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.
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.
The report offers a six-step process for using data tied to chronic absence in order to reduce the problem.
The first step is investing in "consistent and accurate data." That's where the definition comes in — to make sure people have a "clear understanding" and so that it can be used "across states and districts" with school years that vary in length. The same step also requires "clarifying what counts as a day of attendance or absence." Maryland, for example, counts a student as being present for a full day after being in school for four hours; in California students are often considered present for the day after just one period. The final aspects of the first step in the process are to develop a standard protocol for collecting the attendance data and to create a system for assessing data accuracy. The student information system can come in useful for this last necessity, as long as a student isn't "marked 'present' by default."
The second step is to use the data to understand what the need is and who needs support in getting to school. This phase could involve defining multiple tiers of chronic absenteeism (at-risk, moderate or severe), and then analyzing the data to see if there are differences by student sub-population — grade, ethnicity, special education, gender, free and reduced price lunch, neighborhood or other criteria that require special kinds of intervention.
Twitter is a micro blogging portal that proves extremely useful across academic applications. Teachers, students, and parents can benefit greatly of the advantages offered by using Twitter in education. The short tweets can be used to inform students about any changes and to collaboratively work as a great team.
Don’t treat employees like errant children. In fact, don’t treat errant children like errant children.
I was in the middle of a lesson when I noticed John turning around to talk to his friend. A few other students noticed and started to chatter as well. My instinct was to restore control: “I want everyone’s attention now!” Some students simmered, but not John, and he turned around to finish his story. I decided to escalate. I became visibly angry, threatening the principal’s office. Not wanting to look uncool in front of his friends, John didn’t back down. The whole thing ended with me asking him to leave the classroom and holding back tears in the process. Not my finest moment.
Lesson 1: Foster respect. Compliance through force may have given me the hollow victory of getting kids to sit silently in chairs, but it didn’t mean they were learning. When a class is misbehaving, a new teacher will yell. An experienced teacher will whisper: students will get curious and quiet down to hear what you’re saying. A new teacher will say “Pay attention now!” An experienced teacher will say “Wrap up your discussion in the next 10 seconds.” Why? The experienced teacher believes his students want to pay attention, but understands that students don’t want to be rude to friends.
Although the scientific study of leadership is well established, its key discoveries are unfamiliar to most people, including an alarmingly large proportion of those in charge of evaluating and selecting leaders.
This science-practitioner gap explains our disappointing state of affairs. Leaders should drive employee engagement, yet only 30% of employees are engaged, costing the U.S. economy $550 billion a year in productivity loss. Moreover, a large global survey of employee attitudes toward management suggests that a whopping 82% of people don’t trust their boss. You only need to google “my boss is…” or “my manager is…” and see what the autocomplete text is to get a sense of what most people think of their leaders.
Unsurprisingly, over 50% of employees quit their job because of their managers. As the old saying goes, “people join companies, but quit their bosses.” And the rate of derailment, unethical incidents, and counterproductive work behaviors among leaders is so high that it is hard to be shocked by a leader’s dark side. Research indicates that 30%–60% of leaders act destructively, with an estimated cost of $1–$2.7 million for each failed senior manager.
It is all about relationships when it comes to education. This is probably something that you have heard a million times, but have you really stopped to think about the true effect relationships have on your students? Study after study has shown that a classroom teacher is the number one contributor to student achievement, even above the parent, peers, the entire school, or poverty.
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.”
These four simple research-based strategies could have a big effect on your teaching success. 1. Focus on One at a Time In the first month of school, choose two students (two “hard nuts to crack”). After each lesson and assessment, try to figure out what worked for these students in particular and use those insights to plan your instruction. Homing in on one or two students, says Wendy Baron, chief academic officer of the New Teacher Center, helps teachers “see the difference they make…and it builds a level of persistence.” This kind of focus has surprising benefits, as the effective intervention spills over to the rest of the class. Next month, choose two more “focal points.” 2. Think About How Kids Think Don’t worry as much about the right answer as how your students get there. Constructed responses, essay questions, or oral responses will give you an idea of how kids think, providing much more information than multiple choice. Even in math, give short-answer questions that require kids to explain their thinking. 3. Go Visiting Here’s a goal: Three times this year, spend an hour or two in the classroom of a colleague whom you admire. It’s amazing what you can learn by watching a teacher at the top of her game, particularly if she has a style similar to your own. 4. Get It on Tape Charlotte Danielson, author of Talk About Teaching!, suggests you watch yourself teach and then reflect on your lesson. “Videotape a lesson, and watch and discuss it with colleagues,” says Danielson. “Those are very rich conversations.” As you watch, consider your students’ points of view. How are you at explaining concepts in a variety of ways? Who’s doing the work in the room — are you spending a lot of time having the kids watch you model, or are the students challenged to solve problems on their own? “One of the things that we know about learning,” says Danielson, “is it only happens when the learner is doing the thinking.”
Traditionally, schools and districts have used things like the notes home, weekly packets, phone calls and/or emails to communicate throughout the year. While many of these still are valuable and have their place there are new and not-so-new mediums like social media that could be used to deepen the engagement with the community or do something entirely different. These mediums can be a quick and easy way to not only share timely information but moreover tell the wonderful stories that exist in your buildings.
Some teachers discuss metacognition with students, but they often simplify the concept by describing only one of its parts — thinking about thinking. Teachers are trying to get students to slow down and take note of how and why they are thinking and to see thinking as an action they are taking. But two other core components of metacognition often get left out of these discussions — monitoring thinking and directing thinking. When a student is reading and stops to realize he’s not really understanding the meaning behind the words, that’s monitoring. And most powerfully, directing thinking happens when students can call upon specific thinking strategies to redirect or challenge their own thinking.
People follow thought leaders because they inspire. How do they inspire? In developing the focus of their thought leadership, they consider both themselves and others. They consider the world in which they live and what the world wants to hear from them.
Thought leadership helps you to become a leader and, more importantly, helps others to lead in their own lives. To inspire the lives of others, you have to be relevant. To be relevant, you need to consider your context, which includes three things: your organization or company, your professional community and world events.
This guest post is by Michael Glazer. If only I had a dollar for every time I heard leaders say they want the people in their organizations to “tell me what I need to know, not what I want to hear.” Speaking truth to power is easier said than done, but people who can do…
Mel Riddile's insight:
"Sure, many leaders I work with appreciate having a safe, supportive, and nonjudgmental environment to experiment with new ideas and explore aspects of their own leadership styles. But the same leaders tell me that what they want most is constructive challenge from the people around them, whether it’s on the job or in a formal learning setting. The reason, they tell me, is that constructive challenge pushes their thinking and their emotions in a way that drives positive action and growth."
Teachers are being blamed for failures not their own. The “back-to-basics” and “whole-school reform” strategies disappointed. Similarly, as the National Assessment of Educational Progress has consistently shown, the state-standards movement and the No Child Left Behind law have left high-school students just about as far behind as they were before the reforms were instituted. Charter schools, despite their laudable triumphs, are highly uneven in quality, and their overall results are not much better than those of regular schools.
A commission convened by the Aspen Institute will kick off a multi-year endeavor in November to explore how educators, policymakers, and researchers can more thoroughly incorporate students' social and emotional development into the work of schools.
The aim of the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development, which has members from all three sectors, is to "advance a new vision for what consitutes success in schools: the full integration of social, emotional, and academic development to ensure every student is prepared to thrive in school and in life," the Aspen Insitute said in a news release announcing the group's formation.
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.