Sunday, April 29, 2012

Update on story - Would you pass this test?

Now this is one Hare story even I understand.  I bet if this was the story on the kids' standardized test, they would have undertood it too!


Original Post:

Would you pass this test?

What is your take on the following story and questions given in an 8th grade standardized state test in New York? Is standardized testing right on the mark, or have they missed the mark all together?

The Hare and the Pineapple
by Daniel Pinkwater

In olden times, the animals of the forest could speak English just like you and me. One day, a pineapple challenged a hare to a race.
(I forgot to mention, fruits and vegetables were able to speak too.)
A hare is like a rabbit, only skinnier and faster. This particular hare was known to be the fastest animal in the forest.
“You, a pineapple have the nerve to challenge me, a hare, to a race,” the hare asked the pineapple. “This must be some sort of joke.”
“No,” said the pineapple. “I want to race you. Twenty-six miles, and may the best animal win."

"You aren't even an animal!" the hare said. “You're a tropical fruit!"
“Well, you know what I mean,” the pineapple said.

The animals of the forest thought it was very strange that tropical fruit should want to race a very fast animal.

"The pineapple has some trick up its sleeve," a moose said.

Pineapples don't have sleeves, an owl said

"Well, you know what I mean,” the moose said. "If a pineapple challenges a hare to a race, it must be that the pineapple knows some secret trick that will allow it to win.”

“The pineapple probably expects us to root for the hare and then look like fools when it loses,” said a crow. “Then the pineapple will win the race because the hare is overconfident and takes a nap, or gets lost, or something.”

The animals agreed that this made sense. There was no reason a pineapple should challenge a hare unless it had a clever plan of some sort. So the animals, wanting to back a winner, all cheered for the pineapple.

When the race began, the hare sprinted forward and was out of sight in less than a minute. The pineapple just sat there, never moving an inch.

The animals crowded around watching to see how the pineapple was going to cleverly beat the hare. Two hours later when the hare cross the finish line, the pineapple was still sitting still and hadn't moved an inch.
The animals ate the pineapple.

MORAL: Pineapples don't have sleeves


Beginning with paragraph 4, in what order are the events in the story told?
A switching back and forth between places
B In the order in which the events happen
C Switching back and forth between the past and the present
D In the order in which the hare tells the events to another animal


The animals ate the pineapple most likely because they were
A Hungry
B Excited
C Annoyed
D Amused

Which animal spoke the wisest words?
A The hare
B The moose
C The crow
D The owl

Before the race, how did the animals feel toward the pineapple?
A Suspicious
B Kindly
C Sympathetic
D Envious

What would have happened if the animals had decided to cheer for the hare?
A The pineapple would have won the race.
B They would have been mad at the hare for winning.
C The hare would have just sat there and not moved.
D They would have been happy to have cheered for a winner.

When the moose said that the pineapple has some trick up its sleeve, he means that the pineapple
A is wearing a disguise
B wants to show the animals

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Would you pass this test?

What is your take on the following story and questions given in an 8th grade standardized state test in New York?  Is standardized testing right on the mark, or have they missed the mark all together?

The Hare and the Pineapple
by Daniel Pinkwater

In olden times, the animals of the forest could speak English just like you and me. One day, a pineapple challenged a hare to a race.
(I forgot to mention, fruits and vegetables were able to speak too.)
A hare is like a rabbit, only skinnier and faster. This particular hare was known to be the fastest animal in the forest.
“You, a pineapple have the nerve to challenge me, a hare, to a race,” the hare asked the pineapple. “This must be some sort of joke.”
“No,” said the pineapple. “I want to race you. Twenty-six miles, and may the best animal win."

"You aren't even an animal!" the hare said. “You're a tropical fruit!"
“Well, you know what I mean,” the pineapple said.

The animals of the forest thought it was very strange that tropical fruit should want to race a very fast animal.

"The pineapple has some trick up its sleeve," a moose said.

Pineapples don't have sleeves, an owl said

"Well, you know what I mean,” the moose said. "If a pineapple challenges a hare to a race, it must be that the pineapple knows some secret trick that will allow it to win.”

“The pineapple probably expects us to root for the hare and then look like fools when it loses,” said a crow. “Then the pineapple will win the race because the hare is overconfident and takes a nap, or gets lost, or something.”

The animals agreed that this made sense. There was no reason a pineapple should challenge a hare unless it had a clever plan of some sort. So the animals, wanting to back a winner, all cheered for the pineapple.

When the race began, the hare sprinted forward and was out of sight in less than a minute. The pineapple just sat there, never moving an inch.

The animals crowded around watching to see how the pineapple was going to cleverly beat the hare. Two hours later when the hare cross the finish line, the pineapple was still sitting still and hadn't moved an inch.
The animals ate the pineapple.

MORAL: Pineapples don't have sleeves


Beginning with paragraph 4, in what order are the events in the story told?
A switching back and forth between places
B In the order in which the events happen
C Switching back and forth between the past and the present
D In the order in which the hare tells the events to another animal


The animals ate the pineapple most likely because they were
A Hungry
B Excited
C Annoyed
D Amused

Which animal spoke the wisest words?
A The hare
B The moose
C The crow
D The owl

Before the race, how did the animals feel toward the pineapple?
A Suspicious
B Kindly
C Sympathetic
D Envious

What would have happened if the animals had decided to cheer for the hare?
A The pineapple would have won the race.
B They would have been mad at the hare for winning.
C The hare would have just sat there and not moved.
D They would have been happy to have cheered for a winner.

When the moose said that the pineapple has some trick up its sleeve, he means that the pineapple
A is wearing a disguise
B wants to show the animals a trick
C has a plan to fool the animals
D is going to put something out of its sleeve


Would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Where is the bottom???


How low can people actually go before we hit bottom?  Every day it seems new strides are made to go even lower.  I read this article last night and was actually surprised.  I guess with the atmosphere today, I shouldn't be, BUT when two boys, ages 7 and 8 , are charged with "savagely beating their school bus driver and two bus aides" it's hard to fathom.  Not that they were charged with such a disgusting crime, but that the boys said they did this because they were angry.  They were angry that they were told to stop messing around on the bus.  They were asked to behave and this is their reaction????  (And where did they learn this was a proper response?)

The news also reports that the kids “did not allege they were struck or harmed by bus personnel.”    Wow!  While the bus driver was standing in front of the bus doors, the boys shoved her down, pulled her hair violently and slammed her head on the ground and the news comments that the boys were not struck or harmed by the bus personnel.  I know at that point, I certainly would have fought back, unless of course, the bus driver was unconscious and couldn't. There were two other bus monitors on board, one of whom is 73 years old, who were also overpowered by these boys. All I keep thinking is that these boys are 7 and 8 years old.  They will be charged with battery and possibly be expelled from school. 

So I ask again - where is the bottom?



Click here for Original story from CBS news

Click here for Original story from Fox Chicago news

Friday, April 13, 2012

The MOOSE AT THE MANGER is here!

After months of blogging about the publishing journey as seen through the eyes of some very talented moose Click Here, I am very excited to announce that my children's book, The Moose at the Manger, is  NOW AVAILABLE! 



About the Book:

When Muse the Moose accidently wanders off from her family, she becomes lost in the forest. She luckily finds a friend in Star Bright, the brightest star in the sky, who leads her on a fantastic journey. When Muse becomes The Moose at the Manger, she realizes her most important journey is yet to come.


The moose are very excited with the first shipment of books!


Everyone likes to chew on a good book!


To read more from the moose or to order autographed copies of The Moose at the Manger Click Here

As always books can be ordered directly from Tate Publishing by Clicking Here


As Long as We Have Music

Do you like music?


If you do, come this Sunday
April 15, 2012
for
Musichorale's Gala 65th Spring Concert

What a perfect weekend for some beautiful music!

Advance tickets are $12.00 and you can get them directly from Musichorale simply by clicking this link: http://musichorale.org/

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Rahm says he "listened" to the parents of CPS students...yeah right.


First off I am sick and tired of the mantra that all the ills of CPS schools will be fixed once we have a FULL SCHOOL DAY!  What in the world have we had for over a century already?  Whether a FULL DAY of school is 6 hours, 7 hours, or 12 hours, the school system needs way more than time on the  clock to make a difference in education. 

Rahm was presented with a paper from CPS parents titled "The Best Education, or Just the Longest?” on Monday and by Tuesday morning he had listened to the parents' input and altered his plan...really, or was this his plan all along?

According to the current CTU contract (pages 18 and 19) teachers who have "voted and adopted"  a closed-campus school day get their "continuous duty-free lunch period of forty-five minutes" (page 19 of CTU contract) at the end of the school day at which time teachers can sign out for the day.

Currently elementary teachers work 6 hours, 15 minutes (not including lunch) a day.  By increasing the school day to 7 hours as Rahm Emanuel has now "conceded", does that mean he is just going to make teachers stay on campus during their "duty free lunch period"  - a 45 minute period that teachers are NOT paid for to begin with? If he does that, does that also mean there will be no prep time before school to get ready for class?  And if he lengthens the teachers' school day more than the 7 hours that the students are expected to be there, where is the compensation? 

Emanuel is also planning to "add" 10 school days to the calendar year, but most of those are days teachers are already paid for.  Professional Developments days have been switched around or eliminated, paid holidays have been cancelled, and Report-Card Pick-Up days are now teaching days too.  Of the ten "added" days, it looks like all but three were already in the school year - the difference- no professional development for the teachers during the school year (with new Common Core Standards from the Federal Government and a new evaluation system on its way, who would need additional training???)  and pick on Columbus and Pulaski as far as cancelling holidays.  If you look at the calendar and the spacing between "days off", they certainly didn't pick these holidays "with the children" in mind.

So, could it be teachers will be expected to
  • put in more days of teaching,
  • get less training,
  • be set up for failure when all these "new initiatives" don't work
  • not get more money for the extra time/days that will be added into the calendar,
  • pay more in health insurance
  • get a 2% raise for year one of a new contract, NO raise during year two of the contract, and a possible raise during years 3-5 if teachers sign on to merit pay tying test scores to salaries. 
  • be screwed with our pensions

In the end, if this goes through, it looks like Rahm might be getting exactly what he wants and the teachers will just be getting it "in the end".

 

It seems the only way Rahm will actually listen and hear is if he hears the sound of feet walking a picket line.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!


And he departed from our sight that we might return to our heart, and there find Him. For He departed, and behold, He is here.
- St Augustine



Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It seems not much has changed but the calendar

Mark Twain had to quit school at a young age after his father died to help raise money for his family.  He never let schooling (or lack thereof) get in his way of an education.  Here are some of his thoughts on Congress and schools.

On Congress...

Fleas can be taught nearly anything that a Congressman can.
What Is Man?


Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
Mark Twain, a Biography


All Congresses and Parliaments have a kindly feeling for idiots, and a compassion for them, on account of personal experience and heredity.
Mark Twain's Autobiography; also inMark Twain in Eruption


It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.
- Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar


...I never can think of Judas Iscariot without losing my temper. To my mind Judas Iscariot was nothing but a low, mean, premature, Congressman.
- "Foster's Case," New York Tribune, 10 March 1873 



On Schools...


In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made School Boards.
Following the Equator; Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar 

The man who does not read books has no advantage over the man that can not read them.
Mark Twain


Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you gain at one end you lose at the other. It's like feeding a dog on his own tail. It won't fatten the dog.
- Speech 11/23/1900

On Life...

" If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man."



Sunday, April 1, 2012

Some April Fool's Quotes to Brighten Your Day!




April 1. This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four. ~Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson, 1894



Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed. ~Mark Twain

I have great faith in fools - self-confidence, my friends call it. ~Edgar Allan Poe

Don't give cherries to pigs or advice to fools. ~Irish Proverb

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. ~Douglas Adams