November’s Teacher’s Corner Column: A Guide to Summative and Formative Assessments

Teacher’s Corner is a monthly newsletter from eNotes just for teachers. In it, experienced educator and eNotes contributor Susan Hurn shares her tips, tricks, and insight into the world of teaching. Check out this month’s Teacher’s Corner column below, or sign up to receive the complete newsletter in your inbox at eNotes.com.

Keeping Up with Assessment and Grading

Assessing students’ achievement is an integral part of teaching, and like everything else in the profession, it has become more complicated. The days of giving a chapter test and calling it good are over. That’s not a bad thing though. To really keep tabs on who’s learning what, assessment has to be an ongoing process, and it has to offer kids a variety of ways to show what they know and what they can do.

To be thorough and effective, assessment has to include the three main types of measurement: diagnostic, formative, and summative. Diagnostic assessment is imperative, since it’s impossible to know how much ground students have gained at the end of a study unit unless we know where they were at the beginning. Formative assessment checks their learning along the way and provides an opportunity to adjust lesson plans, if necessary, and to address specific problems a struggling student might be experiencing. Summative assessment at the end of a study unit indicates kids’ overall mastery of new material and gives a clear idea about how to proceed in instruction. A review of all six types of assessment can be found here at edudemic.com. Another good site with information about assessment practices is utexas.edu/teaching.

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5 Tips for Writing Your College Application Essay

Happy college app month!

Your college application essay isn’t the sole determiner of where you go to school, but it should live up to the rest of your stellar qualifications. Read our following tips to turn in the best essay you can, and good luck!

college-applications
1. Be you. This may seem obvious, but a college application essay is meant to show its audience something about your character. It’s your opportunity to show off something about yourself that can’t be deduced from your transcript. That means that you should not launch into a list of your many achievements and activities over your high school career. Instead, choose an anecdote that shows the depth of your personality that can’t be seen in mere test scores. Have a clear focus and write one story well.
2. Develop your tone. Before writing the story of you, think about how you’d like to come across to a complete stranger reading your essay. Though the goal is to let readers know how great you are, too much of that can sound like you’re bragging. On the flip side, holding on to disappointments or injustices you may have encountered in your education can sound like you’re whining. Brain storm on paper some adjectives that describe how you’d like to be perceived and keep them in mind as you write. Strike for somewhere along the spectrum of proud and humble, and if you can add a touch of humor for levity; besides a well-woven story, tone is what helps you really jump off the page.

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October’s Teacher’s Corner Column: How To Be Proactive and Organized Year-Round

Teacher’s Corner is a monthly newsletter from eNotes just for teachers. In it, experienced educator and eNotes contributor Susan Hurn shares her tips, tricks, and insight into the world of teaching. Check out this month’s Teacher’s Corner column below, or sign up to receive the complete newsletter in your inbox at eNotes.com.

Whether you’re a new teacher or a classroom veteran, the school year can feel overwhelming, more so than ever since the demands of standards-based testing and professional development have grown increasingly complex and time consuming. Teaching now seems to require holding down two jobs at once: teaching kids with one hand and meeting a plethora of administrative mandates with the other. It’s tough to carry such a load day after day without sinking under the weight.

According to the old proverb, “A stitch in time saves nine.” It’s true, and it’s still good advice. Being proactive takes a little time, but it saves a lot of work and heads off problems, making a difficult year more manageable and less stressful. Here are a few ways to save yourself in the classroom by acting sooner rather than later:

  • Organize your paperwork, but don’t overdo it:
    • An organizational system shouldn’t be so complicated that it takes hours to create and you have to remember what’s filed where when you’re looking for something.
    • Backing up critical information is a must, but recording the same information in multiple places wastes time.
    • Making lists keeps things on track, but if you have so many lists you need a master list to keep track of them, you’ve overachieved! (I’m speaking from experience here, so trust me.)

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New to eNotes.com: Research Paper Starters

We do the digging so you don’t have to.

Research-Design

When you don’t know where or how to start your research paper, dive into an eNotes Research Paper Starter. We clearly explain and analyze over 1,500 complex subjects so that you can concentrate on learning what you really need to know and writing a great paper.

Why use a Research Starter? Two reasons:

  • easily fine-tune the thesis of your paper
  • locate expert sources without spending precious hours scouring a library database

Read on to find out more about this latest feature from eNotes!

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Answer Questions, Earn Money for School – eNotes’ New Scholarship Program

Each month we’re awarding a $500 grant to one of our standout students. Could it be you?

Welcome to a new kind of scholarship program. At eNotes, we don’t need you to write an essay to try and stand out from the millions. We just want you to share your knowledge with others and help your fellow students get through their homework assignments.

Contribute your answers to eNotes’ Homework Help and you’ll be automatically entered to win a $500 grant each month! How does it work? It’s simple:

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eNotes is on Pinterest!

Check out our first three Pinterest boards as we collect tips and tricks to help you study and teach smarter.

Dorm Room Ideas

College Dorm Decoration/Organization Ideas, futon/lounge under one lofted bed, work/organization (TV too) under another lofted bed

School Binder Organization Tips

Even after graduating college I still use binders and notebooks. It helps me organize all my thoughts, ideas, to-do lists, goals and steps to achieve them, etc. This is a cute decoration idea for my binders - go and do

Teacher Tips and Tricks

I am so excited to try using a teacher binder this semester to help me stay organized! Great tips for making it fit what you need. #teacherbinder

Find and follow us at www.pinterest.com/enotescom.


New Quizzes from eNotes!

Hi, everyone! While some of you might already be preparing for the next quiz you’ll be taking at school, some of us over at eNotes have been having (way too much) fun trying to  make some. Don’t worry, though— none of these quizzes will affect your grade. Have a look at the list below to see what we’ve added to our collection so far!

1. Take the Shakespearean Deaths Quiz to figure out which tragedy has the highest body count, where you can read about revenge in the form of unwitting cannibalism, and more!

 Why, William… why?!

2. If you take the  Authors and Animals Quiz, be prepared for more than beloved dogs and cats of various authors. There may or may not be a lobster involved. Oh, also a bear.

SAM_4519 …Fluffy?

3. At some point in your life, you might have encountered a book for which your hatred now burns with the fire of a thousand suns. Well, you are not alone in your passionate distaste for certain literature. Take our Author-on-author Insults Quiz to learn about the scathing remarks authors have made about other authors and their work.

“Lame!”

4. Remember that bit about people sharing your hatred? Well, not everyone is just content to rant about it at the next book club meeting. Some books offend people so deeply that they start throwing around the dreaded “b-word”— banned, that is. Our Banned Books Quiz contains questions that highlight some of the silliest reasons for banning books, quotes from authors who disapprove of censorship, and other fun tidbits about the baddest books in the business. A warning to those with weak constitutions: one of the books in this quiz features two rabbits getting married.

 Won’t someone please think of the children?

5. Last but not least, there’s a little something to brighten your day and give you a nice change of pace if you happened to have already taken the first and admittedly morbid quiz on this list. The Love Quotes from Famous Authors Quiz is sure to give you some warm, literary fuzzies. What did Mark Twain have to say about matters of the heart? Who loved so deeply he longed for a new set of words to express his devotion? Take the quiz to find out!

 D’aww.


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