Saturday, January 30, 2016

Educations 2016, What's New?

There's a lot of news:

The Federal Govenment finally moved on from NCLB & Race to the Top to ESSA. Teh big changesa re a shift towards state control of the testing and impact of failing the tests. The only Federal government is that the testing be at a rigorous level.

Another big change is lots more money for K, PreK, and 1st. This is really great to counteract all the focus on 2nd-5th where principals poured in resource since they tended to worry about THIS YEARS TEST!

There's no new money yet for early Science education but we can always hope. I'm hoping that a tech-based approach to elementary education based on the 5E educational model will be adopted by all the Title I schools around the country.  Here's some info on that:

The first part of the 5E model, Engage, introduces the new science concept by determining the student’s’ prior knowledge while revealing student misconceptions. Our online Engage activities include an interactive digital notebook followed by a short video clip, an additional follow up digital notebook activity and then students will hear listening comprehension questions. The offline Engage handout is a hands-on activity that can be used in whole group, in centers or 1:1.
Following the Engage is the Explore. When kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd grade students Explore, they are provided with an opportunity to “play” as they identify and develop their current understanding of the foundational science concepts. While generating new ideas, elementary students will begin to develop their own questions. The offline Explore worksheet is called, “Take it a Step Further.” This handout provides students with a hands on, inquiry-based science activity that further enhances their ability to ask questions.
During the Explain phase, elementary students are provided a clear, concise description of the new concept which will include formal labels and essential vocabulary through a fun and captivating video clip. Within the Explain segment is a “Show What You Know” game-show-like assessment that checks for student understanding. The offline handout is a graphic organizer or mind map that also determines mastery of the foundational science concept.
The Elaborate phase of the 5E Instructional Model is meant to provide in-depth learning experiences. This is also where Science4Us blends in literacy, technology and engineering components through game-based activities. Kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd grade students can swim in the science and enhance the overall experience by adding in cross-curricular fun. Offline handouts include many literacy concepts such as compare and contrast, fluency, categorizing and classifying and creative writing.
The final phase of the 5E model is the Evaluate. This was designed to assess overall student understanding of the foundational science concepts and the progress made towards learning the science objectives. The online interactive science assessment is graded automatically for teacher viewing. The offline assessment is specialized for kindergarten, 1st grade and second grade and it includes a standardized test prep version.

And the SAT has given up on the idea of beingg some sort of aptitude test and now it tests academic skills like everyone else. Prepworks won all the awards again this year for SAT adaptive test preparation software.

Prepworks explains that the new writing section on the new SAT is option. "The Redesigned SAT gives students the option of completing an essay. This essay is scored separately from the Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing sections, using a scale of 2-8 points. The essay prompts students to analyze evidence and explain how the author builds a persuasive argument. As compared to the old SAT, the new test gives students twice the amount of time (50 minutes) to complete the Essay."

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