I always enjoy posting on the Nerdy Book Club blog. I don’t know of any other group blog that has such loyal and knowledgable followers. In this post, I attempt to describe how my thinking changed (for the better) about the use of quantitative assessments when measuring students’ reading abilities.
When I was still in the classroom, I would take my 5th and 6th grade students to a local creek. Our purpose was to assess the water quality. The students were taught how to use a variety of tests, involving various indicators and kits. One of the tests measured the nitrates in the water. Nitrates derive from animal waste. A high level would indicate the creek was a poor environment for living organisms, save bullheads and carp.
Not 200 yards upstream from out testing site was a cow pasture. We could see the cattle grazing from our location. Now, one would think that the levels of nitrates would be consistently high, considering the source. Yet for every time we got a high reading, we would get a normal one too. This is why we took three samples each in the fall and in the spring. When a student once got…
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