The Book Whisperer Makes Fun of Teaching to the Test

I love Donalyn Miller’s blog, The Book Whisperer, as well as her book with the same name.

Her most recent post, Best Book Awards for Teaching to the Test, satirically offers an award to the writer whose book most effectively will help teachers prepare their students for tests:

Best Book Awards for Teaching to the Test

The Roots and Stems Award: Throw away your dictionary and consider using the SAT vocabulary lists as your guide. The more obscure words you use in your book, the better. After all, words like “iconoclast” and “venerable” are hard to find in context at school.

The Venn Award: Can students compare and contrast the characters in your book using a graphic organizer? Will your plot fit nicely on a pyramid? If my students can record everything they need to remember about your book onto one worksheet, you are a frontrunner for this award.

The Field Trip Award: Can I use your book to show my students what a zoo, museum, or concert hall really looks like? How about recess? With budget cuts and a focus on standards-based curriculum, the only way my students might have these experiences is if you write about them.

The Marginalia Award: If my students can write reams of annotation while reading your book, this is the award for you. Talk to your publisher and ask them to widen the margins. Two inches–the width of a small Post-It note– would be best.

The Diorama Award: Open House is just around the corner, and I need something to hang on the walls. Besides, knowing that a project is due is the only thing that motivates my students to read. Does your book lend itself to a wanted poster, cereal box, or paper bag report? If I can integrate technology by assigning a power point project, I will use your book every year. Since all we do in class is drill on test-taking skills, students will have to complete this project at home. Consider including instructions for parents.

One Comment on “The Book Whisperer Makes Fun of Teaching to the Test”

  1. April says:

    I’m dealing with the reality of the Diorama one right. now!!! My daughter’s not doing it. I know I will hear about it. I don’t want to deal with it.

    February 9th, 2010 at 10:37 pm
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