Month: June 2015

Preschool literature: Books about the weather

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Below are a list of books that can be used in a preschool classroom. This particular set of books deals with the weather. Some are informational texts, while others are natives or influenced by music. Enjoy!


1. Judi Barrett. (1978). Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. New York, NY: Antheneum Books for Young
After an incident at lunch that left Henry with a pancake on his head, grandpa was reminded of a town named Chewandswallow were the weather was not like normal weather. It did not rain or snow, instead the clouds dumped food on the people. Things like juice and mashed potatoes fell from the sky. However, the weather turned into a problem for the people because of huge floods and storms with giant food with portions too big to consume.
This book would be interesting and fun for students because the weather in this book is not that of normal weather. Students could use the ideas in this book to compare and contrast normal weather events such as like rain or snow.
2. Bill Martin Jr. (1988). Listen to the Rain. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company
This book gives a descriptive and rhythmic description of rain. For example, “listen to the rain, the whisper of the rain, the slow soft sprinkle, the drip-drop tickle…” This book explores the sounds and feelings of rain.
This book could be used to incorporate music and movement into a weather unit. It encourages students to listen to how the rain may sound on different surfaces as well as the loudness of it. Students also hear the rhythmic pattern of the book.
3. Pat Hutchins. (1993). The Wind Blew. New York, NY: Aladdin Paperbacks.
The wind blew so hard it began to take things with it– Mr. Whites umbrella, the twin’s scarves, the judges wig, the mail carriers mail! The wind was on the verge of taking everything away with it. But then, it stopped.
This book also has a rhythmic pattern. It will encourage children to think about things the wind does and the strength of it. This book may also encourage students to think about things the wind may have blow away from them. It may be helpful to read this book during the spring.
4. Gail Gibbons. (19–). The Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree. New York, NY: Voyager Books.
The seasons in this book are illustrated through Arnold’s apple tree. The book describes and illustrates how the tree changes in fall, winter, spring, and summer as well as what Arnold does with his tree during each season.
This book gives an over view of how each season affects the tree’s appearance. This book could be an introduction into an art lesson where students make their own trees and reflect on how different seasons would affect it’s appearance.
5. Betsy Maestro (1994). Why Do Leaves Change Color? New York, NY: HarperCollins
This book would be great to use during a fall unit. The book shows students different trees have different kind of leaves, some leaves turn color in autumn, and also explains why some leaves turn color. I really like this book because it has illustrations of the different kind of leaves and what they look like. Additionally, the students are introduced to the word “chlorophyll” which will enhance their vocabulary.
The book also is a great way to explain why certain leaves turn color and why the others don’t. There are also vivid, colorful pictures that highlight the information in the book. After reading this book, a nature walk where students observe the leaves changing would be a fun way to extend the learning from the classroom.

Tulsa World Editorial: State writing test flunks again

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TULSA WORLD: For the second consecutive year, the state Department of Education is ditching fifth- and eighth-grade writing test results when figuring A-F report cards for public schools.

It’s public acknowledgment that the 97,000 scores on the expensive test aren’t reliable.

School leaders complain that this year’s test had obvious scoring issues: Advanced students who were scored unaccountably low; some students who did poorly on the reading test did very well on the writing test; and large numbers of students receiving the same grade.

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister inherited writing test contracts through fiscal 2019 worth a combined $48 million with Measured Progress.

An Oklahoma Watch story shows that the company was using graders recruited off Craigslist and paid $11.50 an hour. No classroom teaching credentials or experience was required.

Every paper was read by two graders, but if you don’t have the right people in the room in the first place, repeating the exercise doesn’t solve the problem.

Hofmeister questions the need for a separate writing assessment, and we see her point.

The costs of the test failure are not just measured in the money going to the contractor. Time has been taken away from classroom teaching to prep kids for a test that won’t be used to diagnose anything.

It could be an issue with the second vendor in a row, but it also might be an indicator of the impossibility of grading 97,000 writing samples in an economical, efficient and consistent fashion.

The Legislature needs to take a reality test about the idea of a mass writing exam and whether there might be a better way to get results that actually can be used.

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