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Tagged With: assessments

UWorld’s Unique SAT Prep Site

When I first visited UWorld’s College prep site, I expected what usually is included on free SAT/ACT prep sites–questions, answers, and a lot of cheerleading.

I should have known better. UWorld is a leading provider of question bank materials for professional licensing exams like USMLE, ABIM, and ABFM, considered by many to be the gold standard in test preparation. Now, UWorld has expanded into SAT prep (as well as ACT and AP prep). The site includes over 1200 questions written by experienced educators and designed to be similar to what students will find on the real SAT. With each question is a rigorous explanation, step-by-step instructions, and helpful images about the logic behind answers.

Features include:

  • Choose your difficulty level–low, medium, hard.
  • Get hints to help you find a starting point for the answer.
  • Customize practice tests to focus on mastering specific concepts within subjects.
  • Create your own flashcards for quick review.
  • Track your time and performance to improve your pace.
  • Monitor progress with reports and graphs.
  • Compare your results to peers as a gauge of performance. This includes questions they got correct, how much time they took answering individual questions, and the types of questions they are struggling with.
  • Identify weaknesses and improve strengths.
  • Flag questions that you’d like to review later.
  • Define difficult words from within the app (for reading prep).

Registered students can access questions at the pace they’d like, take full timed tests to build test-taking stamina, pause during testing, flag questions they want more work on, save generated tests to finish or retake later, and more.

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Categories: College, High School, Reviews | Tags: | 2 Comments

Studying for Finals: 5 Collaborative Online Methods to Try in Your Classroom

study skillsIf you’re looking for new approaches to studying for finals that will excite your students, check out my article over on Hey Teach! I have a few ideas for you.

Here’s a sneak peak:

Studying for Finals: 5 Collaborative Online Methods to Try in Your Classroom 

I’ve stopped passing out worksheets to help my students prepare for finals. Instead, I like to push my students to collaborate with each other by using online tools. I’ve tried a number of methods that require students to evaluate information, think critically, and solve problems. Here are five methods to try with your students when they’re studying for finals. 

Read more…

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Categories: Guest post, Problem solving | Tags: | Leave a comment

A new resource guide from Kiddom: Standards-based Grading for ELA and Social Studies

Kiddom is a free standards-based platform designed to help teachers curate individual learning experiences (see my review here). Now, they’re giving away their Standards-based Grading Guide–for free:

Humanities Teachers, Rejoice!

English Language Arts and social studies standards are often tangled webs of both skills and content, not so easily separated. This guide clears common misconception and offers best practices.

Click here for free download of Standards-Based Grading for ELA and Social Studies

Click here to book a PD Consult.


Standards-based grading (SBG) is a paradigm shift for teachers accustomed to traditional curriculum frameworks, but that transition can be more extreme for ELA and social studies. While conventional STEM courses are planned around sequential, discrete standards targeting easily-isolated skills, language arts and social studies standards are often tangled webs of both skills and content, not so easily separated.

This inherent challenge further amplifies common misconceptions about standards-based (or competency-based) grading. This guide clears those misconceptions and offers best practices for language arts and social studies teachers seeking to adopt the standards-based grading practice and mindset.

Download our Standards-Based Grading guide

 ..
For more on how to use Kiddom in your classroom, check out their website and other free resources available for educators.

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Categories: News | Tags: , | 2 Comments

169 Tech Tip #116–How to Take Screenshots

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: #116–How to Take Screenshots

Category: CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

Sub-category: Keyboarding, PC, Mac, iPad, Chromebook

Here are the screenshot shortkeys for five platforms:

  • Windows: a tool included in Windows called the Snipping Tool
  • Chromebooks: Ctrl+Window Switcher key
  • Mac: Command Shift 3 for a full screenshot; Command Shift 4 for a partial screenshot
  • Surface tablet: hold down volume and Windowsbutton
  • iPad: hold Home button and power button simultaneously

There are also screenshot programs you can download like Jing and Printkey (the latter uses your keyboard’s Print Scr key) or use from your browser (like Nimbus or Snagit). Each has a different selection of annotation tools. You may find this works better for your needs.

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Categories: Classroom management, Images, Problem solving, Tech tips | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Prepare for the SAT Essay

sat-assessmentSeven million students took the SAT test last year. While it traditionally is an assessment tool for college-bound seniors, more and more high schools are choosing it as an exit exam for graduating seniors (such as these changes in Ohio and the State of Washington). Driven in part by the educational imperative to minimize student testing, what better solution than a test already heavily vetted as being inclusive and cross-cultural that many students are familiar with.

In this article, I’ll focus on preparation for the SAT essay portion. General preparation hints include:

  • practice good writing with every school essay students write
  • use academic-specific vocabulary whenever possible
  • take practice tests
  • read a lot — and let that inform your writing

Here are three different approaches to preparing for the essay portion:

  • Khan Academy — work on the students’ unique writing problems experienced in their PSAT or earlier SATs
  • Revision Assistant — practice writing over a long term and receive targeted feedback to improve skill
  • Mindsnacks SAT vocabulary — develop depth in academic vocabulary that improves not only student writing but their understanding of what they’re reading

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Categories: High School | Tags: | 2 Comments

New from Kiddom

kiddomKiddom is a free standards-based platform designed to help teachers curate individual learning experiences. Its pages are visual and easy-to-understand, enabling teachers to quickly determine how students are doing and where remediation is needed–all without spending a lot of time analyzing data. Many of the details are linked, allowing you to dig deeper on any subject from a variety of pages rather than one specific spot.

I met them last year and continue to be amazed by their creativity (see my review here). Here’s their latest update:

Social Emotional Learning Rubrics Available

Great educators teach the whole child. That’s why in addition to supporting CASEL’s social emotional learning (SEL) competencies, we’re proud to announce we’ve now added SEL-aligned rubrics that can be added to any assignment (for grades 6-12). To start using these rubrics, be sure to add Social Emotional Learning as a subject in class settings.

The links below offer tips on how to best weave these SEL rubrics into your daily classroom practices.

 kiddom 1. Develop self-awareness with summative assessments.
2. Project self-management by adding goal setting and monitoring.
3. Support social awareness by providing reflection opportunities.
4. Promote relationship skills with class discussions or presentations.
5. Track responsible decision making by adhering to assignment deadlines.

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Categories: News | Tags: | Leave a comment

What is Kiddom? Why is it right for you? And free resources to inform your teaching

kiddomThe popularity of standards-based grading and instruction is growing. Why? It’s because the one-size-fits-all concept of a single grade representing the fullness of the students’ work is flawed. Today, teachers want to call out student strengths and weaknesses, accomplishments and areas of improvement, as aligned with the standards that their school mission is built on. That requires a detailed picture of what students have learned.

The problem is: This is time-consuming. Teachers must itemize tasks and work, attach them to relevant standards, monitor each student’s progress toward the goal of achieving the standards, and remediate when they need help. For many teachers, this is overwhelming. The ideal would be to have all assignments, assessment, and submittals for each student curated in one spot that automatically updates as the year progresses–and provides actionable reports.

Happily, there is such a program. It’s called Kiddom.

Kiddom is a free standards-based platform designed to help teachers curate individual learning experiences. Its pages are visual and easy-to-understand, enabling teachers to quickly determine how students are doing and where remediation is needed–all without spending a lot of time analyzing data. Many of the details are linked, allowing you to dig deeper on any subject from a variety of pages rather than one specific spot.

Here are details you’ll like:

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Categories: Classroom management, Reviews | Tags: , , | 7 Comments

169 Tech Tips #160–14 Assessment Strategies

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: #160–14 Assessment Strategies

Category: ASSESSMENTS

Sub-category: NA

These fourteen strategies are well-suited to formative assessment:

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169 Tech Tip #151: 8 Popular Year-long Assessments

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: #151–8 Popular Year-long Assessments

Category: ASSESSMENTS

Sub-category: Classroom management

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169 Tech Tip #146: 18 Ideas for Warm-ups, Exit Tickets

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: #146–18 Ideas for Warm-ups, Exit Tickets

Category: ASSESSMENTS

Sub-category: Classroom Management, Writing, Differentiation

Here are eighteen ideas for class warm-up and exit tickets:

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Categories: Classroom management, Tech tips, Writing | Tags: , , | Leave a comment