A Teacher's Guide to Standardized Reading Tests: Knowledge Is Power

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9780325000008: A Teacher's Guide to Standardized Reading Tests: Knowledge Is Power

In recent years, the increasingly high stakes attached to norm-referenced reading tests have made it harder to hold onto what we believe about language arts education. Now, Lucy Calkins, Kate Montgomery, and Donna Santman meet us in the true trenches, offering companionship and guidance in the most lonely, complex, and sometimes heartbreaking area of our teaching: preparing students for standardized reading tests.

Written with the intimacy, inspiration, and classroom-based practicality we've come to expect from The Art of Teaching Writing, A Teacher's Guide to Standardized Reading Tests reflects the authors' belief that in order to be less victimized by tests, we need to be more knowledgeable about them. To that end, their book:

  • provides a complete overview of tests, showing us how to use this information to be more powerful and more articulate participants in today's political conversations and in our interactions with colleagues, parents, and our students
  • demonstrates how the methods we've come to trust in the reading and writing workshop can be built upon and adapted as we do test-preparation work with our students
  • rethinks the reading workshop in light of standardized tests, describing predictable challenges children will face when taking tests and ways we can help children develop the capabilities to meet those challenges
  • provides guidelines for reading and interpreting test results, enabling us to minimize the damage caused by troubling scores.
"If our students do well on tests," write the authors, "we are in a far stronger position to be critical of those same tests." With A Teacher's Guide to Standardized Reading Tests, educators can achieve these results, and advocate for and use forms of assessment that inform teaching and support student learning.

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About the Author:

Lucy Calkins is the author of the best-selling grade-by-grade Units of Study for Teaching Reading, Grades K-8 and Units of Study in Opinion/Argument, Information, and Narrative Writing, Grades K-8 series, which have quickly become an indispensable part of classroom life in tens of thousands of schools around the world, the new Up the Ladder: Accessing Grades 3-6 Units in Narrative, Information, and Opinion Writing series, and classroom essentials such as the groundbreaking TCRWP Classroom Libraries and the Workshop Help Desk series. Lucy is also the author or coauthor of numerous foundational professional texts with Heinemann, including The Art of Teaching Writing, Writing Pathways: Performance Assessments and Learning Progressions, Grades K-8 , Pathways to the Common Core: Accelerating Achievement, and One to One: The Art of Conferring with Young Writers. She is also the author of The Art of Teaching Reading. In her role as the Founding Director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, a New York City - based organization that has influenced literacy instruction around the globe for more than thirty years, Lucy has developed a learning community of brilliant and dedicated teacher educators who have supported hundreds of thousands of teachers, principals, superintendents, and policy-makers in schools that bear their distinctive mark: a combination of joy and rigor in the classrooms, and entire school communities - teachers, principals, parents, kids - who wear a love of reading and writing on their sleeves. Lucy is the Robinson Professor of Children's Literature at Teachers College, Columbia University where she co-directs the Literacy Specialist Program - a masters and doctoral program that brings brilliant teachers and coaches to TCRWP schools everywhere and to the Project itself. She and her husband John are the parents of two sons, Miles and Evan.

Beverly Falk is Professor of Education and Head of the Graduate Programs in Early Childhood Education at The City College of New York, The City University of New York. She currently edits The New Educator and has authored The Heart of the Matter (Heinemann, 2000) and coauthored A Teacher's Guide to Standardized Tests (Heinemann 1998) and Authentic Assessment in Action (Teachers College Press, 1995).

Kate Montgomery teaches reading and writing in Harlem, New York. Prior to this, she was a Peace Corps literacy educator in Kenya and teacher of English in Czechoslovakia. Kate has been a lead researcher in all of the Teachers College Reading Project's work in New York City schools and has played a major role in shaping the Project's thinking about the teaching of reading.

Donna Santman is a middle-school literacy teacher and reading coach at Intermediate School 89 in New York City. A former staff developer at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Donna consults with schools around the country, supporting teachers in developing and implementing rigorous reading and writing workshops as well as supporting schools in thinking about literacy needs across the curriculum. She is coauthor of A Teacher's Guide to Standardized Reading Tests (Heinemann, 1998).

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