Thursday, February 7, 2013

Unit 1: Chapter 15

1. Turn to p. 559 in Ormrod's text. Now, imagine that you are meeting with Ingrid's grandmother today to explain her scores on the recent standardized achievement test pictures at the bottom of
p. 559. What will you tell her about Ingrid's performance? Her strengths and weaknesses? If grandmother asks you what she could be doing at home to strengthen Ingrid's skills, what would you suggest? Make sure to include links to scholarly articles or other authoritative sources.

I would explain to Ingrid's grandmother that her scores are very excellent in some areas but need quite a bit of work in other areas. Often students are higher achievers in some subject areas versus other subject areas. When this happens, they just need a little extra help focusing in on the other subject areas that are just as important for them to learn and know. These weaker areas do not always click with them as easily as the ones they are excelling in.

Ingrid's performance is below average in both spelling and math computation, average in math concepts, above average in social studies, and well above average in both reading comprehension and science. Ingrid's scores show that she excels in reading comprehension and does very well in science, and that she is good with social studies and math concepts. However, she could use a lot of work in the areas of spelling and math computation. Ingrid's strengths seem to be that she understands how to read and apply the concepts she is reading and that she enjoys learning about science and all aspects associated with it, are easy for her to learn. Her scores also indicate that she understands math concepts and the uses behind math, but she could use a little more help focusing in on the content being taught to better gain a grasp on problem solving. As well, she seems to have a good grasp on her knowledge with social studies. Her weaknesses seem to be in the areas of selling and math computation. So, Ingrid knows how to read and apply the material but does not do well when having to write or spell out words on her own. She also does not understand the computation of math when it comes to working problems out.

At home, Ingrid and her grandmother could go through her reading assignments and when she comes across a word she does not really know, have her spell it out and try to determine the meaning of the word. Her grandmother could also give her a weekly spelling list that relates to the vocabulary being studied in her classes and they go over it every night together. Another thought would be for her grandmother to say words aloud and then Ingrid have to spell or write them out. As for her low score in math computation, Ingrid's grandmother could help her in applying the math concepts they discuss in class through giving her example problems to work on. If she understands the concepts then she just needs practice problems to work on her computation of the problems.

These are a few helpful articles:
A Developmental Perspective on Standardized Achievement Testing
This site links you to an article that has a great perspective on students and the continuous pressures of standardized test taking. Most students who do well feel great about taking these tests, but for those students who do not test well, these tests become a source of anxiety that is unnecessary. This article would be a great reference for parents/grandparents who are trying to understand the routine testing their children are going through in school, so that they can help to better prepare them before they even get to school.

Families in Schools
This site appears to be a good source for parents to learn about their need of involvement in their child's education. Parents play a huge role in a students success or failure within the classroom. If parents know what is expected of their children and the two can work together, students may feel like they have a better grasp on the knowledge they are learning.

Finally, this was an interesting question to consider for the week. I will not be dealing with this kind of issue as an art teacher necessarily in the same way that other teachers will, however, I learned a lot about how to maybe handle a parent/grandparent that is frustrated because of their child's standardized test scores. While I will be trying my best to integrate my art lessons with what the other teachers are doing, I am not teaching the subjects that Ingrid's test were over. I can only hope to collaborate with English, math, science, or social studies teachers and help by creating lesson plans that incorporate their materials in a more fun, exploratory, and elaboration manner. Collectively, we can aspire to help students understand these content areas outside the box, and in the process help them see that art is everywhere and in everything.


  1. Rachel,

    Thanks so much for your comment to my post! I think we all want to become interactive teachers that are truly and clearly involved in each of the individual lives of our students. With art, I completely understand that standardized percentile tests and scores will not be prevalent in your class, but like you said, parents and guardians will always be around and concerned with their child's grades. I love your ideas of striving to integrate your art lessons with other subjects! I could definitely see you teaching an art lesson that incorporates a recent geography lesson or science experiment, and I think your motivation to combine these in some way will make learning more interactive and interesting for students. I also like your idea to help students understand and learn "outside the box". So often when teachers simply teach to the test, no true interaction or motivation occurs. As teachers we should work towards new ideas and new creative ways of thinking and teaching that meet the needs of our diverse students and their complex and wandering minds. Art is definitely one way to expand learning, and it is something I hope to try to use in my classroom as well.

  2. Rachel,

    I really enjoyed reading your blog post. It provided so much useful information for parent involvement. I know we have discussed it in class many times, but encouragement from parents is so crucial in a students academic career. My parents were always there to help me with homework and study for tests. It was also beneficial to my academics that they made me complete any school work before I did any other activity. This let me know that school was most important and also encouraging that they cared about my accomplishments. It is so unfortunate that some students do not have this involvement at home, so I think it is also for us as teachers to be as involved as our limits will let us! The website is a good resource to look back on when we want to help encourage our students' parents.