Tag Archives: assessments

Alternative Assessments

If you’re reading this post, please know that I’ve moved the How to Teach a Novel blog to a new site. There you’ll find even more recent posts! Please change your bookmarks.

This is one of those posts where I simply point and say, “I saw something cool! Let’s go get it.”

A friend at Twitter (PageTurnersBlog, well worth following) retweeted that a post at Novel Novice features one YA Lit teacher’s alternative assessments as a download. A couple cool ideas I hadn’t thought of!

It’s nice to share good stuff!

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Diagnosing and Responding to Student Writing

From the Dartmouth Writing Program at Dartmouth College, some great thoughts on Diagnosing and Responding to Student Writing.

By no means is this is a stylish, high tech site, but if you look further into some of the links at the top, you’ll find even more great advice on assessing student writing.

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What Student Writing Teaches Us

I’m pleased to participate in the Blog Tour for Mark Overmeyer and his Stenhouse publication What Student Writing Teaches Us. This extremely practical yet highly informed book answers many of the questions I’veasked myself over the past 20 years, or heard from my colleagues in teacher workshops. For more information on this book (which you can read in full online at the Stenhouse site), visit my Teaching that Sticks blog.

Prior to Mark’s visit on June 29th at Teaching that Sticks, I encourage you to check out the full book online at the Stenhouse site. As you read, jot down your thoughts and questions for the author and then send them my way. We’ll pose these questions to Mark when he visits on June 29th. Don’t hold back! Don’t be shy! This is your chance to pick the brain of a guru who has spent countless hours in classroom, observing and interacting with teachers and students passionately engaged in the writing process.

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Unpacking Passages

If you dug the idea of using Quote Analysis, or if you teach The Great Gatsby, you’ll want to see the Unpacking Passages pages over at TeachEng.us.

What I like about Ben Davis’ approach is that he created an acronym which would better help students remember the steps. Even this, however, needed some fine tuning and some scaffolding, which Ben describes in an earlier post

Okay, if you still haven’t clicked onto that blog, one more thing you’ll dig is the presentation of the documents there, as facilitated by Issuu. If you’re a blogger, or if you have a classroom site, you’ll appreciate the cool format provided by this free application. 

Interested in more ways to organize student note taking? Check out my recent post on Graphic Organizers over at Teaching that Sticks.

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Tools for Teaching

You’re reading this post at the old How to Teach a Novel site. Continue reading this post or the most recent post at the new site.

mosaic-toolsTeachers often email me asking for ways they can help their students organize thoughts during the reading process. Yeah, that’s about as specific as the requests get. But not a problem; I wrestle with the same challenge in my fourth grade class and when working one-on-one with older students in tutoring situations.

My advice? Check out the resources at the Mosaic Email Group’s Teaching Tools. If you’re not entirely sure what you’re looking for, or if you’re simply interested in investigating what has worked successfully in other teachers’ classrooms, this is a great place to start. You’ll find dozens of assessments, lists, organizers, prompts, posters, and more in both Word and pdf format. While there, visit the main page to learn about the origins of the site and to join their email group. This is an excellent way to collaborate with like-minded professionals who are seeking to bring their professional practice to the next level.

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