Posts Tagged curriculum

Working on assessment @ AAS

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.

51oTk1jhdxL._SY300_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.

NatalieBoltonTeachers 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.

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Time Travel – Kids Explaining it – Can you see the motivation?

In this video, kids talk about time travel and use various resources to explain their concept.  Since I was recently in an 8th grade classroom talking about black holes, this was especially interesting and, thus, I’m sharing it with you.  This is consistent with the previous message about reaching higher in our expectations than we might otherwise consider.

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Education Week: Revised Draft of ‘Common Core’ Standards Unveiled

A revamped draft of proposed common academic standards for states offers more detailed expectations than an earlier version, though the document also says that some decisions about specific curricula and lessons should be left to individual states and schools.

via Education Week: Revised Draft of ‘Common Core’ Standards Unveiled.

Direct link to standards:

Everyone should become familiar with this and its ramifications.

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Critical thinking? You need knowledge – The Boston Globe

Critical thinking? You need knowledge – The Boston Globe

THE LATEST fad to sweep K-12 education is called “21st-Century Skills.’’ States – including Massachusetts – are adding them to their learning standards, with the expectation that students will master skills such as cooperative learning and critical thinking and therefore be better able to compete for jobs in the global economy. Inevitably, putting a priority on skills pushes other subjects, including history, literature, and the arts, to the margins. But skill-centered, knowledge-free education has never worked.  more…

Ed Hirsch brought this to our attention many years ago and this mantra is re-emerging as critical in a world that often swings out of balance with each new innovation.  Technology has much to offer here, but most significantly, it gives us access to vast amounts of “knowledge” that is constantly in a state of transformation.  While I value constraints on teaching critical reflection as part of the access dilemma, I propose that this confluence and fluidity of information is our best hope of enabling children to build quick and efficient access to elements of knowledge that must underlie a robust framework of process skills.  Thinking and knowledge go hand in hand on the net like never before.  So, before we tip the pendulum too far in the knowledge direction, lets seek the happy balance where each extreme is mutually supportive.

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