Wednesday, September 19, 2018

How to Close The Gap For Students By Changing How You Perceive Yourself

I have always been a dog person. Until this summer, when a cat showed up at our backdoor one night. For three weeks our family took care of this cat, while she lived in first a box, and then a homemade Rubbermaid tote house, complete with a golf umbrella awning.  I started worrying about this cat at night and through storms, and looking forward to seeing her at the end of the day. I started to ask my “cat friends” for advice on how to best take care of this cat. Long story short, the cat is now sitting next to me on the couch as I put together Talk-Oh-Tuesday. The dog is sitting on the other side.  So often as teachers we catch ourselves saying “I am a math person, or I work best with __________ kinds of kids”. As you start to dig into your District Report cards, look closely at what role you can play in Gap Closing. How can you go outside your comfort zone to support students who challenge you as a teacher or administrator? Who might be a resource that you can reach out to?

One good starting point for gap closing is to look at the connections between standards aligned resources, assessments that have enough stretch to allow all students  to show where they are in their mastery, and Performance Level Descriptors. Performance Level Descriptors are a great starting point to plan how you will stretch or support students. They are also great if you are not a “math person” or “ELA person” or a "Gifted person" or a "Special Ed person" and need to figure out what student work needs to look like or sound like as they build their own competency.  Are your lessons or assessments giving students the opportunity to show you that evidence? If not, what can you do to tweak them? Who might you reach out to?

Find all of the Ohio Performance Level Descriptors here.

If you have never joined in on #OHedchat Weds. nights at 9:00 EST on Twitter, this is the week to join in.  David Liben, one of my literacy superheroes and a Senior Fellow in Literacy at Student Achievement Partners ( will be the special guest moderator this week.

Draft Ohio Model Curriculum - Science, The Nature of Science, Content Elaboration for ODE Science - take time to read through this and make comments by Sept 28….get some great resource ideas and progression of learning connections in the process!
Draft Ohio Model Curriculum - Social Studies  and Draft Ohio Model Curriculum - Financial Literacy  - take time to read through these and make comments by Sept. 28...great way to see that vertical alignment and help kids connect to prior learning.  

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