Friday, March 1, 2013

Another PARCC Postcard from Chicago

I want to thank the weather and the airlines for allowing me extra time to sit and process all of the new ideas and information I learned Wednesday at the PARCC ELC conference.  Actually, 4 hours of processing time.  Here are my take-aways from our second day of meetings:

Supporting GT and High Potential Learners In CCSS - Joyce Van Tassell-Baska
First, how exciting to be able to learn more about GT and CCSS from such a respected and knowledgeable presenter.
1. Do not mistake differentiation for individualization.  Differentiation is specific to students who are functioning above or below grade level. Individualization is the idea that education should be tailored to meet the needs of every single child. This is a great concept, but few teachers can do it well. Differentiate by complexity, acceleration, depth and creativity.
2.  The ELA emphasis on analyze different genres of complex text and developing both written and oral arguments is a good fit for providing "stretch" for GT students.
3. We should consider talent trajectories, starting with the career path students might follow and working backwards to ensure they are developing the right skills/knowledge.

Resource - Books for the Gifted Child (Baskin and Harris) - out of print, but lots of used copies available on

ELA and The PARCC Evidence Tables  Michelle StieBuckles (NMSI)
What a fun way to end the conference - having the chance to brainstorm ways to "remodel" units of instruction using the new Evidence Tables. These Evidence Tables will be available to the public soon! Watch for more info on these in the future.
1. Use the Evidence Tables to help choose texts, plan units, write assessment aligned to standards. Do not go into the standards above or below your level - but you can use these to see where kids are heading.
2. Will be a great additional tool to use with the Tri-State Rubric columns on alignment/rigor and assessment.
3. We need to help teachers take an honest look at materials they are currently teaching to see if they are getting the most "bang for their buck" out of them.  May be perfectly awesome book or poem or article, but if it only hits on 1 or 2 standards, maybe there is something else that would accomplish the same purpose, but have more options for building learning opportunities.

Read my summary of the PARCC Updates and 6 Month Timeline at this link:

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