Teachers spent the day honing their skills on assessment during the first of our PD sessions for the 2013-2104 school year. I was impressed with the way we dug deeper into our standards and the degree to which we unpacked the learning targets in our work together.
What was particularly powerful was the interaction across subject area boundaries in the morning. As one teacher pointed out, it was powerful to have others outside their discipline reflect on their understanding of learning targets. That objectivity helps us to uncover things we often take for granted. The CASL materials are well adopted in many schools around the world and help us to focus on the clarity we bring to students and the details of how our assessments align with our unpacking of the standards into learning targets.
Stiggins, Chappius, Chappius, and Arter teamed up to provide the definitive guide to bridging between curriculum and classroom practice. Understanding the formative side of assessment is critical to our work in personalized learning and leads us done the path of achieving our mission and vision.
Teachers dedicated themselves at all levels to weaving these practices into their classrooms in the coming days. Our facilitator, Natalie Bolton, led us on this journey and guided teachers in critical conversations about our practices. Natalie comes to us from the University of Missouri – St. Louis (UMSL) and brings a strong instructional background to her interest in large-scale assessments, formative assessment, and standards-based education reform.
She continues with us this year as a key consultant on establishing practice and will return throughout the year on the following schedule:
Monday, September 30 – Thursday, October 3 (All Faculty PD on Thursday)
Monday, January 27 – Friday, January 31, 2014
Monday, March 3 – Thursday, March 6 (All Faculty PD on Thursday)
Monday, April 28 – Friday, May 2
We are thankful for Natalie and the many staff members that contribute to our work in all divisions in providing leadership on this critical goal. The work continues in earnest to assure that students receive both a guaranteed and viable curriculum and a personalized approach that is rich in formative feedback.