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Improving Schools Through Enhanced Leadership
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Formative Assessment Works

by Mel Riddile


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, John Hattie 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 retrieval practice—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.


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LET Team's curator insight, March 19, 2016 6:44 PM

“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, John Hattie 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 retrieval practice—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.


Andy Fetchik's curator insight, March 21, 2016 11:34 AM

“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, John Hattie 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 retrieval practice—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.


K.I.R.M. God is Business " From Day One"'s curator insight, April 24, 2017 6:20 AM

Lord God bless these words and their messengers allow it to be understood by man in the manner that is benefitual and for the good purpose of those that read it and bless them even the more that has is or will share it. Lord God have mercy reveal all those things that need be in Jesus name. Amen


 

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The Teen Brain: How Schools Can Help Students Manage Emotions and Make Better Decisions

The Teen Brain: How Schools Can Help Students Manage Emotions and Make Better Decisions | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
In symposia at International Mind, Brain, and Education Society research conference here last week, and a consensus report funded by the Alliance for Excellent Education released here, cognitive and neuroscientists called for educators to foster school cultures that better support adolescent development.
"For some reason, when we talk about brain development in adolescents, we talk about it like we're terrified: 'Oh my god, their grades in school are dropping, they're driving cars, this is so alarming,' " said Sarah Enos Watamura, an associate professor at the University of Denver who studies the effects of stress on learning and spoke at the conference. "But they're testing their limits, they're doing things for the first time. … That's hard work, and they need a safe space to try out risks."
Adolescence, she said, is coming to be understood as a "second critical window" for developing skills to regulate emotions, making and evaluating decisions, and judging risk and reward. After years of childhood brain development, teenagers' brains focus on making strong connections.
"We need adolescents to hang out in this sensitive period and all that allows to develop … versus rushing them through it," Watamura said.
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Preparing students for the future

Preparing students for the future | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
As technology becomes more pervasive, traditional trades disappear and the world of work becomes more globalised, the skills considered to be valuable for the future are shifting.

Problem solving, team working, and communication (commonly known as “21st century skills”) are the most-needed skills in the workplace, according to our recent surveys of business executives, students and teachers. Digital literacy and creativity— and the latter’s close relative, entrepreneurship—are expected to grow more important in the next three years.
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America's teacher shortage

America's teacher shortage | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
In the wake of cuts to education funding (and teacher salaries) during the Great Recession, school districts across the country continue to struggle to recruit and retain educators. More than 100,000 classrooms around the country started last school year with a teacher not "fully qualified to teach," and educators say the shortages continue this year. In subjects like mathematics, science, and special education, almost every state is experiencing teacher shortages.

"Teacher shortages have really become an increasing problem since the Great Recession," says Daniel Espinoza, one of the authors of the LPI report. "Jurisdictions reduced teacher workforces at that time and, since then, a collection of factors — low teacher salaries, challenging working conditions — have been driving many people out of the profession and dissuading people from joining."
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“when teachers use a consistent, explicit approach to writing across the curriculum, it can work wonders”

“when teachers use a consistent, explicit approach to writing across the curriculum, it can work wonders” | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
There’s been a lot of handwringing lately about the lack of rigor in high school courses, and critics have blamed educators’ “low expectations.” But they’ve overlooked one powerful strategy that could boost both expectations and performance: teaching students to write about what they’re learning.
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50 Ways To Measure Understanding 

50 Ways To Measure Understanding  | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
First, Determine The Purpose Of The Assessment

If all students are all going to have their height and weight measured, a common standard makes sense; If students are all going to have their attractiveness measured, any kind of ‘standard’ is creepy.

Measuring knowledge and mastery of competencies and skills isn’t quite as subjective as ‘beauty,’ but isn’t anywhere close to as cut and dry as height and weight. We can give the same test that measure the same thing in the same way for all students and do no damage really—provided we are all on the same page that we’re not measuring understanding but rather measuring performance on a test.

In a perfect world, we’d have countless ways to measure that understanding—all valid, universally understood, engaging to students, etc. In pursuit, I thought it’d make sense to brainstorm different ways to measure understanding. Some will be more or less useful depending on content areas, grade levels, student motivation, etc., not to mention what the purpose of the assessment is.

Do you need a snapshot?

Do you need to measure mastery or growth?

Do you want it to be flexible for a variety of learners or more binary—you either pass or you fail?

Do you want students to be able to return to the assessment periodically or is this a one-shot kind of deal?

Is the assessment for the teacher or the student?

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Schools See 'Incredible Progress' on Internet Connectivity, Report Says

Schools See 'Incredible Progress' on Internet Connectivity, Report Says | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
More than 44 million students now learn in classrooms with high-speed internet connections, up from just 4 million five years ago, according to a new analysis by the nonprofit broadband advocacy group EducationSuperHighway.
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Dipsticks: Efficient Ways to Check for Understanding

Dipsticks: Efficient Ways to Check for Understanding | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
What strategy can double student learning gains? According to 250 empirical studies, the answer is formative assessment, defined by Bill Younglove as "the frequent, interactive checking of student progress and understanding in order to identify learning needs and adjust teaching appropriately."

Unlike summative assessment, which evaluates student learning according to a benchmark, formative assessment monitors student understanding so that kids are always aware of their academic strengths and learning gaps. Meanwhile, teachers can improve the effectiveness of their instruction, re-teaching if necessary. "When the cook tastes the soup," writes Robert E. Stake, "that's formative; when the guests taste the soup, that's summative." Formative assessment can be administered as an exam. But if the assessment is not a traditional quiz, it falls within the category of alternative assessment.
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Check For Understanding: "It's the Most Important Tool for Building Relationships"

Check For Understanding: "It's the Most Important Tool for Building Relationships" | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Check for Understanding is quite possibly the single most important group of techniques in terms of building relationships with students–I had never fully made that connection before and I suspect many other teachers hadn’t either.

I realized this over the course of a meeting with our TLAC Fellows in which we set out to discuss and study building relationships in the classroom- something my team and I are interested in studying because we think it’s an important topic and because we think it’s an oft-misunderstood or misapplied topic.

The first thing we realized was that many teachers focused their relationship building efforts on what happens outside of the core teaching–greeting students in the hallway and asking them about their interests.

Far more important and genuine is something we called relational teaching–using the way you teach to build a trusting relationship.  What happens inside the classroom–inside the teaching within the classroom–is the first and foremost driver of relationships. The Fellows were emphatic on this point and on the idea that Check for Understanding, done well, was critical because it constantly communicated a message to each student. We summarized that message as follows:

Your success is important to me
I believe in you
I am highly aware of your progress in this endeavor
I will help you succeed
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“Setting goals without setting intentions is a waste of time.”

“Setting goals without setting intentions is a waste of time.” | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Setting goals without setting intentions is a waste of time. While setting goals is fixated on the future, setting intentions keeps you grounded and present in the moment.

In order to achieve optimal success and stay in alignment with your values, your goals should be accompanied by daily intentions. Setting a goal is black and white—you either achieve it, or you don’t. Intentions, however, come from a growth mindset, and they set the standard for how you live and act, regardless of whether or not you achieve a set goal. The big difference here is that intentions are rooted in values, not external outcomes, and they keep your attention in the present, not the future. While accomplishing goals everyday may not be feasible, intentions are flexible and ever-changing, leaving you plenty of freedom to re-evaluate.
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The Enduring Power of Relational Teaching

The Enduring Power of Relational Teaching | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
When a teacher makes a student feel seen—and understood—it can lead to incredible learning, says educational consultant Nat Damon. And that doesn’t call for grand gestures: Taking few seconds to tell a student she was great in the soccer game can be profound. “These micro moments matter,” Damon says. “When students sense their teachers know them as people, amazing things can happen.”

That is the core of relational teaching, an educational approach that emphasizes the importance of connectivity and relationships. It’s also what Damon believes is the key to helping students really learn. When a student feels valued and part of a safe community, they will be open to expanding their mind, to exploring and engaging. “Only through this connection can you really challenge,” Damon says. “Learning is hard. And long-term retention doesn’t happen in a passive manner.”

Damon says that he “proselytizes the message” of how important connection in the classroom is in his new book, Time to Teach, Time to Reach. Published by the Relational Schools Foundation, the book explores the how behind teaching. Damon interviewed more than one hundred K through 12 teachers and educational experts from the United States, Finland, and England about their processes. How do they make students feel seen? How do they create a safe space for authenticity? How do they incorporate relational teaching? Each educator makes a compelling case that teaching is equally cognitive and emotional. Connection isn’t just obvious for successful teaching (and learning)—it’s essential. “We’re all wondering how we can grow our kids to give them confidence but also to be human with each other,” Damon says. “The best thing we can do is invest in them.”
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John McPhee On Teaching Good Writing

John McPhee, a master of telling nonfiction stories, became a teacher by accident 43 years ago when Princeton University needed a last-minute.


 


“One analogy that I've often used is a sort of age-old sore question: Do you really think you can teach writing? And this is almost rhetorical because the person who's asking the question believes you can't. And my response to that is that I was a Red Cross Water Safety Instructor at a camp in Vermont, and I taught lifesaving, swimming and everything else. Everybody I dealt with—they were older kids—could swim. So what did I teach them? I taught them how to move through the water a little more smoothly and efficiently. I taught them this and that about swimming in a better way, and that's what I do as a writing teacher. I look at stuff and do this, but I don't create the writer at all.”

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When students miss school, they fall behind. Here’s how one group is curbing absenteeism.

When students miss school, they fall behind. Here’s how one group is curbing absenteeism. | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Research has shown chronic absenteeism is linked to negative outcomes for students, including lower test scores, higher dropout rates, and even a greater risk of entering the criminal justice system.

Absenteeism has such a large impact on learning, districts are under pressure from new national legislation to include chronic absenteeism data in how they evaluate schools.
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Active Vocabulary Practice

Active Vocabulary Practice | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Here are some examples organized a round a few rules we’ve come to use:

Start simple: the first few questions should be fun and easy. You build success and have fun.  It’s still useful retrieval.  Just make sure students use the word in their answer

If someone was adamant about helping the environment, what’s something they might do?
Think of something a child might be forbidden from doing alone?
If a classmate was described as ‘easily influenced‘ would that be a complement? Why or why not?
Get more complex: As you go, combine words, change tenses, increase scenario difficulty, and add writing.

If I said my little brother had an aptitude for disobedience, what kinds of things would you expect him to do?
Could you fret about something and also nurture it? explain.
Is is possible to dread making a sacrifice? Why or why not?
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Lower Standards means grade inflation and should be a wake-up call

Lower Standards means grade inflation and should be a wake-up call | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
I’VE WORKED as hard as any . . . student to get good grades, and it’s unfair that anyone can now get those same grades without the same amount of effort.” That’s what an editor for the school newspaper at Walt Whitman High School wrote two years ago about Montgomery County’s decision to switch to a grading system that made it easier for students to get A’s. The warning about grade inflation went unheeded. Unfortunately, it has now been proven to be prescient.

New data shows that thousands more Montgomery County students are getting A’s in key high school subjects. The percentage of A’s across core math courses, The Post’s Donna St. George reported, nearly doubled from the first semester of 2014-2015 to last school year, while the number of C’s, D’s and E’s dipped. Similar surges in A’s were noted for students taking English, science and Advanced Placement courses.
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Close Reading and Deep Understanding

Close Reading and Deep Understanding | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

I want to share a technique that has been working for me and my students to build the capacity to read closely and understand deeply.

This lesson was a result of taking a small text (a poem) and applying ideas and understandings from it to a larger text (a novel).

This approach can be transformed and tweaked to suit any grade level and and skill set.

There are three basic components to the lesson:

Teach students to understand the difference between summary and insight
Teach students to back into the text over and over again
Teach students to see what is said without being said
small text — “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden

larger text — Mudbound by Hillary Jordan

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Relationships: Teacher's "I Need" Box Gets Kids to Ask For Help

Relationships: Teacher's "I Need" Box Gets Kids to Ask For Help | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Julia Brown was determined to get it right this school year, so she tried something new – a cardboard "I Need" box. It began as a way for her students to ask for help without having to come directly to her. They'd write it on a card and leave it in the box, and she'd get back to them before the week was over.
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How To Crack The Toughest Nut In Education: High School

How To Crack The Toughest Nut In Education: High School | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Both reports identify the root of the problem as teachers’ expectations. The Fordham study concludes that teachers need to be educated “about high expectations” and provided with a vision of what excellence looks like—which may not be the same as the work their best students are producing.

The TNTP report concludes that much of the time, teachers are giving assignments that are below grade-level. While more than 80% of the teachers surveyed supported high standards in theory, less than half expected that their students could meet them.

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Mindsets and the learning environment: What can teacher and student survey data teach us?

Mindsets and the learning environment: What can teacher and student survey data teach us? | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Results showed that there was only a weak correlation between student and teacher measures of teacher classroom practices.

Next, the team tested whether student or teacher perceptions of teacher practices predicted students’ grades. They found that both student and teacher reports were significantly related to students’ course performance, with student reports being the better predictor of course grades.

There are many possible explanations for this finding. For example, what students see and feel (students’ perceptions of their teacher’s practice) may matter more for their course performance than positive but invisible teacher beliefs and behaviors (as perceived by teachers). Likewise, teachers could be unintentionally conveying beliefs that nevertheless influence students’ perceptions of them.

Alternatively, there may be methodological reasons for this finding. Teachers were asked to report on their “typical classroom,” which may be biased and fail to capture important variation between their best and worst classroom practices. Students, on the other hand, report on their experience with a teacher within a specific classroom context. The average of students’ reports of their teacher may represent a better summary than a single self-report from a teacher.

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Is Professional Writing the Missing Link in High School English Classes?

Is Professional Writing the Missing Link in High School English Classes? | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
While employers and educators have been working to infuse more career and technical content into K-12 curricula, studies show some of the most common writing tasks in the work world never find their way into high school English courses, and modern students may be less likely than those in previous generations to learn professional writing on their own.
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Room Arrangement: What is 'Breaking the Plane'?

Room Arrangement: What is 'Breaking the Plane'? | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
The “plane” of your classroom is the imaginary line that runs the length of the room. It’s the red line in the diagram at left.  The “plane” can be anywhere but it’s often about where the first student desks start.  It indicates where “your” space ends and where “theirs” begins.  Many teachers are hesitant or slow to “Break the Plane”—to move past this imaginary barrier and out among the desks and rows.  But of course what you want to do is to intimate that every part of the classrooms is teacher space–or, if you prefer, equally teacher and student space–and to use that space to maximize learning.

Teach Like a Champion

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71% of students succeed on the assignments they were given, but only 17% of those assignments were actually on grade level.

71% of students succeed on the assignments they were given, but only 17% of those assignments were actually on grade level. | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
71 percent of students succeeded on the assignments they were given, but only 17 percent of those assignments were actually on grade level.

 


The United States’ system of mandatory public schooling operates under an unspoken social contract with students: Work hard, get good grades, and you can succeed in college, work, and life.


Students are by and large holding up their end of the bargain, but too many schools break the contract by giving them classwork below grade level—leaving them underprepared for what’s next, a new study concludes.


What’s more, the report finds that when given the opportunity, students of color and disadvantaged students do almost as well as their peers on challenging, grade-level assignments, so the notion that such students can’t or won’t do rigorous work “is a pernicious assumption, and it is wrong,” said Daniel Weisberg, the CEO of the research, teacher-training, and advocacy organization TNTP, which conducted the study.

Mel Riddile's insight:

Students’ test-score results were consistently linked to teachers’ expectations that their students could master high standards.

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The Best (and Worst) States For Teachers in 2018

The Best (and Worst) States For Teachers in 2018 | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
However, Burns says it's not fair to compare public schools in the U.S. with international schools like that based on how different the 

Finland's total population is approximately five million, and Singapore is just under six million. The U.S. population is just under 270 million people. It is literally impossible to compare the school and teaching capacities due to those differences alone, even using sophisticated statistical techniques.

And when the studies are controlled for poverty levels, the education system in the U.S. ranks #1 across all metrics, Burns says. 

Teachers here are never credited for their enormous success in the face of these realities. They are constantly compared unfavorably with other nation's schools that simply do not educate their youth in the same ways, or to the same level.

Burns also points out much of a student's sucess in school depends on outside factors beyond the teacher or school district's control. According to the RAND corporation, a teacher's quality *may* only account for up to 14% of a student's achievement in the classroom. 

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How Microsoft Uses a Growth Mindset to Develop Leaders

How Microsoft Uses a Growth Mindset to Develop Leaders | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Research shows that managers see far more leadership potential in their employees when their companies adopt a growth mindset — the belief that talent should be developed in everyone, not viewed as a fixed, innate gift that some have and others don’t. But what are those organizations doing to nurture their talent?

To explore this question, let’s look at Microsoft, which is deliberately creating a growth-mindset culture and, in that context, rethinking its approach to development. As a result, previously unidentified — yet skilled — leaders are rising to levels they might not have in a traditional development model.
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Installing Routines and Procedures While Teaching Content

Installing Routines and Procedures While Teaching Content | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Before the start of every school year, I was always gripped by the tension between two things that felt equally urgent in the first days: On one hand there was the long term imperative of establishing strong procedures and routines for the things my class would do over and over during the year, and on the other there was the urgency of digging into rich academic content- there was just no time to wait in getting started learning.

Sometimes these imperatives seemed to conflict – how could I find the time to reinforce both strong procedures and deep academics in the first days of school? By focusing on one, wouldn’t I be sacrificing the other?
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Educators' Powerful Role in Motivation and Engagement

Educators' Powerful Role in Motivation and Engagement | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Research is clear that emotions have a direct impact on learning and how we process and interpret our surrounding environment. "Students learn and perform more successfully when they feel secure, happy, and excited about the subject matter" (Boekaerts, 1993; Oatly & Nundy,1996). Emotions are the fast lane to the brain!

Regardless of one's title, every interaction with a student, no matter how brief, sends a message about the organization's philosophy on the role of positive connections and importance of a safe, welcoming learning environment. Addressing students' social and emotional needs is a foundational step toward delivering on academics. As I say, "You can't get to Bloom's Taxonomy without going through Maslow's Hierarchy." As much as some may want to focus primarily on rigor, without the relationship and relevance, the motivational on-switch won't flip.

If a student doesn't feel supported, accepted, and emotionally and physically safe, engagement and motivation won't exist because their basic needs aren't being met. The brain will remain in the hyperactive state of protection and vigilance until steps are taken to allow for a feeling of safety to enter. School communities that spend time and intentional effort putting emotional deposits in the bank accounts of students see tremendous benefits both academically and socially.
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