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Monday, November 19, 2012

HST+: Using Library and Reading Log with Guided Reading

I've started to use HST to track the reading levels for the books in my collection. I use the Guided Reading scale, but you can do it with any scale you like. I like guided reading because the letters (A-Z) aren't easily confused with actual grade levels (except for K and maybe P).

Here's how I've been doing it:

First, I enter a new Library Record using the ISBN. I also lookup the level of the title, usually using Scholastic BookWizard. I enter the level in the "Grade Level" field. This way, that info shows up in both the Resource tab and the Reading Log tab. You could also put it in "Custom," but it won't display in the Resource or Reading Log tabs.

Next, I evaluate my student's reading level. You can figure out the level of books they read on their own, or use a tool like this one http://parents.pioneervalleybooks.com/assessments . I found this picks their "Instructional" level, not their "Independant" level, so keep that in mind. You could also do a benchmark assessment, or hire a reading specialist to do one for you.

Finally, I sort the Library tab by Grade Level and right click and "Create Reading Log item" to assign the book to a particular student.

Using this software, I can assign either independant reading or instructional (with me) reading for each student that's tailored to their reading level, and to my book collection.  I don't have to maintain sorted bins of leveled books, and I can continue to use the shelving system I already set up.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

In response to misinformation and poor sports re the ND GOP Caucus 2012

I don’t think there was anything rotten in the way the votes were tallied or handled in ND. I think there has been a lot of user error resulting in the spread of misinformation on the internet. I personally stayed late in Bismarck to watch the vote tallies with my friends, and we collected totals as they were counted. Those numbers match the numbers provided on the NDGOP website, which you can find here: http://www.northdakotagop.org/caucus
Now, to the common errors. For background, you should know that Fargo boarders Minnesota. Now, Dr. Paul had a rally in the same building and at the same time as the presidential caucus, and people could walk down the hall to vote. The primary reason that I suggest as to why many of them didn’t stay and vote is probably because they were from Minnesota, and were not North Dakota residents. It’s also possible that at least some of the people in the room were not Paul supporters at all, but wanted to hear a presidential candidate at a presidential caucus.
I have seen a video clip from CNN that shows a vote tally for the “other” box at the Fargo polls. Each district in the Fargo area had a ballot box. There was one box for “other” districts, for anyone who was a voter from out of town. Now, the tally from that “other” box showed an extremely high percentage for Ron Paul. That makes sense, given that supporters would likely have traveled from as far as Grand Forks just to hear him speak. That doesn’t make it representative of the Fargo area, or of the state as a whole.
A third error is so simple. If you mouse over the Bismarck (or Fargo, or any of the other areas), you will only see results for one of the districts represented at that polling place. Move around a bit and you’ll see results for other districts. Double click and you can see zoom in to select the different districts. Last night in Bismarck, Districts 7, 8, 30, 32, 35, and 47 all voted at the Bismarck Civic Center. The results for each of those districts will be a fraction of the total number of votes cast at the Civic Center. Same deal in Fargo. You have to add them all together to get the total number of votes cast in Bismarck.
Any questions?