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Research Based

One the biggest problems I face in working with reading intervention students is the curriculum. Or rather that lack thereof… As a part of the whole Response to Intervention (RTI) process, the only resources we are allowed to use are ones that are research based. Ones with lots of research behind them, showing that they worked on x number of students and raised their reading level by y points in z amount of time. Or that they monitor progress for x students, showing improvement based upon y test. I’d say it’s really boring, but if you’re in the business, it’s a little interesting. It is, however, not like reading anecdotal evidence. Anecdotal evidence is very interesting. It’s a story of how program x worked for teacher y and all the students became voracious readers. There’s a plot! Conflict! Possibly even movie rights! Not a lot of numbers, but a lot of touching and heartwarming sentiment.For high schools students (NOT “secondary” – which in RTI land really means 7th graders), there…

The Cruelest Month

I know T.S. Eliot favored April as the most cruel, but we teachers know that May is… even more so these days.Most importantly, it is the final testing month. National ‘assessments, state ‘assessments’, district ‘assessments’, school ‘assessments’… on and on. It’s impossible to actually get anything done. Toss in graduation activities, planning for the upcoming year and the 2011 bonus, lay-offs and transfers, and you have to wonder if it wouldn’t be better to save money by simply shutting down school entirely except for a few test proctors. Meanwhile, there seems an air of hopelessness permeating the education world. Plans to lay-off thousands are coming to fruition. Schools are being closed, despite protests. Charters are increasing where they can whether they should not. Unions have lost a lot ground and teachers are trying to decide if it’s even worth it any more to continue talking about education. (not that I blame anyone for that, we all have lives to live)For myself, I know that…

Life As We Knew It

Continuing with the end of the world theme in young adult fiction, I read Life As We Knew It by Susan Pfeffer. It's actually pretty similar to One Second After, a book I read earlier this year, but without the horrific death scenes or the belief that when something bad happens almost everyone is going become little more than savages out to murder everyone else in the most horrific way possible. It's your basic something bad happened and all the eletricity, fuel, food and water sources are limited or gone type of story. The main character is junior in high school when a natural disaster strikes. The book is basically her diary of the events - she goes from being jealous that her best friend has a date for the Prom to wondering if she'll ever see 17. At first people are bit worried, but still believing that things can soon return to normal. Luckily for the main character, her mother sees bad things coming. The description of the scuttle for supplies is almost funny. Things d…