Kathryn Smerker

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Recent Reviews by Kathryn


Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:32 PM
3 Why Not??
The Article “Say YES to Metric” Was very informative , I knew that there was a political reason for why we did not use Metric as a standard but did not know the details behind it. I find it interesting that the reason is plain and simple because we don’t want to. I for one do not think that metric is harder than our standard measurement. I agree that if we want to be a leader in the world that will need to get on the same playing field. We also need to get over the fact that we want to be different just to be different and move on. Students would be better prepared for Science, Social and STEM jobs if we were to make the move. The younger the better, starting in Pre- K by using the language and then move up in grades and focus measuring on the metric system within just a few years kids would have it down. I understand that change is hard, I HATE change but we are getting in our own way and it is only hurting us. Business should be the first ones to support this as it would make trade and business with overseas companies faster and easier. The money that would be lost in making the changes would be made up within months of doing business. The cost of changing signs, adding to textbooks, teaching the new format greatly outweighs the ignorance we show as a nation when we are not using the same measurement as the rest of the world. In closing I agree with the persons who want us to change over to a metric union, I believe that it would make thing less confusing and give us a one unified way to measure when completing tasks and projects. Kathryn Smerker Life Science Class- Science Endorsement 10/19/14


Sun Oct 05, 2014 5:39 PM
4 Should be the NORM.
This enjoyed reading this article but thought that it was a little behind in thinking. Written 7 years ago I am sure it was new in thinking that we could get rather in our learning with ELL students if we knew more about their background and used different forms of assessments with them. But in today’s educational world I believe this is more of a norm than not. The knowledge you gain from a taking inventory on any student but especially ELL students is priceless. You open the door for them to trust you and gain the respect of parents because you are taking an interest in their kids as people. I remember doing this for the first time in my classroom and still to this day remember kids by what I learned that day. I am able to relate concepts we learn to their interests and compare and contrast ideas using things they enjoy and even things they don’t enjoy. This not only making learning fun for them but teaching fun for me. It’s a win win! It may be the first grade teacher in me but I love to see what kids share when drawing. It is much easier for ELL students to show what they know rather than have to but it all into words. The more that we can include these 2 concepts into our planning, teaching and assessments the better off we will be not only in academic testing but more importantly lifelong learning of concepts.


Sun Oct 05, 2014 5:38 PM
4 Interesting... YES! Doable... NOT SO SURE
Although his article was interesting and I agreed with the main idea, I wonder how practical it really is. I completely agree that students don’t always show all that they know on the standardize tests given. I have often said I wish “they” could come in and observe my students in action. Oh the things they would see! They would see that James can solve and question better than most adults and that although Alice can’t understand or speak all the vocabulary correctly she can draw and show you that she understands concepts. So this sounds like a jack pot idea. Kids would be able to show what they really know. The list of concerns/suggestions hit the nail on the head for me, with the biggest being teachers grading their own tests (concern) and Spread task out over time (suggestion). We already have people that question every little thing that we do as teachers and cheating rumors can you image if we graded our own tests? How would we find a way around this? I did get very excited when I read about spreading out the tasks over time. This to me is the most real world assessment that was shared. Never in my adult life have I been asked to share everything I know about reading, math, or science in one sitting. You use the knowledge in pieces when it is needed. I believe that we could get a better look at what students know if we complete tasks over a period of time rather than in a one day paper pencil test at the end of the year.