Professor Word to get definitions for any unfamiliar word on a webpage. To get a definition just highlight the word a small dialogue box containing the definition will appear. 
Martin Burrett

Free Past Papers - KS1-3 SATs - 43 views

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    This site has a fantastic collection of KS1-3 English, Maths and Science past SATs paper, completed with audio tracks. http://ictmagic.wikispaces.com/Cross+Curricular
Marc Patton

SAT Vocabulary words | Videos, Flashcards, Quizzes for Test prep of SAT | GRE | ACT > Study Room - 55 views

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    A Groundbreaking system for Vocabulary building through an innovative interface! Study Room makes it fun and easy to build Vocabulary for SAT, GRE and ACT words.
Martin Burrett

Activities after SATs Exams - 11 views

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    "Activities after SATs Exams"
Martin Burrett

Revision: KS2 SATs Revision Apps - 2 views

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    "At the age of 11, in England, pupils sit their SATs papers, assessing their progress mainly in Literacy and Maths (some school also check progression in Science). Although there have been subtle changes to the system over the last few years, many schools, observers, parents and politicians still hold the tests in high esteem, so pressure is placed on pupils to do the best they can."
UN English Programme

SAT Words - 0 views

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    Definitions of and activities with the 100 most common SAT words.
Mary Beth  Messner

Grading essays: Humans vs. machine - USATODAY.com - 28 views

  • The testing service compared the results of E-Rater evaluations of students' papers to human grading, and to students' scores on the SAT writing test and the essay portion of the SAT writing test (which is graded by humans). ETS found very high correlations between the E-Rater grades and the SAT grades and, generally, to the human grades of the placement test.
  • In fact, Ramineni said, one of the problems that surfaced in the review was that some humans doing the evaluation were not scoring students' essays on some prompts in consistent ways, based on the rubric used by NJIT.
Martin Burrett

UKEdMag: Assessing Without Levels: …12 Months On by @musingsofmrb - 9 views

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    Wind back 12 months, Year 6 SATs, in their old form, were over and we were beginning to plan for a whole new world….assessing without levels. Every discussion threw up problems and positivity about how we moved forward was severely lacking...
Linda Morosko

iPads help Salem County students learn | NJ.com - 36 views

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    Third-grade students at the Upper Pittsgrove School mastered fractions in Mrs. Markert class Friday afternoon not by memorization or flash cards, but with Apple iPads. School districts throughout Salem County have now entered the age of technology using the touch sensitive innovative device as a learning tool for students. Superintendents say they are attracted to the devices for two reasons: It's user friendly and inexpensive compared to other technology like laptops.
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    Kidd, who also moderates a district-wide blog, said he was amazed with how user friendly the technology is, even for severely challenged students. He said he remembered the first time he let one of the autistic students in the school use the iPad. "One of the students showed interest and when I gave it to her she sat for over 20 minutes engaged in the device," said Kidd. "Her teacher said she has never sat for that long in the classroom."
Sarah Schaller Welsh

Freakonomics » What Should Be Done About Standardized Tests? A Freakonomics Quorum - 42 views

  • Gaston Caperton
  • Standardized tests have much in common with French fries. Both of them differ in composition as well as quality. French fries are available in numerous incarnations, including straight, curly, skins-on, skins-off, and, in recent years, with sweet potatoes. Regarding quality, of course, the taste of French fries can range substantially – from sublime to soggy. It’s really the same with standardized tests.
  • Take the No Child Left Behind Act, for instance, a federal accountability law requiring scads of standardized tests to be used in evaluating schools. Do you know that almost all of the standardized tests now being employed to judge school quality are unable to distinguish between well taught and badly taught students?
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  • all schools – kindergarten through college – should employ exit exams allowing us to determine what students have actually learned. We owe it to our students to make sure that they’ve been properly taught.
  • Then there are the questions of what to do with the results. I have actually sat through an extended discussion of how we could use regression analysis to parse out the contribution different teachers made to a group of students’ performance on a set of standardized tests. The answer was, yes it was possible, and could in fact be used to award merit pay increases. But nobody left the room feeling very comfortable that there would be any gain in what we knew made for good teaching.
  • Roughly half of the nation’s students are taking tests under NCLB that are completely free of open-ended questions.
  • educators have a strong incentive to “teach to the test.” In this case, that means teaching low level skills at the expense of the more demanding material that everyone says students need to master in today’s complicated world.
  • But is it fair to give students what amounts to a counterfeit passport to college or work? And do such tests spur high school teachers and principals to aim high with their students? To both questions, the answer is, “No.” In most states today, high school exit tests serve the same role as the standardized tests mandated by NCLB: they try to jack up the floor of student achievement in the nation’s schools. The best high school exit tests would be end-of-course exams akin to the “comprehensive” exams that many colleges and universities require students to pass in their majors before graduation – tests, that is, that would raise the ceiling of student achievement.
  • High-stakes testing has narrowed and dumbed down curricula; eliminated time spent on untested subjects like social studies, art, and even recess; turned classrooms into little more than test preparation centers; reduced high school graduation rates; and driven good teachers from the profession. Those are all reasons why FairTest and other experts advocate a sharp reduction in public school standardized testing and a halt to exit exams.
  • igh school grade
  • point average is a better predictor of college success than either the SAT or the ACT.
Marc Patton

SAT Vocabulary Building for ACT SAT and GRE Preparation - 2 views

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    1. Create Your Personalized Lists 2. Share Your Lists with Your Students 3. Embed a Customized Widget in Your Blog or Webpage 4. Engage Your Students in the Vocabulary Building Process
Mark Gleeson

The iPad competition: sell us the educational advantage, not the tech specs - 70 views

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    As I sat there respectfully paying attention, I spent most of my time thinking why do proponents of iPad alternatives spend so much time selling the technical specs that outmatch the iPad and so little time telling us how their preferred product will improve the way our students will learn compared to the iPad.
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