Every month, Science Class
features curriculum topics tailored to match the focus of
NSTA's K12 journals. In this issue, the elementary edition
will focus on Alternative
Assessment. Each theme
will be supported by a range of NSTA-approved teaching resources:
news stories, Internet "SciLinks®," books, and NSTA
journal articles. If you would like to view the middle level
or high school editions, please click on the appropriate link
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Elementary science educators are in the middle
of the continuing debate surrounding standardized tests. President
Bush's No Child Left Behind Act requires all school systems to have
an assessment plan for students in grades 3-8 by the 2005-2006 school
year. For most states, that will mean a series of standardized tests
aligned to each state's curriculum. Some education experts, however,
note that alternative assessments have a greater usefulness for
evaluating students and that the contentious atmosphere around standardized
testing has given rise to a need for such exams.
Alternative assessment strategies can provide additional and more
comfortable methods for students to demonstrate what they have learned.
In this issue of Science Class, you will find various news
and journal articles, books, and websites that discuss the problems
with standardized tests and offer resources on alternative assessments.
Read on and see what new methods you can learn to assess your students.
Alternative Assessment in the News
Article summaries provided by the NSTA WebNews Service.
Click here to read the latest:
Assessment on the Net
is a web-based service from NSTA that provides online content
chosen for selected keywords. This month's SciLink keyword is:
Assessment in NSTA Journal Articles
The following journal articles provide you with ideas for classroom
lessons and activities related to alternative assessment.
From this month's Science & Children: http://www.nsta.org/elementaryschool
From the Science & Children archives:: http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2003-05/elementary.htm
on Alternative Assessment
Check out these titles from NSTA Recommends:
Assessment in May's Science & Children
This month's Teaching Through Trade Books department focuses on
"Weather Watchers." Making actual weather observations
can be a great connection to reading about clouds and weather. Links
to cloud pictures as well as
directions for making a simple barometer and wind vane are at http://www.nsta.org/main/news/stories/science_and_children.php?category_ID=86&news_story_ID=48248.
Sometimes teachers can't avoid paper-and-pencil tests. The online
version of "Designing Assessment" includes tips for writing
better, clearer test questions. http://www.nsta.org/main/news/stories/science_and_children.php?category_ID=86&news_story_ID=48253.
The Eisenhower National Clearinghouse provides a good introduction
to professional development with an article by Susan Loucks-Horsley.
Click here to learn more and to read about the five principles of
Write for NSTA's Journals
NSTA needs your expertise. To find out how, visit:
Science & Children (Grades PreK–5) http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2003-05/sc.htm
Meet Author Mia Posada!
The award-winning author of Ladybugs: Red, Fiery, and Bright
and Dandelions: Stars in the Grass takes your questions throughout
the month of May.
Click here to join the discussion:
Safety in the Science Classroom
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