Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A PARCC Postcard From Chicago

Hi Blog Friends,

Wind is whistling through the crack in my hotel window, snow has been coming down all day...this is February in Chicago.  Inside the O'Hare Hilton,  hot topics of discussion included updates on accommodations for students with disabilities, literacy in all content areas, using the Tri-state Rubric, supporting ELL students and using the standards and evidence tables for classroom instruction.  Since you all can't be here, let me share some "snapshots" from my day.

Can your students explain why literacy is important in their science classes? How do we help them see the importance of literacy and also of being scientifically literate?  Three take aways from this session:
1.  Science teachers ( math too) can use CLAIMS EVIDENCE  REASONING (CER) as a basic formula to help students write scientifically or mathematically with precision.
2. Students can have precision in their reading by using close reading strategies to help them access their textbook, lab procedures, research articles, narrative texts, and informational text.
3. Teachers need to model close reading and CER in science and math.

PARCC News You Can Use
Three take aways from our PARCC update session:
1. Additonal tech preparedness tool targeted to building principals and superintendents will be released in early March.  It will help with gap anlaysis, allow modeling of different scenarios and have additional info on testing windows ( with some flexibility for district start and end dates)
2. Available in April will be ELL draft policies, and Draft subject and grade level performance indicators will be available for public comment.
3. For HS on block scheduling, the EOC exams will be available at the end of semester 1 in the 2014-2015 school year.

Testing Accommodations for Students With Disabilities
Three take aways:
1. Currently doing cognitive research on how students with disabilities interact with PARCC like items. This will help with decision making on accommodations.
2. PARCC does not directly assess k-2 foundational reading skills, so, the 3-11 standards focus on reading independently and with comprehension. Audio text would meet this standard when appropriate.
3. The accommodations manual will be approved in June.

PARCC Lunchtime awesomeness:
Three take aways from my chance lunch encounter with Lydia Stack, former president of TESOL and  one of the writers of  the Framework for English Language Proficiency Development Standards corresponding to the CCSS and Next Generation Science standards.
1. Great ELL insights for teachers of Math, ELA and Science
2. Great VENN Diagram showing relationship of the standard "practices" in ELA, Math and Science
3. ELL research papers and videos

PARCC Assessment Limits in Evidence Tables...scholarly title for " how to decode the numbering/ cataloging system being used to help match "evidence" that will be " looked for" in the assessments with the original standard(s)
Three take aways:
1. There are two types of evidence standards...exact - a direct restatement of the standard and derived- a component of a standard that has been broken into smaller pieces for assessment.
2. Clarifications will be provided to help teachers see how it will be used on a grade level assessment. In some cases, multiple standards may be asssessed in one item (especially true on performance tasks)
3. On the 3rd grade math performance task, which is designed to assess students 75% of the way through the 3rd grade year, second grade major standards may be included to allow students to demonstrate a secure understanding of the standard and how it applies to 3rd grade work. This does NOT mean that 3rd grade teachers need to reteach 2 nd grade materials, only that they should be building on foundations laid in 2nd grade.
More from PARCC Chicago tomorrow!

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