Tuesday, July 31, 2012

PARCC Education Leader Cadre -Chicago - Part 3

I am home from Chicago and have had a chance to reflect on all of the information that was shared at the PARCC ELC Chicago Conference - At the end of the conference, we were asked to think of three take-aways.  As I prepare for the 2012-2013 school year, I will spend more time thinking about not just changes in the standards but how to best work with my colleagues to shift the way we think about teaching students.

Take-away 1
The goal of making the next generations of assessments computer based is to get more instructional technology into classrooms- not just to be used for assessment, but to enrich the learning experience of all students.
What we can do now to maximize the technology we have in our districts?
  • Expose students to simulations, interactive tools and manipulatives. Take advantage of the many free resources that are available on the internet. You can use these as whole class lessons, center activities, computer lab lessons or homework activities.
  • Provide ongoing professional development and support for your teachers and students so they are comfortable and confident using the technology that is available to them.  Have discussions with district teams based on the CCSS. Identify WHAT students are going to be expected to do as they work toward College and Career Readiness.  Then do an assessment of your existing technology.  What do you currently have that will help the students to do research, collaborate, communicate, build knowledge, access complex reading materials, and build vocabulary and math fluency? How can you maximize the use of this technology?  

Take-away 2
Understanding by Design is being used to build the assessments and can be used by classroom teachers to design their own lessons and assessments to support the CCSS.

Guiding Questions for Developing Assessments and Lessons

  • What claims will we use to begin to build our assessments?
  • What student products will allow teachers to say with assurance that the student has mastered the content standard? What do the products look like? What samples of student work can be used to come to a common understanding of what mastery, developing and beginning work looks like?
  • What are the classroom activities necessary to get to this assessment?
  • What evidence can we point to,highlight or underline in a student response that will show that the student has mastered the standard?
  • How can we design tasks that are designed to elicit specific evidence from students to support claims

Take-away 3
Build a culture of literacy. All teachers need to be teachers of language.

We are not all teachers of reading. We need to all be teachers of the language of our content areas. The sooner teachers can acknowledge that they need to give students the language tools they need to access content in math, science, history, art, music, physical education, technology and business, the sooner we can start to build a culture of literacy in our communities. Think about helping your students to build a tool box that they can use to master your content area.
Things to include in the student literacy toolbox
  • Specific vocabulary for your content area (Tier 3 vocabulary) Words should be taught in context rather than as a list to be memorized. ( Tips for Teaching Vocabulary)
  • Specific writing conventions to communicate ideas in your content area ( how to write a hypothesis, a proof, a research question)
  • Lots of challenging reading materials related to your content area- this builds content vocabulary. Ask them questions that require them to go back into the reading to support their answers. (Finding A Balance Between Fiction and Non-Fiction) (Text Complexity)(Text Based Questions)

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic post. Thank you for clearly articulating some of the powerful and practical takeaways so well.


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