Top 4 Tuesday Tasks
It’s Top List Tuesday and today’s list is focused on my main four tasks and goals for today, aside from the usual random chores and blogging!
So here’s my list for today…
~~ Top 4 Tuesday Tasks ~~
Make soup in the slow cooker
It’s cooler today, and raining off and on, sometimes just a drizzle, and other times a downpour. Perfect day for making soup to bubble away in the slow cooker all day!
I used tomato soup as the base, and added white kidney beans, garlic, onion, basil, oregano, and chunks of browned sweet Italian sausage.
The aforementioned bubbling is going on now… and the wonderful smell of flavors blending together is beginning to make my mouth water! Yes, I have sampled, and I’m looking forward to having some for supper this evening!
Write and review assessment test items
I know I’ve mentioned it before, but one of my freelance jobs that has relaunched with a client from last year involves writing and reviewing assessment test items. These items comprise the client’s database of test items and full assessment tests for their clients, who are secondary school administrators responsible for providing admissions testing to prospective students.
In the case of this client, test items involve both English language arts (ELA) and math items. I write and review the ELA items (NOT a math whiz – just enough to get by!)
Some of the items involve simply identifying words and are known as “verbals,” or essentially vocabulary words appropriate for the grade level. Here is an example of a verbal test item I’ve written in the past:
(B) heedful *
Option (B), heedful, is the correct answer because it is a synonym for attentive.
Option (A) is incorrect because although people who are observant or helpful may become tired or fatigued, untiring is not a synonym of attentive.
Option (C) is incorrect because although someone who is attentive may also be inspiring or encouraging, inspiring is not a synonym for attentive.
Option (D) is incorrect because although people may be attentive, they might not be reflective or introspective, so reflective is not a synonym for attentive.
Option (E) is incorrect; unobservant means to not pay attention, so unobservant is an antonym of attentive.
Other items involve reasoning and identifying relationships between words, and are called analogies. Here is an example of an analogy test item I’ve written in the past:
Exercising is to strengthening as
(A) falling is to tumbling
(B) working is to playing
(C) teaching is to learning*
(D) snowing is to melting
(E) brushing is to painting
Option (C) is the correct answer because it describes the same relationship as in the stem: cause (“teaching”) and effect (“learning”).
Option (A) is incorrect because it is a synonym relationship: “falling” and “tumbling” are similar actions.
Option (B) is incorrect because it is an antonym relationship: “working” and “playing” are opposite actions.
Option (D) is incorrect because it is an antonym relationship: “snowing” and “melting” don’t usually occur at the same time.
Option (E) is incorrect because it is a tool and use relationship: “brushing” is an action of the tool used in “painting.”
The third type of items involves reading passages and accompanying questions. That process involves these steps:
Reading the accompanying passage (may also involve either locating/sourcing public domain passages or writing them).
Gleaning key points and crafting questions that require some amount of critical thinking (not simple yes/no or basic multiple choice or matching).
Providing the correct answers and usually three or four alternate possible answers (in other words, no give-aways or obviously wrong answers) per question.
Developing the rationales; in other words, instead of simply saying the answer is correct or incorrect, providing some additional details as the rationale for the correct response, and some clues to the correct answer without giving it away for the incorrect responses.
Here is an example of one test item I’ve written in the past to accompany the excerpt from a reading passage from an older public domain middle school level children’s story:
The passage suggests Chatterer the Red Squirrel knew Sammy Jay was hiding near Chatterer’s storehouse because
(A) Chatterer kept his sharp eyes wide open
(B) Chatterer was just as smart as Sammy Jay
(C) Chatterer knew Sammy Jay would try to hide
(D) Chatterer saw Sammy Jay’s bright blue feathers *
(E) Chatterer saw Sammy Jay slip away after making a fuss
The correct answer is (D), Chatterer saw Sammy Jay’s bright blue feathers, as suggested in the sentence, “and he had spied Sammy Jay’s smart blue coat when Sammy had thought himself nicely hidden.”
Option (A) is incorrect because while it’s true Chatterer kept his eyes open, seeing Sammy Jay’s blue feathers alerted Chatterer to Sammy’s presence.
Option (B) is incorrect because while it’s true Chatterer was also smart, seeing Sammy Jay’s blue feathers alerted Chatterer to Sammy’s presence.
Option (C) is incorrect because while Chatterer may have suspected Sammy would hide, Chatterer did not know that for sure.
Option (E) is incorrect because the passage says Sammy slipped away unseen.
Plan education blog posts
Another client, a new one for me, has an education site with a unique blend of instruction and resources, as well as a blog. My responsibility is to add relevant blog posts on varied education topics that have not already been covered, or not recently updated. This will be my first week writing for this client, so I’m working on reviewing their existing content in order to plan my own blog posts to add to their offerings in a new and fresh way. I want to use my own educational background and knowledge to encourage others logging in to the client’s site to get excited about the idea of lifelong learning.
Read a book and write the accompanying lesson plan
Another new client for me is one who offers lesson plans for literature books to aid understanding of various aspects of the stories. I was able to choose from a list of books the client needs these lesson plans for, and this is the one I have started reading so I can write the accompanying lesson plan.
Ever heard of it or read it? I hadn’t, but it sounds intriguing so far. It’s actually a play and this is the little snippet available on the site where I downloaded the ebook:
“Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Quiara Alegría Hudes’s drama is a heartbreaking, funny, and inspiring account of the search for family in both conventional and unconventional places.”
So I’m looking forward to taking some notes and beginning to write the lesson plan as I go through this book.
Yes, I have a LOT going on – and I do feel this way sometimes!
So What About YOU?
What is on the schedule for your Tuesday? Do you make lists to help keep you on task?
Do you enjoy using a crock pot or slow cooker for soups and meals during cooler weather or rainy days?