Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Preschool Online

While there are many fantastic online websites for preschoolers, they mostly tend to be learning games with no particular sequence or direction. And I use the concept of "learning" loosely, since many of them are primarily games but involve some educational elements.

I think of education as primarily an organized sequence of lessons which systematically cover a defined scope and sequence. I've been looking around and so far, the best online preschool curriculum with preschool activities that I've found is from Time4Learning. And I quote:
The Time4Learning preschool program combines technology, animated characters, original stories and fun music to inspire a love of learning in the littlest e-learners. ...When they're logged in to Time4Learning, preschoolers won't just sit and watch; they'll laugh, learn, participate and explore. They'll sing along with Ed Mouse on the farm and get up and exercise with a group of kids. They'll yell out numbers to an octopus under the sea and politely help a mountain climber scale Manners Mountain. Children can label their virtual school supplies box and library card with their own name and plan their week with a customizable weekly planner. You'll see smiles and hear giggles that let you know that your children are having fun and when they start talking about habitats and tertiary colors, you'll know it's more than just fun.
For more info, you can check out their preschool website with its demos are ask questions on their parents discussion group.

Monday, October 19, 2009

FCAT Explorer

The State of Florida provides a lot of study materials online:

FCAT Explorer: 10 Years of Helping
Students Succeed
Since spring of 2000, FCAT Explorer has been available to
help students review the skills needed to succeed. The 2009-
2010 school year marks the 10th year of the FCAT Explorer
project. The Support Services Team is proud to have served
Florida’s students, teachers, and parents for the entire
10-year period.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

FCAT Explorer - More Resources

The Educator Resources section of www.fcatexplorer.
com offers a variety of training materials to help you
make the most of FCAT Explorer and Focus.
Available for Download
• PowerPoint presentations for each FCAT Explorer
• School Administrator’s Desk Manual
• Classroom Teacher’s Desk Manual
• FCAT Explorer Best Practice Guidelines

Overview of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT)

If you have a child in elementary, middle or high school in Florida, then you need to know about the standardized tests your child will be taking. To comply with the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, Florida administers standardized tests to students beginning in 3rd grade grade through high school.

Time4Learning, an online education service that teaches many of the skills these exams test, offers this page to help you understand Florida’s standardized tests and how you can help your children prepare.

Fore more info on Florida FCAT preparation try the Time4learning site or FCAT Explorer.

Monday, August 10, 2009

NCLB standardized tests

Hi, I'm not sure if I'm a fan of standardized testing or not. To be honest, I know I'm not. Who likes testing? Nevertheless, I'd like my kids to do well. I'm not a big fan of last-minute test prep are spending a lot of time worrying about test-taking tricks. I'm more a believer in the idea that kids' scores will reflect their skills so they should build skills and then not worry about the tests.

I found an educational website that has the same mentality that I do. They talk only about building fundamental skills, never about test taking tricks. and they have useful info for most states nclb stuff. Here....

Standardized Test by State
Standardized Test
AlabamaAlabama Reading and Mathematics TestsARMTMontanaMontana Comprehensive Assessment SystemMontCAS
AlaskaTerra Nova-NebraskaNebraska Content StandardsL.E.A.R.N.S.
ArizonaArizona’s Instrument to Measure StandardsAIMSNevadaNevada Proficiency Examination ProgramNPEP
ArkansasArkansas Comprehensive Testing, Assessment and Accountability ProgramACTAAPNew HampshireNew Hampshire Educational Improvement and Assessment ProgramNHEIAP
CaliforniaStandardized Testing and ReportingSTARNew JerseyNew Jersey’s Core Curriculum Content Standards-
ColoradoColorado Student Assessment ProgramCSAPNew MexicoNew Mexico Statewide Articulated Assessment Program-
ConnecticutConnecticut Academic Performance TestCAPTNew YorkNew York State Testing Program-
DelawareDelaware Student Testing ProgramDSTPNorth CarolinaNorth Carolina Standardized Test-
FloridaFlorida Comprehensive Assessment TestFCATNorth DakotaNorth Dakota’s State Assessment-
GeorgiaCriterion-Referenced Competency TestsCRCTOhioOhio Graduation TestsOGT
HawaiiHawaii Content and Performance StandardsHCPS IIOklahomaOklahoma Core Curriculum TestsOCCT
IdahoIdaho State Achievement TestsISATOregonOregon Statewide Assessment System-
IllinoisIllinois Standards Achievement TestISATPennsylvaniaPennsylvania System of School AssessmentPSSA
IndianaIndiana Statewide Testing for Educational ProgressISTEP+Rhode IslandRhode Island State Assessment Program-
IowaIowa Test of Basic SkillsITBSSouth CarolinaSouth Carolina Statewide Assessment Program-
KansasKansas Assessment System-South DakotaDakota State Test of Educational ProgressSTEP
KentuckyCommonwealth Accountability Testing SystemCATSTennesseeTennessee Comprehensive Assessment ProgramTCAP
LouisianaLEAP Alternate AssessmentLAATexasTexas Assessment of Knowledge and SkillsTAKS
MaineMaine Educational AssessmentMEAUtahUtah Basic Skills Competency TestUSBCT
MarylandMaryland School AssessmentMSAVermontVermont Comprehensive Assessment SystemCAS
MassachusettsMassachusetts Comprehensive Assessment SystemMCASVirginiaVirginia Standards of LearningSOL
MichiganMichigan Educational Assessment ProgramMEAPWashingtonWashington State Assessment of Student LearningWASL
MinnesotaMinnesota Comprehensive AssessmentsMCAsWest VirginiaWest Virginia Educational Standards TestWESTEST
MississippiMississippi Subject Area Testing ProgramMSATPWisconsinWisconsin’s Model Academic Standards-
MissouriMissouri Department of Education Standardized Tests-WyomingWyoming Comprehensive Assessment SystemWyCAS

Sunday, August 9, 2009 is amazing

I just found and am really enjoying this great vocabulary and spelling website. I'm using it to help my kids get back into the academic mind set this August.

I found their resources section particularly useful:

Contractions - You can build lists using words like: I’ll, we’ll, shouldn’t, and they’re. There are lists of what contractions supports.
Abbreviations - You can build lists using abbreviations such as titles (Mr. Dr, Mrs.), measurements (oz., pt, qt.), and geographic terms (Blvd., Pkwy., and Rd.)
Possessives - SpellingCity has added some sample possessive forms of nouns, both plural and singular, for spelling and grammar practice. For example: aunt, aunts, aunt's, aunts', boy, boys, boy's, boys', lady, ladies, lady's, ladies', doctor, doctors, doctor's, doctors'. As background, SpellingCity has always included both the singular and plural forms of nouns and the the forms of verbs (ex play, playing, played).

What's the Most Popular?

Dolch Words - This collection of Dolch or Sight words is perennially useful. There is both background information and lists ready-to-use.
Compound Words - Kids love studying compound words. Teachers love teaching them. Does your school have a Compound Word Day? It should!
Sound Alike Words or Homophones - All students and many adults benefit from practice distinguishing the right spelling and usage of its and it's; they're, there, and their; and to, too, and two.
Word Confusion - This article reviews homophones, homonyms, homographs, and synonyms. Need a quick reminder? Here it is.

The Heavy Stuff: Research and Articles on Spelling has two articles on the importance of spelling to building successful readers and writers: The Importance of Spelling and Research on Spelling Automaticity.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Parenting Bible

The parenting bible is a concept that is near and dear to my heart. For years, I have wanted to develop this concept. I now have the domain, the blog, and I'm almost ready to go.

One detail, where am I going to get the time?

On that very appropriate note, I'll leave you, dear readers, for the moment with this thought. Great intentions are not so important in parenting: it's about what you actually do and say. And how you allocate your time. Yes time. The basic biblical rule is: you only got so much time. And nobody is all that sure how much they've got.

Time time time. You have a baby, you blink, she leaves for college and starts having babies of her own.