It remains unclear to Mary Tarashuk how rampant standardized testing is actually helping her fourth graders become successful and enthusiastic learners. As she prepares for her own evaluation, Mary shares pushback from parents, students, and HBO’s John Oliver.
Tagged: Mary Tarashuk
Students’ success in making connections – whether listening, writing, or linking ideas with bits of yarn – is essential to learning. Mary Tarashuk sees those connections in her 4th graders’ notebooks and in their eyes. But can PARCC prompts capture them?
As Mary Tarashuk anticipates the second round of PARCC testing this spring, she tackles stacks of paperwork and teacher evaluation forms. She’ll also make sure her 4th graders celebrate Earth Day, revisit engaging writing prompts, and enjoy some fresh air.
We can teach students the value of speaking out on critical issues while meeting curriculum standards, says Mary Tarashuk, who shares her 6-day unit inspired by the 1992 speech of 12-year old environmentalist Severn Suzuki before global leaders.
Most teachers Mary Tarashuk knows are salmon, with a deeply embedded instinct that urges them to keep swimming upstream against mighty currents (including CC standardized testing) to find their way back to real teaching that makes real sense for real kids.
Looking for a “standardized writing prompt” that will really engage her students, Mary Tarashuk hits upon favorite essayist Andy Rooney and his reflection on a favorite teacher, then fashions a multi-day practice assessment to get her 4th graders thinking and writing.
Fourth grade teacher Mary Tarashuk describes how lines from the musical In the Woods, the new Julian chapter of RJ Palacio’s Wonder, and a chance encounter with an anti-bullying article came together to spark some memorable student wisdom about character.
In a season filled with celebrations, MiddleWeb celebrates teachers by sharing some insights into the teaching life, offered by our bloggers and guest writers. We begin with the wonderful 2014 book, Teaching with Heart.
With the fall marathon of parent-teacher conferences finally done, Mary Tarashuk logs onto the district portal to input student grades for the first marking period. And then she finds herself pausing to wonder what authentic assessment truly means – when we’re talking to the people who care most.
Leaping into writing with students can be almost as thrilling as sky-diving, says Mary Tarashuk, who has now tried both. Here she describes how she is modeling “the writer as reader” with her 4th graders and shares their organizer for narrative writing.