If you attended and have questions, suggestions, comments and concerns, please use the comment feature and post. I will forward your entry to the appropriate board member and delete your comment, if you so state, from the blog.
Hope to see you in 2009 at the Renaissance Hotel in Orlando, Florida!
As is stated in the FCAT Test Administration Manual, “The test administrator may
sign or orally present the writing prompt (topic), items, and answer choices on
the writing test. When reading answer choices, be very careful not to use
voice inflection that might lead a student to the correct/incorrect responses.”
This appears in the FCAT Writing+ Test Administration Manual published and
disseminated to districts in spring of 2008, on page 112, as the first bullet
item under the section labeled Presentation.
We hope that this information is helpful to you and your colleagues. If you have additional questions regarding accommodations that are allowable on the FCAT, please feel free to contact our office by telephone at (850) 245-0478. If you have
specific questions about assessment, please contact Ms. Linda Rhea, Program
Specialist, Florida Department of Education, by electronic mail at Linda.Rhea@fldoe.org or by telephone at (850) 245-0513.
Contest Update: September 8, 2008
At first, students were stymied about how not to write a fan letter. Continual coaching, encouragement, and your excellent guidelines and teaching files helped them correspond with authors in a revelatory way. This was a new way of writing for them. Their initial intensity about wanting to win became redirected as we practiced applying your lesson-plan ideas. —Kate Denault, Mountainside, New Jersey
Books have wings. You can't see them, but they are there just the same. On books' wings, readers can soar to new places where they meet intriguing characters and experience exciting adventures. But a book's wings can also help a reader rise above difficult situations, like peer pressure, bullying or prejudice, or to cope with disappointment and loss. Have you ever felt the power and lift of literature? Has one book, or perhaps one author, inspired you to change your view of yourself or of your world? If so, we encourage you to enter this year's Letters About Literature writing competition. It's easy. All you have to do is write a personal letter to an author, explaining how his or her work affected you.
LAL isn't your ordinary book report assignment! We eliminate all letters that just summarize the book's plot. Why? Because you are writing to the author and the author already knows what happened, right? Instead, we look for letters that are personal (that means, about you, your thoughts, your feelings), conversational, and informative!
Entry guidelines and "official rules" are also available on the LAL page at the Libary of Congresss Website at this URL: http://www.loc.gov/letters. Meanwhile, browse our site using the menu at the left and read some of the great winning letters from this year's competition! We look forward to receiving your letter this year!
The Florida Book Awards, coordinated by the Florida State University Program in American & Florida Studies -- and co-sponsored by the Florida Center for the Book, the State Library and Archives of Florida, the Florida Historical Society, the Florida Humanities Council, the Florida Literary Arts Coalition, the Florida Library Association, “Just Read, Florida!,” the Governor’s Family Literacy Initiative, the Florida Association for Media in Education, the Florida Center for the Literary Arts, Friends of the Florida State University Libraries, and the Florida Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America -- is an annual awards program that recognizes, honors, and celebrates the best Florida literature published in the previous year.
Perhaps, since Ginny has retired, she will agree to post a few of her adventures. Below are a few of her reflections from a recent email. Of course it had to include, what else? A book!
It is so strange that everyone is back at school except for me. I am making a point to walk on the beach each morning but beyond that, am mostly reading and watching the Olympics. I've never had leisure time like this before. After being gone practically all of the summer, it's good just to putter at home. Besides having fun in various places in New England with family (Berkshires, Acadia Natl Park, Cape Cod), I also facilitated a three day workshop for elementary teachers that showed how to integrate geographic concepts and literature. It was great fun to work with my long-time friend Kristi who is a geography professor at Keene State College in New Hampshire and coordinator of the NH Geographic Alliance (initiated by Natl Geographic) as well as a young man who teaches 4th grade who is an absolute dynamo. My first consulting job was a success! Hurray! I'm planning to sub for our media specialist - will do book talks when I am there. I wish everyone well as you begin a new school year -Love to all, Ginny
PS Here's a short prose piece from Naomi Shihab Nye (Honeybee) that we used at our workshop -- hurray for BOOKS - I have a couple of other things that are equally stunning!
Before I Read The Kite Runner (p. 142) I held it on my lap on the plane in Cairo while other passengers were boarding. It seemed like a good book to read, finally, on such a long flight. I’d had it since it came out, but now the time felt right. Two men from Yemen across the aisle, who had been snoozing when the Egypt passengers first boarded, pointed and said, “Good book! Good book!” Some women from Germany patted my head and said, “We loved that book.” An American man with his wife leaned over and said, “It opened our eyes.” What a surprise! Everyone on the plane seemed to have read it before me. And they were all my friends simply because I was holding it!Maybe we should just wander around other countries carrying books. Naomi Shihab Nye (Not familiar with Nye's work? Click here for brief bio and information about author from HarperCollins.)
You will find links to some of the referenced sites on the right side of this page under Related Links of Interest (below, right).