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.
The nation’s total output of high school graduates peaked in 2013 at nearly 3.5 million and is projected to stagnate for most of the next decade, but the Hispanic share is expected to boom, according to a new report.
The demographic shifts point to major recruiting challenges for colleges following an era of steady growth in high school graduates that started in the late 1990s. While that growth had provided a solid pipeline for schools focused on serving traditional students between the ages of 18 to 22, the supply of these students appears to be dwindling or leveling off in Maryland, Virginia and elsewhere.
In a recent report aimed at schools and administrators nationwide, scholars at the University of Florida's College of Education and two nonprofit educational organizations, Learning Forward and Public Impact, are recommending just that: all teachers should have a skilled coach as a way to sharpen their practice and improve the nation's educational system.
Research has shown effective coaching can enhance a teacher's practice, lessen teacher turnover and improve student learning. The best coaches are carefully selected for their skills and desire to teach teachers and they receive specialized training in proven coaching methods. Starbuck recently completed a yearlong program to earn a coaching certificate from the UF College of Education Lastinger Center Instructional Coaching Program.
Think back to the last team project you participated in at work. How did the person running the project lead the group? Did they lead by presenting a plan and using their authority to insist that others follow along? Or did the person instead lead by explaining why a particular course of action seemed like the best one, allowing others to willfully get on board?
Good was so fascinated by how powerful psychological forces can be on learning, including her own, that she switched fields again to study social psychology, and she ended up working closely with Carol Dweck for several years when Dweck’s growth mindset work was in its early stages and not yet well-known among educators. Good now works at a psychology professor at Baruch College. Originally, Dweck and Good hypothesized that believing intelligence is flexible — what we now call a growth mindset — could protect students from stereotype threat, an inherently fixed idea.
“If students are first really encouraged and taught to believe in brain plasticity, our hypothesis was that they could be protected,” Good said. While that hypothesis was shown to be true, Dweck and Good also began to uncover forces that seemed to undermine individual mindsets.
Trump and Education Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos want to send 11 million children to private school with public money.
When Donald Trump set out to pick the next education secretary, he faced a stark choice. He could choose an insider who had shaped education policy for a state or large school district. Or he could bring in an outsider — someone who views traditional public schools as a failed system in need of dismantling.
He picked an outsider.
Unlike most of her predecessors, Betsy DeVos, Trump’s nominee for education secretary, has never taught in a public school or college, run a school district or public university, served on a school board, or shaped state education policy. DeVos, a billionaire philanthropist, instead made her name as an advocate for school vouchers — the idea of letting students use public money to attend private schools.
Together, DeVos and Trump want to oversee the biggest change to American public education in half a century. Trump’s plan for his first 100 days includes a $20 billion federal voucher program for children living in poverty, a program he’d likely pay for by dismantling the biggest existing system of federal support for public schools.
Simply disciplining students doesn't work, Des Moines school leaders say, so they're revamping their approach.
Students scream, threaten, shove and hit teachers or other students, with little consequence, students, parents and union leaders told the Register. Frustration has increased in some schools to the point that teachers have left for new jobs.
"There's some really incredible examples," said Andrew Rasmussen, president of the Des Moines teachers' union. “That's the struggle. Where's the middle ground?"
District leaders said allowing classroom disruption was never the intention, nor the approach they laid out. They contend a new disciplinary approach was needed, even as they acknowledge rising frustration over classroom discord.
“What changed was a group of courageous educators who totally shifted their mindsets, and when they shifted their mindsets they shifted the practices they were using,” Brooks said.
RESEARCH ON RESILIENCE
When Brooks speaks with teachers, he always tries to remember how he felt in his lowest moments at McLean. He remembers that he was so emotionally depleted that he probably wouldn’t have been able to hear advice from even the most accomplished experts. But he has found that often discouraged educators respond to his message about helping students to develop mindsets for caring and compassion when they hear about the research.
Julius Segal’s work on the factors that help kids overcome adversity is particularly powerful. He found that the common denominator among kids who’d overcome great hardship to succeed was the presence of a “charismatic adult” in their lives. Segal defined that person as an “adult from whom children gather strength,” and specifically said often that person is a teacher.
Everyone knows that leadership is important, but they don’t necessarily know what makes a great leader. There are many different types of leaders, but what makes a leader truly effective is their ability to look for solutions instead of blaming others.
It’s crucial that the leader is willing to get their hands dirty rather than focusing on the glory. A great leader will also plan for the future of the business even when it exceeds their leadership term and set up their successor to achieve even greater success.
We checked the homework policies of some Bay Area counties. According to Hillsborough County's policy, homework should not exceed a total of 15 to 20 minutes per night for kindergarten, 30 minutes for grades one through three, and 45 minutes in grades four and five.
In Pinellas County schools, homework is a teacher-by-teacher decision in all subject areas.
It’s tempting to believe that if we teach children how to think, then they’ll think better. After all, when we teach children to read, then they read better and when we teach them to juggle then they get better at juggling. Why should thinking be any different?
Well, first we have to identify what we mean by thinking. In What Every Teacher Needs To Know About Psychology we say this:
Everyday the news reports that people reveal that they are stressed, nervous, fearful and 'can't wait for the election to be over'. Don't think this doesn't filter into the lives of children. Ask ourselves and observe ourselves. Are we strong enough to be humble and kind? Do we want to be responsible for youngsters growing up to be harsh, cruel,, rule breaking and selfish? Or will we be able to look back and know that the success of our students and their lives as adults were influenced by the environment created in the schools they attended and see them as adults who are kind and humble, happy and highly successful as well?
Let's take that into the classroom. How can teachers help the filtering process? Or is that really beyond their ability as we're dealing with developmental and psychological impulses that teachers may have very, very little control over?
I think it's extraordinarily complex and I don't claim to be able to answer that question, certainly alone. I think that there is a serious challenge in the classroom because of the traditional approach of sustained attention to one topic. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with that. I'm just recognizing the challenge that teachers face if they deliver material in that way.
I think that our tendency of distraction is higher than ever before because of technology, because of this unprecedented exposure to information all the time and even the very rapid reward cycle that everyone, especially young people experience in their social lives. Jumping between so many texts continuously or the stimulation that's prevalent in video games.
One of the things we talk about in the book is the need for us to re-train ourselves to become comfortable with sustaining our attention on a single goal and for young people, who may have never developed this skill, to learn the value and to appreciate the value and to even feel the value of sustained attention.
“Your interests and your passion develop over time. I want to disabuse people of this mythology of ‘it happens to you and if you're lucky, you find it, and then that's all you have to do.’”
Angela Duckworth is a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania and the bestselling author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. She is the Founder and Scientific Director of a non-profit, Character Lab, and in 2013 was named a recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship. Recently, she joined Adam Grant for an evening of conversation as a part of the Authors@Wharton speakers series. Adam Grant is the bestselling author of Give and Take and Originals, and has been recognized as the Wharton School of Business’ highest-rated professor and its youngest professor to receive full tenure. They discussed top misconceptions about grit, and delved into the relationship between grittiness and creativity.
In the latest Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) measuring math literacy in 2015, U.S. students ranked 40th in the world. The U.S. average math score of 470 represents the second decline in the past two assessments — down from 482 in 2012 and 488 in 2009. The U.S. score in 2015 was 23 points lower than the average of all of the nations taking part in the survey.
Although 6 percent of U.S. students who took the test had scores in the highest proficiency range, 29 percent of U.S. students did not meet the test’s baseline proficiency for math.
Neuroscience research shows how to become a better leader.
Neuroscientists and psychologists are beginning to learn what happens at moments of choice inside the human mind (the locus of mental activity) and the brain (the physical organ associated with that activity). If you understand these dynamics and how they affect you and those around you, you can set a course toward more effective patterns of thinking and action. You can replicate those beneficial patterns, at a larger scale, in your organization. Over time, this practice can help you take on a quality of strategic leadership: inspiring others, helping organizations transcend their limits, and navigating enterprises toward lofty, beneficial goals.
Building collective efficacy among staff has a high effect size and is a characteristic of a collaborative leader. Unfortunately, not every situation in leadership can be collaborative. There are 4 types of leadership styles. Leadership can be rewarding and difficult all at the same time. It's easy to be a thought leader, but much more difficult to put those thoughts into action. Situations arise at any given moment that takes our best thinking, and in my experience, there are four different types of leadership styles that we go to in those moments.As much as we think we know the right answer when it comes to which way to lead, the reality is that we find ourselves in all four of these leadership styles depending on the situation we are in. Those four leadership styles are:
Shortage of teachers in West Virginia disproportionately affects math.
The school officials state that it is really hard to find not only adequate teachers but also that the officials don’t want to just put anyone into the position. They want to be sure that the individuals are not only adequate but the best for the students and the school. At this time substitutes are being used to fill the voids in the schools.
With jargon, "meaningless" tables and missing data, state report cards can be difficult for parents to use, a new report shows. Only four states—Iowa, Nebraska, Virginia, and Washington—had report cards that included all the student performance information required under No Child Left Behind, the predecessor of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. Some states had data two or three school years out of date. Others did not provide school achievement data broken out by gender, race, poverty, or disability status. Only a handful of states provided information on school finances. And 45 states provided information only in English, with no support for other languages, even through free online translation tools.
The first national study of principals' time use finds that school leaders clock long hours—and many of them are spent on paperwork. A national study shows that principals regularly clock more than a standard, full-time workload every week.On average, principals work nearly 60 hours a week, with leaders of high-poverty schools racking up even more time, according to the first nationally representative study of how principals use their time. It was released last month by the federal Regional Education Laboratory for Northeast and Islands.
I’ll tell you my personal philosophy on this. It’s NEVER too late to change something that’s not working. Not in your classroom, and not in your life.
You don’t have to wait for next year and an entirely new group of kids. You can–and should–modify your procedures, expectations, and teaching strategies ANY time they are not effective, at ANY time during the school year.
Now, I actually look forward to teaching writing. I'm confident when assigning writing tasks because I've test-driven them myself and know what skills and knowledge students need to succeed. Students can become strong writers. As teachers, we can create explicit plans to get them there.
Every leader knows that they shouldn’t micromanage — even if some of us still do. But while we understand the downsides of micromanaging and taken action to avoid it, we still haven’t sufficiently embraced the upsides of not micromanaging.
The main upside is that leaders have more time to spend on what we call macromanagement. Although there are different definitions of this term floating around, when I talk with executives, I use it to mean managing the big issues rather than the small ones. Time and effort spent on macromanagement enables leaders to be as clear, decisive, and disciplined at the macro level — on the big strategic questions the organization is facing — as their managers are at the micro level, i.e., about how these decisions might be implemented.
Thanks to the wonders of neuroplasticity, adolescents are primed to improve their performance in school—and beyond. Here’s how to help.
Adolescence is an exciting time as teenagers become increasingly independent, begin to look forward to their lives beyond high school, and undergo many physical, emotional, and cognitive changes. In that last category, teenagers can learn to take charge of their developing brains and steer their thinking in positive and productive directions toward future college and career success.
It isn't just the students who are tossing their pencils down announcing to their parents "I don't get it. It wasn't until I began to experience the homework struggle as a parent that I really reflected on how educators contribute to these scenarios and how little we do to support families to make them more productive and less painful for everyone involved.It isn't just the students who are tossing their pencils down announcing to their parents "I don't get it. My teacher didn't teach this to us." Moms and dads also have homework anxiety, dreading the feeling of not knowing how to help their child with history or math even if they have the time to do so.Even when parents came to conferences with comments like, "homework is such a battle", the solutions I offered were more about establishing a routine, breaking up the time, making a study spot in the home, or if necessary, coming into class early to get extra help.
Dress code clashes across the country have focused on girls’ attire that school district officials deem too suggestive or revealing; some schools have turned to uniforms as a solution. As leggings have grown in popularity, they have become a flash point in some school districts, said Jo Paoletti, a University of Maryland professor and dress historian who focuses on gender expression.
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