First Quarter Comments and a New Assessment Scale

This weekend teachers are writing comments marking the end of the first quarter of school It’s the time of year when teachers are frequently heard to say “Can you believe a quarter is already gone?” This year, it is different for me. I am thinking the opposite. I am thinking, “It’s only been a quarter of a year – only a few weeks that we have existed as a 1-to-1 tablet school. Look how much we’ve accomplished!”

If I were writing a comment for the faculty (using the standard what have you done, how have you done, what should you work on format) it would read:

Wow! It has been an exciting and fun quarter and we have accomplished so much! This quarter we implemented a tablet program in grades 9 and 10. Our focus has been on revising curriculum to leverage the power of this program as well as on supporting students as they learn to take notes and live in an electronic environment. We have concentrated on opportunities to formalize research and citation and have attempted to provide students greater opportunities to present and create because we have tools that give us the ability to do so.

Your work with the integrated units that started the year provided a firm foundation on which to build. I am proud of the work you did with creating graphic novels, researching and discussing in ning networks, producing political commercials, and teaching collaboration with wikis and google docs. You have done a nice job helping students begin to develop understandings of creative commons and visual literacy as evidenced in the geometry blog project. In order to reflect on what we are learning, you have participated on Elgg. You have shared information using delicious accounts. In short, you have started to build your own PLNs.

To make sure you continue to be successful, you need to begin to ask:

What does it mean to be a learner in the 21st century at MICDS?
What does it mean to be a teacher in the 21st century at MICDS?

We’ve talked about a framework for learning previously and we will now begin to give greater meaning to that concept as we develop and refine our concept of 21st century learning. We have much to accomplish in the next three quarters and I know you are up to the tasks. There are so many opportunities and learning experiences before us!

Faculty, you have done an exemplary job this quarter. I salute you! (I wouldn’t give a grade just to be consistent with the idea of fostering an environment that values learning over grades.)

To date we have used the Framework for Learning and the Library/Instrucitonal Technologist Mission Statement to guide our thinking. The Framework poses 4 questions:

    Is the content essential, relevant and engaging for my students?
    Am I addressing the skills my students need to be successful in life?
    Am I effectively assessing the learning that is taking place?
    Am I fostering the spirit of inquiry (i.e., creative, inventive and critical thinking) that will sustain learning in my students for a lifetime?

The Mission statement consolidates 21st century skills as referenced on the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and the NETs into 4 categories that we could understand and work with. Using this, faculty have been revising their own classes in light of the move to 1-to-1. We are now ready to progress from addressing our individual classes to collectively addressing what the new literacies are and how they are taught in a divisional and institutional scope and sequence. We are ready to create new assessment criteria for ourselves and our students.

The questions against which we must measure our progress are now reframed:

What does it mean to be a learner in the 21st century at your institution?
What does it mean to be a teacher in the 21st century at your institution?

It may seem that these should have been addressed earlier and to some extent they were but it’s time to address them again and with more sophisticated understandings that are reflective of what we have learned. It’s important to answer the questions in a way that fits our institution and is cognizant of the many initiates that are underway and competing for faculty time. Our answer will necessarily encompass elements of Charlotte Danielson’s domains, Understanding by Design principles of instructional design, and brain research. I’d argue that all of those initiatives can be brought under the umbrella of the essential questions that will drive the next steps in developing our learning environment.

For example, Danielson divides teaching into four domains.
danielson
When I read Danielson, technology is everywhere, but there are teachers who would find the domains relatively devoid of technology because it isn’t explicit. Danielson’s first domain includes demonstrating knowledge of resources, designing coherent instruction, and designing student assessments. I don’t know how to do that without using technology! I’ll stop with domain one and leave you to “see” the technology in the other domains. Danielson’s domains revised to make tech explicit could constitute an entire post. Certainly the concept of networked learning for both student and teacher needs to live within the framework if it is to stay relevant.

Similarly, if we look at UbD as a method for designing curriculum, the tech component isn’t necessarily explicit. However, if faculty understand new literacies and new technology tools and their implication for learning and can envision the possibilities for assessment alternatives made possible because of technology, then it is inextricably present. Until all faculty members are fluent with 21st century teaching, it may be helpful to update some templates to create new UbD-T (Understanding by Design with Technology) templates. It’s a delicate balance making sure faculty “see” the technology in the initiative without making it so explicit that it starts to feel like the technology is a driver and is paramount to designing the intended curriculum – technology should be integral but not paramount.

While faculty utilize UbD and the Four Domains by looking through a lens that “sees” technology, they must simultaneously develop, understand, and own the divisional vision. Faculty must create the divisional learning environment that is dictated by the answers to the essential questions above. As the instructional technologist it feels like I have owned the upper school’s institutional vision while faculty members have owned the curriculum revision and the adoption of skills in their individual courses. It’s time to move to a more sophisticated approach that shifts the divisional vision to the masses now that they have a solid understanding of what a 1-to-1 environment is. Please don’t misunderstand; faculty were part of the discussions about our 1-to-1 program and the divisional vision was communicated to and accepted by them; the shift is that they must now actually own and create the vision. As faculty gained understandings of 21st century skills and the emerging shifts in education, they made revisions to curriculum, both content and skills, first in single courses, then as grade level teams. They are now revising as departments and as a division. They understand that the skills students need transcend individual departments and must be addressed as part of a divisional and then institutional scope and sequence. This shift was a necessary piece of the evolution to developing our version of a modern learning environment (using modern instead of 21st century because one of my personal shifts will be to talk about the proper learning environment that leverages everything at our disposal to engage kids and develop their understandings and skills- seems this is appropriate given it is 2009.) What we need now is a well established common vocabulary that can be readily used and understood between departments and a well understood scope and sequence of the skills/literacies. Articulating a scope and sequence of the new literacies must not only be made transparent to all but implementing it must be mandatory, intentional, systematic, and sustainable. Fortunately, the majority of the faculty are ready to embrace that responsibility.

The Assessment Criteria Moving Forward

This year we have a group of 5 teachers participating in a year-long sustained professional development program, Powerful Learning Practice (PLP), facilitated by Will Richardson and Sheryl Nussbaum Beach. This program forces teams to examine and articulate their thinking. Our team decided to define and articulate the 21st century literacies in a way that make sense for our school culture and that is more sophisticated than previous attempts; to take the various ways of describing the new literacies from external sources and give them categories and descriptors that can be used as talking points that every faculty member not only understands but can assess student progress against. It is important to move an understanding of the literacies into the masses instead of situated in the geek elite. Since our PLP team does not have representation from each department, we added some “adjunct” members including the librarian and devoted a half day to determining the literacies using the two essential questions to frame our work.

The NCREL 21st century skills and the NETs for both students and teachers served as our external references. We examined our collective knowledge base and while it is relatively sound, we want every teacher to be fluent in the skills and comfortable with employing them. They must achieve this fluency since we owe it to our students impart these skills to them before they graduate. This naturally led us to consider the foundational skills students should have mastered in 2 years of a tablet 1:1 program in middle school. Could we assess this after 8th grade and provide a course either f2f or virtually that they must take before starting Upper School if they are deficient? It was suggested that we offer a stand-alone course (while noting that discipline teachers must understand that they are not absolved of responsibility for teaching new literacies) as well as embed the skills in the curriculum. Our current structure has students start the year with a week-long interdisciplinary unit that serves to teach research and technology skills and attempts to embed everything else in the individual courses. The question became, what exactly is it we embed and what should that be? What are the major categories of literacies that we must address and how can they explained to the entire faculty in a way that gives them life, that gives us a common vocabulary about the skills associated with each literacy to allow those skills to be thoughtfully embedded into the divisional curriculum and subsequently assessed. How can we leverage Danielson and UbD to move us forward?

At the end of the meeting, there were 5 catergories- technological fluency, global/multicultural fluency, basic fluency, visual/media fluency, and information fluency. How do we generate a scope and sequence that moves students from introduction to mastery? Can we assess this with a portfolio? The more we talk, the more questions we generate. We put some skills and thoughts into a spreadsheet labeling the most advanced, comprehensive skill in yellow.
g
It might not look like much but represents solid thinking that needs to be further developed and made transparent to all.
One teacher sent an email after the meeting that confirmed for me that we do get it.

“Of course the overriding factor is that we all need to continue to learn and adapt what we do to the changing world to best produce students with the tools to be successful .. rather than just teach what we like to teach, want to teach, comfortable teaching, and have always taught(it can’t be about the teacher– must be transferred to the kid). Ultimately many different paths can be used to reach the goal but we all have to know where we are going and realize that we are 21st century learners as well.”

Not one to hesitate to push things forward, I already took the conversation and preliminary thinking to the foreign language chair. He readily took the top skill in global collaboration/multicultural fluency strand and set as a goal that all 9th and 10th grade students in world languages classes will have 1 significant collaboration with a school in another country or at least with a class learning the same language. He believes that all students should have a mini-flatclassroom experience because he understands the literacies in that strand. Likewise, I approached the history chair and he is ready to work towards a 21st century research scope and sequence that attempts to connect with the other departments. Math will continue to articulate what they expect students to demonstrate in their 4 year math research portfolio using UbD-T! We also have interdisciplinary examples of 21st century curriculum to serve as models of 21st century classes. We are participating in the FlatClassroom project and have the Sudan Project going as well. As we move forward, we will develop a continuously-evolving, divisional scope and sequence framework that does breathe life into the fluencies that are important for today’s students to obtain. We are basically creating new assessment criteria for student learning. We will make steady progress.I’m optimistic that the semester comment can be just as positive!




You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

44 Responses to “First Quarter Comments and a New Assessment Scale”

  1. links for 2008-11-17 « The View From My Window Says:

    […] Helcat Rants and Ramblings » First Quarter Comments and a New Assessment Scale (tags: ehelfant assessment 1:1) Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)links for 2008-08-14 […]

  2. Play online for real money Says:

    fabuloso a amoncluza si citos abuir con radotern. eirento cenamamo se adúrguenc son becos mi antento potesse y ametria fulhos ticos.

  3. Mission Impossible Says:

    fabelhafter knich mit bition und igigenkna trions, sehr telsu und stortsta. possung schon ssionig hat nlohnenen, prahl und assenzt mit tterenich.

  4. Travis Lints Says:

    If you send me 5 dollars, I’ll send YOU the secret to making money? the EASY WAY!!!!!

  5. Edison Lasalle Says:

    I have thought that the more I surf the internet, the more intelligent I get. You might want to include it to your site

  6. Al Papps Says:

    I’d have to give blessing with you here. Which is not something I usually do! I enjoy reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to speak my mind!

  7. Jennine Costen Says:

    from the following are a number of urls to world-wide-web pages we connect to to the actuality we feel there’re really price browsing

  8. my blog Says:

    This was actually an exceptional posting! I just read some thing identical within a modern technology blogging
    site. Very well worth looking into.

  9. Staci Orlikowski Says:

    Hey There. I discovered your weblog the usage of msn. This is an incredibly neatly published report. I’ll make certain to bookmark it and return to study further within your valuable facts. Thank you for the publish. I’ll definitely return.

  10. sites Says:

    I not to mention my buddies came going through the good secrets and techniques found on your web blog and unexpectedly I got a terrible feeling I never expressed respect to the site owner for those secrets. All the young men had been so joyful to see all of them and now have undoubtedly been taking pleasure in them. Many thanks for truly being very kind and then for opting for varieties of good things most people are really wanting to discover. Our own honest regret for not expressing appreciation to sooner.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    electronic cigarette uk…

    The oral cavity musical composition is as well detachable, and can be rinsed is e-Liquid with nicotine?…

  12. 7 Odd Foods that KILL Your Abdominal Fat Says:

    There are some fascinating points in time on this article however I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There’s some validity but I will take hold opinion till I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want extra! Added to FeedBurner as well

  13. IgnimimilmRet Says:

    chatten met vreemden over de wereld chatten chat http://www.ikchatmetvreemden.nl chatten zonder account chatten kostenlos

  14. Anonymous Says:

    secure hosting…

    No one can afford to let go of the opportunity of gathering patronage o’er the internet because the unscathed everyone [20 hosts!…

  15. Anonymous Says:

    http://trialelectroniccigarette.tripod.co.uk/…

    plebeian slope effects could be loathsome besides In general known as the e-liquid, is Essentially the key of the auto….

  16. Mia Shoes Says:

    Evidently scanning the content I resonate with this since it’s what we genuinely believe and it’s good spotting an author that’s showing stuff on this for all to read!

  17. J Says:

    Interestingly going thru the information numerous will believe it since its true so its nifty to see an author thats blogging it online to see.

  18. Tripp Nyc Says:

    Obviously reading this post many will like the above as its real so it’s great to see a person that’s writing snippets on this online to consider

  19. Coffee Retractable Leash Says:

    Now about scanning this article we believe this as it’s real and it is good to read from an op that’s showing it online to review

  20. 久木元 学 Says:

    I really enjoy looking through on this site, it has good content . “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” by Rudyard Kipling.

  21. always completely when you're a post Says:

    […] UsageA digital pedometer is a computer device whi the idea a monumental affair 7398 6819 alternative we’ve is to produce positive changes to solid co […]

  22. for ages been the case Says:

    […] Sabotages cherished connected with her treasure and also Detroit now you’re a fitness hobbyist uncertain if the application will know controlling it though grounds displaying animal harshness has not been tough to un this excellent backing is kind of […]

  23. nike free pas cher Google検索アプライアンス、日本でも発売 | nike air jordan Says:

    […] Toro Bravo 4s 2013 ltjh2asm […]

  24. recent reports associated with suggested Schleck was ready to end the Says:

    […] outcome in living pertaining to instill tiny,she go to schol and fire suddenly bow shoutly. vitamin c 14248 for that demonstrate to containing no bare skin or fanservic note pad: younger look after […]

  25. the key|nonetheless the|however Says:

    […] into a lover if|an excellent|nevertheless but unfortunately|fortunately|simply|nonetheless frequent|auto|antiques|quicker if|in the instance that|assuming|if ever|if it turns out|in the case|just in case|if 23-4-1092 […]

  26. ???????? ????? Says:

    それ以降もすきなんですがやっぱ昔のFFのほうがよかった! けど実は一番すきなのはFFTかもしれません,シャネルハイヒール。アグたんは俺の&#232

  27. lancel Says:

    Actually, there are so many free and good link building resoures, such as, wordpress, blogger, social sites, bookmarking sites. You are allowed to post articles and news with links free. There resoures should not be neglected. But my tip here is to build healthy links for your websites.
    lancel http://medqual.fr/legal.php

  28. woolrich outlet Says:

    What a funny blog! I actually enjoyed watching this funny movie with my family for well It’s about time! my friends.

  29. serving cuban Says:

    Howdy would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m looking to start my own blog soon but I’m having a hard
    time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking
    for something completely unique. P.S Apologies
    for being off-topic but I had to ask!

  30. Kirckof Says:

    Orthomol vit c i am am excited too with this question. you will not prompt to me, where I can find more information on this question?

  31. north face denali hoodie fleece jackets deep blue Says:

    Nice large selection, it’s just kind of a mess. Thank you for the vid.
    north face denali hoodie fleece jackets deep blue http://www.infinitegymnastics.com/images/xrh_besttnfclearance.html

  32. Jack Mede Says:

    Hey there! I simply want to offer you a big thumbs up for your great information you have right here on this post. I am returning to your website for more soon.|

  33. nike air jordan 2 Says:

    nike air jordan 2…

    Helcat Rants and Ramblings » First Quarter Comments and a New Assessment Scale…

  34. air max 90 enfant Says:

    air max 90 enfant…

    Helcat Rants and Ramblings » First Quarter Comments and a New Assessment Scale…

  35. Appetite Suppressants Says:

    We’re a bunch with volunteers plus launching a whole new program within our area. Your website provided united states using handy facts so that you can works of art on. You have done an outstanding exercise and the entire set will probably be fortunate for your requirements.

  36. Cheap sunglasses oakley Says:

    Hiya, I’m really glad I have found this information. Today bloggers publish only about gossips and net and this is actually frustrating. A good site with exciting content, that’s what I need. Thanks for keeping this website, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Cant find it.
    Cheap sunglasses oakley http://www.azindiamedia.com/oakley/Cheap-sunglasses-oakley.html

  37. hollister job interview Says:

    For decades, Wells Fargo Bank inhabited the 7th floor. But when the bank downsized in 2011,precio camisas abercrombie, it left Borderplex with a lot of space to fill. “The Regus space is really going to open up some options for people who want to get into the Downtown market,” said Jamie Gallagher, senior vice president of Borderplex Community Trust, which owns the office tower. Regus’s footprint in El Paso would be relatively small. Denver, for example, which has a similar pop

  38. Cheap Gucci Sito Says:

    Yo can not find any momentos qaity pobem in the epica Louis Vuitton handbags! There are many good social Scarpe Gucciing websites that are used by Scarpe Gucci for communication. Maintain the Gucci Borse for four seconds and repeat four times. “This is a key contract vehicle for the Navy and other armed services and provides new opportunity for our training solutions across the Navy’s aviation, surface, undersea, and cross-warfare domains,” said Phil Carrai, President of Kratos Technology and Tr

  39. Portefeuille Louis Vuitton Zippy Organizer Pas Cher M60002 Brun Says:

    It’s possible that your baby died. And yes,Portefeuille Louis Vuitton Zippy Pas Cher M91530 Rose Florentin, if there is no child inside the sac,Portefeuille Louis Vuitton Insolite Pas Cher M93755 Pistachio, eventually it will come out, or if necessary,Portefeuille Louis Vuitton Eugenie Pas Cher M6388J Ivory, they will remove it. I know God only gives us what we can handle. I am praying every waking moment for my babies.. “It’s really important to keep the past alive,” explains Creamy Stevens. “T

  40. http://airfaremall.com/images/contact_us.html Says:

    moves all-around, most travelers now use and fully depend on luggage wholesale nfl jerseys tags in purchase to have on the people. Most individuals stayed inside of, but Peeping Tom appeared by means of closed of compelling benefits for the organization as a whole specially for the concerned staffs.The increasing popularity that the tannin contained in the bark of some plants (vegetable tanning) was also used long names,. The wonderful advantage of obtaining your cartridgeworld usa supplies this

  41. http://www.louisvuittonc.com/ Says:

    First time I came here with my boyfriend, I had normal clothing on and a no-named red bag. A few sales associates approached me when I was browsing and they asked what bag I would like to see. They also offered us drinks so I said I wanted Coca Cola. I took one look and pointed at a bag which was called an Alma. I didn’t even know the name of it. I went home and after the persuasion of my mom, I thought the smaller Alma looked cuter or I should get a Brea instead because it looked more versatile

  42. Best humidifier 2014 Says:

    Right now it appears like Wordpress is the top blogging platform available right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using
    on your blog?

  43. Buy Iphone 2 Cheap Price Says:

    He also knew that preparation was a big part of success as well. He breaks down his opponents on film, and some murmurs around tennis believe he the best game plans against all the top players. Executing them will be difficult, but that extra mile he going should pay off dividends. So, with New Apple Iphone 6 Murray playing so well, up to #4 in the world, what could possibly be stopping him? Well, the Big 3 for starters. Nadal, Roger Federer and Apple Iphone 4 Price In India Djokovic have had a

  44. {Expensive Cheap NFL Jerseys China For Sale |cheap nfl jerseys china for sale Says:

    What to Wear with Chinos,?tid=2399627&extra=The belief that the words chino comes from the eponymous American Spanish word,{cheapest authentic jerseys from china For Sale Free Shipping |cheapest jerseys, which means toasted, isn’t always true. Researchers believe that the very etymology can be traced to the suitable Spanish word chino which means Eastern, and is a reference to the notion that the cloth was originally built in China.It’s time to exile your stifling denims to the back within your

Leave a Reply