Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday's Comment Challenge

Paige from Reading and Breathing is a middle school librarian. She reviews books that most teens would like whether they are middle school or high school. For those of us who like YA books this is a site to be checked out. She has something for everyone. I look forward to visiting again.
Are you looking for some fudge or chocolates for valentines day? How about a swanky vintage apron or a beautiful scarf? No? If none of this appeals to you then maybe you will find a book that you would like to read by stopping in at New Horizons where you will find links to the above listed giveaways and books reviews.

The Reading Zone is a literacy blog you have to check out. Today when I read her posts for the 19th she had several links up. The one I enjoyed the most was the link to The Reading Countess who questions what our classrooms would be like if we didn’t test our students to death. This is a must read for all teachers. Please indulge me while I step up on my soap box for a minute. I teach in a Title I school where we get every test that comes down the pike. I think they believe that students from a poor or migrant background will only improve if we take time away from teaching them to test them. We do 3 tests during the year called FAIR, that tests their reading, math and science. We do 2 – 3 writing tests for practice before the big State Writing Test. We have a core curriculum the district spent lots of money on so that everyone in every school is on the same page. They teach the same books, novels, tests, etc. Each lesson has, yep you got it more State Testing Practice, Then in march we have our FCAT, (Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test), Then add to that the three mandated fluency tests for all students who are in reading classes and with my scripted reading program the once a week fluency test, you will see there is not a lot of time left for teaching what the children need. I tutor 2 afternoons a week a program geared specifically for the State Test. I teach a State Test Boot Camp class on Saturdays and on Wednesday afternoons for the next five weeks our eighth grade students are going through training for the 8th grade Writing Test. How did they get these kids? They bribed them with an ipod. Of course the only ones who have shown up are the kids who enjoy writing and already score high on it. One day, before it is too late we need to take a look at what we are doing to kids with too much testing.

Do you enjoy cooking? Then pop on over to Amy’s site Vintage Cookbooks. It is here she reviews vintage cookbooks and posts and comments on recipes within them. If nothing else some of the posts for some of the recipes are absolutely hilarious. I will check her out because I have approximately 20 old recipe books that I have collected.

Rantings of a Bookworm Couch Potato is a new site for me. Dana claims to have lurked around blogs for quite a while before deciding to create a blog. She does a great job of writing reviews. My favorite so far is the review on the 19th about the book Firmin by Sam Savage. I am going to order the book. After checking some of the comments left about the book I also added the book The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers. A commentor mentioned this book was very similar. I can’t wait to read them. Please stop by and tell this new blogger hi and let her know what a great job she is doing.


  1. great post. *is going to check the blogs out now*

  2. Your students are lucky to have such a devoted teacher. I'll definitely be back!

  3. Ugh, don't even get me started on testing. I taught in public shools for ten years and my husband is on the local school board - but I home schooled my own kids! I once sent a five page letter to the ITBS people listing mistakes and problems in the test. They thanked me for my time and sent out the exact same test for the next three years. One of my 'favorite' questions for second graders: "Which if these animals lives in the city?" and they show a pigeon, a rattlesnake and a coyote. Well, in this NM city, you can find all 3 in your backyard simultaneously! And then there's "Where would you go to buy fruit?" with pictures of a farm (what's that?) the mountains, and the desert. Which do you suppose would be the right answer here?!

  4. Oh wow, thanks for posting about my blog! I love the idea of posting about new blogs you visit, I'm definitely going to check out some of the other ones you mentioned!

  5. 3T - They wonder why our school is not an "A" school yet like your test they ask questions of students regarding snow etc. I live in Florida. A majority of our students come from Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatamala, Venezuela and Haiti yet we ask them questions they have no background for. Our county adopted a core curriculum where we have specific novels that must be read and covered in each grade each quarter. The teachers are behind because they must do so much front loading so they will understand the book. Your student can't keep up? Oh well, move on because you must be from point A to point B by a certain date and you must test them on that unit by then as well, whether they have finished or not.

    Reading Countess - I have been lurking around your place for about a week. With the hours I keep I find little time to comment. I am at school from 7 or 7:30 AM until 6 PM each day and sometimes on Saturday. I then come home and work on lessons or grade papers until 10 or 11 and then check my blog or email. I will continue to lurk long after the challenge is over.

  6. Great idea to review other people's blogs! Especially for the challenge. Now you have record who you've visited. :)