Formative assessment or assessment for learning is a proven strategy to improve student achievement.
Mel Riddile's insight:
“Formative assessment is a planned process in which teachers or students use assessment-based evidence to adjust what they're currently doing.
• Formative assessment is a planned process in which assessment-elicited evidence of students' status is used by teachers to adjust their ongoing instructional procedures or by students to adjust their current learning tactics.
• Because formative assessment has been shown to improve students' in-class learning, many educators have adopted it in the hope that it will also raise their students' performances on accountability tests.
• The expanded use of formative assessment is supported not only by instructional logic but also by the conclusions of a well-conceived and skillfully implemented meta-analysis by Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam.” (Popham, 2008)After synthesizing over 250 publications, Black and Wiliam, concluded that formative assessment is perhaps the most effective educational practice when it comes to improving academic achievement. In addition, formative assessment has a disproportionately beneficial impact on low‐achieving students. http://www.hanoverresearch.com/media/The-Impact-of-Formative-Assessment-and-Learning-Intentions-on-Student-Achievement.pdfIn
In 2009, JohnHattie published a meta-meta-analysis of education research called Visible Learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. In that study, Hattie found that formative assessment, when done correctly, had the highest effect size on student learning compared with other classroom strategies.
In recent years, neuroscientists have reported that retrievalpractice—recalling and applying previously learning—had a huge impact (as much as 50%) on student retention of learned content. Combining retrieval practice and formative assessment can significantly reduce forgetting and increase retention of lesson content.
Each school’s instructional framework provides teachers with numerous opportunities to use formative assessments in the beginning and ending of a lesson as well as when engaging students and during student practice in the body of the lesson. Teachers use formative assessment to see if the students have mastered the content of the lesson—did they get it?
Note that mastery means that the students can demonstrate both that they ‘know’ the content and that they can apply what they learned to future or past learning.
Formative Assessment in the Beginning and Ending of the Lesson
• Purposeful Learning – The expectation that all activities be purposeful means that teachers always have something to check on or assess for understanding.
• Focusing (Beginning) – Ask students to demonstrate mastery of the previous lesson through bell ringer, do now, or warm up.
• Knowing the Lesson’s Purpose (Beginning) – Ask students to repeat the learning target or essential question in their own words
• Ask students to predict (“prediction effect”) the “why” of the learning target/essential question (Beginning).
• Use a closure activity or ‘exit ticket’ that asks more than comprehension level, regurgitation questions. Ask students to both recall (retrieval practice) and apply what they learned to future or past learning (Ending).
• Purposeful reading, writing, and discussion - Reflection of some kind that addresses learning using evidence from the lesson that connects the learning to something else (Ending).
Formative Assessment in the Body of the Lesson (Practicing and Engagement)
• Connection activities that ask students to link new learning to older learning• Visualization activities where students draw some concept that has been learned
• Question design - ask kids to write their own questions with different levels of Bloom's involved
• Game play where appropriate can be a great tool as well• Blog writing as a reflective or questioning tool
• Mentor activities that ask the student to create something original using the learning as a model
• Problem solving activities where students apply skills to arrive at a solutionIf students can complete any or all of the above, then we know they have demonstrated proficiency on some level. As we seek to move kids to mastery, we need to be acutely aware of their progress.
Do you agree with the American Library Association that overly restrictive filtering of educational websites “does the next generation of digital citizens a disservice”? Why? If so, what would you say to your principal or school board if asked to argue for making y
You wouldn’t teach someone to fly by boosting them out of the cargo hatch of a Hercules and shouting something about your arms. You wouldn’t hope the pilot was learning how to fly the thing for the first time, mid-flight.
But, this is how many new teachers are supposed to pick up one of the most vital skills they will ever need to possess: classroom management.
Some people call it behaviour management; I call it the craft of the classroom (after Marland’s out-of-print masterpiece) or just running a room.
The art, science and craft of directing the behaviour of twenty five children to work in ways that optimise learning and provide stability, calm and security for an environment that can easily tip into turbulence. It’s crucial to the success of the pupils, the sanity of the teacher, and the return on the investment of time, love and wisdom that teaching systems represent.
The average total score for graduating students who took the old SAT at least once through January was 1484, out of a maximum score of 2400, the College Board reported Tuesday. That was 12 points lower than the national average for the previous class in a comparable period. The total drop included declines of three points on the critical reading section of the
1. Schools are safer now than ever before, but not all students feel safe.
During the past two decades, the national rates at which teens experience violent and nonviolent crimes in their schools and surrounding communities have declined, according to a report from the U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Justice (DOJ). While the level of crime in individual schools and communities still varies, overall victimization, gang activity, fighting, and the presence of weapons have decreased in most schools. Yet, African American and Latino students report feeling fearful of being harmed at school and in their communities at higher rates than white students. Middle and high school students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and/or transgender report greater feelings of fear at school as well, according to GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network).
TS: Teacher talk is not only not bad, it is imperative. Our ability to motivate, to instigate, to explain, to critique and so on are most often going to be express through teacher talk and all of those are essential parts of teaching. The problem that leads to the disparagement of teacher talk, of course, is that there is so much of it (and I am a big offender in this). I suggest there are two problems with teacher talk: the first, being we talk too much not leaving space for student talk, student involvement, or even nonverbal demonstration or models provided by the teacher, or any other kinds of instructive action that doesn’t require or depend upon our yakking away. I try to combat this by scheduling places for kids to do the talking or by setting a time for the introduction (they have to be in the activity by 9:10, so that means I have to stop explaining by 9:05 so the kids will have a chance to ask questions and get started—or more accurately to get started and then to ask some questions).
The second problem is that many teachers do not speak effectively. There are studies showing, for instance, that it is possible to teach teachers to provide better explanations. With such training kids come away knowing more. I see many teachers who use too damn many pronouns, so many that kids struggle to follow what the teacher is explaining. When are examples needed? When will an analogy help or when will it block understanding? Sometimes it is important to get in your listener’s face to make eye contact or to get close, but I see teachers sitting at their desks or rooted to the white board. I’d like to see better intentionally better or more effective talking (audio tape yourself with your phone and play it back
Two necessary conditions for students to improve the quality of their writing are explicit instruction in writing techniques and sustained writing practice. Explicit instruction is a systemic approach to teaching that includes a set of proven design and delivery procedures or interventions derived from research. Throughout this guide, you will find descriptions of many such writing interventions.
One of the most encouraging results is to what extent the role of principals is evolving to support teachers through new types of leadership styles. For example, almost 8 out of 10 principals declare that they frequently take action to ensure teachers feel responsible for their students’ learning outcomes. This proportion is even higher for the United States where 9 out of 10 principals declare to engage in these types of actions. Furthermore, almost 10 out of 10 principals state that their school provides staff with opportunities to engage in school decisions.
What these data are telling us is that principals are developing styles of leadership that move away from the traditional administrative role. This new style, that we call “leadership for learning”, supports instructional quality at the same time that it takes actions to involve other stakeholders in school decisions.
The three-year experiment is a partnership with Chelmsford, Massachusetts, public schools.
Researchers at Vanderbilt and Harvard universities are testing an innovative toolkit designed to help teachers teach algebra more effectively. The three-year experiment is a partnership with Chelmsford, Massachusetts, public schools.
“We are supporting instruction where students are comparing and explaining multiple strategies for solving problems,” said co-principal investigator Bethany Rittle-Johnson, professor of psychology and human development at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of education and human development. “This helps students learn multiple strategies for solving algebra problems, select the most appropriate strategy for a given problem, and understand the conceptual rationale behind the strategies. This knowledge is critical to mastering algebra.”
out of all the 34 participating countries in TALIS, American teachers had the most student contact hours at 26.8 hours each week, just a tick above what Chilean teachers reported. To put this data into perspective, the average number of weekly instructional hours per TALIS country, excluding U.S. data, was only 19.3, which means that American teachers reported spending 39 percent more hours, on average, teaching their students than did their international peers.
Author and educator Katy Farber shares 6 tips fore creating classroom routines and norms
There is no tired like teachers at the beginning (or end) of the school year are tired. Establishing routines, procedures, community and trust takes time and lots (and lots!) of energy.
How can you create classroom routines and norms so the class feels safe, comfortable, happy and ready for learning? Here are eight ideas.
1. Welcome kids at the door
Connect with each child as he or she comes in. Ask about something. The soccer game last night. The book he is reading. The band on her shirt. Anything that says: I see you. I care that you are here. You are important.
In January, ClassDojo released a five-part video series of animated shorts on growth mindset which it created with Stanford Perts, a group of education researchers who try to get effective learning techniques into the classroom (a process which is far harder than it should be). The series has been viewed 15 million times, or by one of every four kids in an American classroom. Kids meet Dojo, an animated Pixar-like monster, who get frustrated because he doesn’t understand the math he’s working on and feels stupid. Katie, his monster friend, encourages him not to give up. “Anyone can be smart, you just have to work at it,” she explains. Mojo’s having none of it, insisting you are either smart or not smart. Katie persists with her troubled friend: “It’s not ridiculous, it’s SCIENCE.” And Katie goes on to explain neuroscience to Mojo, in first-grade vocabulary. “This video did more for my kids than any video they have ever watched,” said Cindy Price, an elementary school teacher in Delaware. After her first graders watched the first of the videos in the series, she heard then saying things like “Mojo’s like me” or “Remember Mojo? He didn’t give up and he got it.” (Price is not on Dojo’s payroll, though it suggested her as an interviewee.)
How can we define grit, or the idea behind it, in a way that means something if we’re not framing the discussion of the topic in the right way?
“Grit is defined as passion and perseverance in pursuit of long-term goals,” she continued. “Grit determines who survives at West Point, who finals at the National Spelling Bee, and who is tough enough not to be a quitter.”
Recent academic studies on grit include the education-leadership dissertation project of New England College’s Austin Garofalo, titled “Teaching the Character Competencies of Growth Mindset and Grit To Increase Student Motivation in the Classroom,” and UMass Dartmouth professor Kenneth J. Saltman’s “The Austerity School: Grit, Character, and the Privatization of Public Education.”
Never Stop Learning - Be knowledgeable about your craft. Drink in all you can about your industry - subscribe to magazines and read all you can about your subject matter. Attend trade shows and webinars to know of every facet about your eco system. Observe trends in other industries that you can model and impose in your business that will supercharge you past your competition. Weave in the ideas you have compiled in your research and infuse these clever ideas in your approach. Your team will appreciate your quest for knowledge. Your dynamic forward thinking approach will be embraced.
Almost 96 percent of Ohio’s traditional public schools and more than 97 percent of charter schools failed the state standard for eighth-grade reading, meaning that too few of their students were deemed proficient on the just-released state report cards. With fewer than half of Ohio eighth-graders testing at proficient or above, it was the worst category of any of the proficiency tests for students in the third through eighth grades.
The previous year, more than half of traditional public schools and more than a quarter of charters met the state’s standard for eighth-grade reading, which required at least 68 percent of eighth-graders in a school to be proficient in reading. In the meantime, the test changed and so did the bar for passing: Now, at least 74 percent of students must test as proficient for a school to pass.
Classroom Expectations The first step towards smooth classroom management is having clear classroom expectations. Both you and your students need to know what types of behaviors are expected in your classroom and what will happen if those expectations are not met. Even young students can be involved in creating and following expectations! In this video, watch preschool teacher Jennifer Hawkins communicate and reinforce classroom norms. Now watch how expectations can be set with older students.
Set the Tone Once you’ve established expectations, it’s up to you to set the tone for your classroom. Think about creating an environment where students feel safe, respected, and able to take risks. Watch how Nick Romognolo communicates clear expectations while setting the tone for his algebra class. Then watch how another math teacher, Marlo Warburton, sets the tone for her class. What can you do on a daily basis to create the classroom community you’re hoping for?
FN: We think vocabulary is a hidden driver of long term outcomes in both reading and in school overall. In Reading Reconsidered we advise teachers to invest more heavily in it. But vocabulary has an assessment problem. It’s hard to tell how good students’ vocabulary is or how fast vocabularies are growing. Any practical thoughts on measurement of vocabulary for schools?
TS: Vocabulary is important—especially as one moves up the grades and confronts texts that use a more diversified collection of words. The correlation of vocabulary and comprehension is surprisingly low in the earliest grades, but that correlation increases every year as students advance through school. Initially vocabulary isn’t that important because the word load of most beginning reading materials don’t exceed children’s oral language development (for years, publishers worked very hard at making sure, in fact, that the vocabulary demands of early textbooks did not exceed what children were likely to know in this regard). But, as this question notes, vocabulary assessment is challenging. If all that you want to know is whether a student is making progress in vocabulary development from year to year or what their normative level of vocabulary knowledge might be, then there are standardized instruments like the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test that can be group administered. The benefit of such testing is that it should account for both the intentional and incidental aspects of vocabulary learning. Students certainly can learn words that are taught to them, but a substantial share of vocabulary development results from independent reading, media experience, and social interactions, when there may be no real intent to learn new words. However, what we often really want to know is how much impact our intentional efforts to foster vocabulary growth are having, and for that I would suggest simply keeping track of all the words that kids are exposed to through instruction and evaluating their knowledge of random sets of these words from time to time. Thus, let’s say across the curriculum, you were introducing/exposing/teaching 20 words per week. Perhaps at the end of the month you would randomly select 20 of these 80 to 100 words, to estimate what percentage of these kids were maintaining. Then at the end of two months, you’d have 160-180 words to choose from, and so on. This would not tell you how fast kids’ vocabularies were growing because it would ignore all the incidental learning that we know takes place, but it would allow teachers to estimate how effective their vocabulary teaching efforts were and if some kids were benefiting more than others.
What's new about Burkhauser's study is that it suggests that a teacher's perception of working conditions is closely related to his or her perception of the principal. That is, the way a teacher sees her principal can shape the way she perceives conditions in the school, even before any changes are made, and regardless of what else is going on in the school or district.
Using data from the biannual North Carolina Teacher Working Conditions Survey, Burkhauser measured the relation between the teacher's perception of principal and workplace climate in four areas: 1) teachers' time use, 2.) school environment, 3.) school leadership, and 4.) teacher training. She found that the teacher's ratings of their experiences in these areas matched their ratings of their principals.
There is no good reason why we should fear the future, but there is every reason why we should face it seriously, neither hiding from ourselves the gravity of the problems before us nor fearing to approach those problems with the unbending, unflinching purpose to solve them aright _ Theodore Roosevelt.
We’ve probably all heard a colleague say something like, “I did a great activity today. It worked well. The kids were really engaged.” We even have professional development based on this premise: A consultant will come in to a school and promote a drama-based activity or project-based learning and everyone will conclude how effective it is because the students are really engaged.
I think the term ‘engagement’ has two meanings when people use it in this way. The first is that students are motivated by the activity and the second is that they are actively doing something. Perhaps the latter is seen to imply to the former because, in many classrooms, full participation in the activity might be optional.
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