#"Let me give you a math story problem." This sentence often strikes fear in many middle grades students as well as some teachers. As international comparisons, national commissions, and state assessment results confirm, students have difficulty solving mathematical applications problems (Lester, 2007; U. S. Department of Education Institute of Educational Science, 2007; TIMMS, 2003; McREL, 2002; National Research Council, 2002; Illinois State Board of Education, 1997). Improving students'...
The Common Core State Standards are here. According to the Common Core website, there are only five states that have not yet adopted the new standards. Given the diversity in state educational systems, it is a surprising outcome. Even five years ago, it seemed unthinkable that a single document would be able to unify many of the educational practices in the United States. So, what exactly, makes the Common Core standards so compelling? Well, the English Language Arts standards are organized around a series of “shifts” in thinking about pedagogy that attempt to increase the complexity of student understanding. - See more at: http://blog.herffjonesnystrom.com/five-strategies-to-infuse-common-core-state-standards-with-social-studies-instruction/#sthash.mYn0ci2D.dpuf
Ever wonder why you can't figure out when and where to stick a comma? It's probably because commas, by far, have more rules and applications than any other punctuation mark. But why do so many people use the semicolon incorrectly? Comparatively, it should be one of the easiest punctuation marks to master. And why doesn't anybody seem to use the en dash?
Please join us for a five-part Twitter chat series to learn more about Achieve's EQuIP(Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instructional Products) ELA and math rubrics and how you can use them to elevate your instructional design and align your lessons and units to the Common Core State Standards.
Across the country, educators, parents and students are saying that there is too much testing in our schools and that testing is taking valuable time away from teaching and learning. These concerns are legitimate and merit attention. School district officials have the opportunity to respond to concerns about over-testing by leading a conversation among educators and the broader community that directly addresses the amount of testing – and points the way toward a more coherent, educationally-sound approach to assessment.
The Student Assessment Inventory for School Districts is a tool district leaders can use to take stock of their assessments and assessment strategy, and do so from a student perspective. The tool supports a process by which districts evaluate the assessments students are taking, determine the minimum testing necessary to serve essential diagnostic, instructional and accountability purposes, and work to ensure that every district-mandated test is of high quality, is providing the information needed for specific school and district purposes, and is supported by structures and routines so that assessment results are actually used and action steps taken that will help students.
A marine biologist will learn far more from observing sharks in the wild than in an aquarium. Likewise, to truly absorb new vocabulary and make it their own, students need repeated practice observing words in real-world contexts and then using words repeatedly in contexts they create themselves. Worksheets and bullet lists are like aquariums, not quite allowing words to exist as indigenous species. Donalyn Miller's book Reading in the Wild encourages teachers to see students as "wild readers" and design instruction that respects their freedom. So how can teachers structure learning so that students experience the joys and challenges of working with words "in the wild"?
Last fall, I created analytic writing rubrics aligned to PARCC’s holistic writing rubrics published within the PARCC Blueprints. These rubrics have been field-tested by several schools through large scale scoring (more than 200 student samples in each school) and updated to reflect the feedback gained. The rubrics are adaptable to assessing argument (opinion) writing, informational writing and/or narrative writing and includes PARCC’s 5-criteria for assessment: reading comprehension, development of ideas, organization, clarity of language, and knowledge of conventions. And…I am offering these rubrics indefinitely FOR FREE to my readers!
How a lesson ends can affect a learner's ability to organize, evaluate, and store information presented in class. Although we give emphasis to hooking students' interest at the start of instruction, the end is often hurried and overlooked. These emergency landings leave students struggling to absorb newly acquired knowledge as they rush out the door to the drone of homework reminders and announcements. Teachers tend to subconsciously undervalue closure; as a result, they don't plan for it and miss out on the opportunity to collect rich learner feedback.
This week, we wanted to highlight a valuable PARCC resource for educators: evidence statements and tables. The evidence statements and tables are aligned directly to the Common Core State Standards and may be useful in demystifying the design of the assessments for educators. They can help guide teachers as they plan lessons and create classroom assessments for their students.
The ELA tables describe the reading, writing and vocabulary to be measured on the PARCC summative assessments and what students might say or do to demonstrate mastery of the standards. For mathematics, the evidence tables show how the content and the mathematical practices go hand-in-hand and should not be thought of as separate standards. Any item on the PARCC assessment may measure multiple standards and multiple evidences.