Archives for 2013

What Are We Waiting for

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo, that crazy venture in which you write 50,000 words of a consecutive narrative thread in 30 days). The NaNoWriMo motto is The world needs your novel.I don’t know whether the world needs my novel, but I do know that every November for the last 5 years, I considered participating in NaNoWriMo but […]

PSA: Conducting a Performance Review of the Inner Critic

For a few days I’ve been considering what Freud identified as the super-ego, what has become popularly known as the inner critic, or if you’re abundantly blessed, your personal busload or committee or parliament of inner critics. Generally speaking, the role of the inner critic seems primarily protective, as wrongheaded as its tactics are for that […]

The Big Idea, or Focus, Cross-Referenced to Basic Rules of Item Writing

What comes before preparation is intention, which we previously discussed here. Still, the concept of the Big Idea bears further exploration.Let’s consider how we might approach this grade 4 standard from the CCSS, RL.4.2: Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text. This standard is passage-dependent; […]

The Big Idea, Cross-Referenced to Basic Rules of Item Writing

What endeavor doesn’t benefit from planning and preparation? What endeavor succeeds without preparation? Ah, fatal words! Too late in moving here, too late in arriving there, too late in coming to this decision, too late in starting with enterprises, too late in preparing. These first guidelines of the CCSSO/TILSA Quality Control Checklist for Item Development […]

How to Get the Best from Item Writers

Many years ago, I was a development manager at a Great Big Huge Test Publishing Company. I’ve already told the story of how I began as a temp employee in hand-scoring, as so many recruits to the test publishing industry do. Armed with my book-learnin’ and a new but hardly marketable M.A. in English, emphasis […]