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Using the New ACPS Curriculum Guides

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1 Using the New ACPS Curriculum Guides
Curriculum Implementation Modules ( ): Session One Alexandria City Public Schools

2 Essential Questions for This Workshop
How can ACPS educators support students to understand what they are learning and demonstrate independent transfer? How does the end-in-mind curriculum design process support student understanding?

3 Session Objectives By the end of this workshop, you should be able to:
1. Explain the three stages of end-in-mind curriculum design. 2. Access the new ACPS curriculum guides and use them as resources for lesson planning. 3. Use the new ACPS curriculum guides to design a lesson for the coming week.

4 Our Agenda at a Glance Warm-Up Activity: What Do You Know About the New ACPS Curriculum Guides? The “What’s Changing?” Challenge: Pairs Share Accessing the New ACPS Curriculum Guides on Blackboard Gallery Walk: What Will We see When Units Are Implemented? What Challenges Will We Face? An Introduction to the ACPS Lesson Design Template Design Session: Creating a Lesson Plan for Next Week Wrap-Up: Feedback, Reflections, and Action Steps for Session Two

5 Think/Pair/Share Think: What do you already know about the new ACPS curriculum? Pair: Identify a “positive” about the new curriculum and a “challenge” you both agree educators will face as they begin to use it. Share: Be prepared to share your ideas with the whole group.

6 The “Big Ideas” of This Workshop
Promoting all students’ capacity for conceptual understanding and independent transfer Aligning curriculum, assessment, and the teaching-learning process around transfer goals, essential questions, and transfer tasks Using the three stages of end-in-mind curriculum design in lesson planning Promoting student understanding rather than just knowledge-recall learning Promoting student achievement by emphasizing student understanding as an essential part of your accountability and continuous improvement process

7 What Does the Research Tell Us About Effective Curriculum?
Place Your Bets!

8 Place Your Bets! How much do you think you know about the relationship between curriculum and student achievement? IMAGINE that you have $ to start. Decide if each of the following statements is true or false. Depending upon how certain you (and your partners) are, bet the full amount you have--or just a part of it.

9 Place Your Bets ONE… TRUE OR FALSE?
United States students are generally showing significant gains in understanding, based upon standardized test performance.

10 False! (I) During the past 25 years, schools in the U.S. are showing gains in basic skills, but no major gains have occurred in higher-order thinking performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP): Only 6% of students are competent in Algebra, and 15% in U.S. History, despite most students having passed courses by those titles.

11 False! (II) Trends in International Mathematics and Science Studies (TIMSS) and James Stigler’s UCLA Meta-Study of Teacher Behaviors (“The Teaching Gap” and “The Learning Gap”) : a. U.S. students typically outperformed students in only six countries out of the 46 tested. b. Unlike high-performing countries, U.S. schools tend to emphasize practice and skill development, not thinking, inventing, and problem solving.

12 False! (III) Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA):
a. When compared to their peers in many other countries, United States students display difficulty in applying mathematics to authentic, real-word situations, settings, and tasks. b. Students in the U.S. tend to learn mathematical algorithms and formulas in a rote fashion, showing difficulty when asked to determine independently how to “unpack” everyday math word problems.

13 *Place Your Bets TWO… TRUE OR FALSE?
United States students are taking more advanced courses and graduating with higher grade point averages despite decreases in NAEP and other standardized test scores.

14 *True! (I) “Test Scores at Odds with Rising High School Grades” (The Washington Post) “High school students are performing worse overall on some national tests than they did in the previous decade, even though they are receiving significantly higher grades and taking what seem to be more rigorous courses, according to government data.”

15 *True! (II) 2. “At the same time, the average high school grade-point average rose from 2.68 in 1990 to 2.98 in 2005, according to a study of transcripts from graduating seniors. The study also found that the percentage of graduating seniors who completed a standard or mid-level course of study rose from 35 to 58 percent in that time.” 3. “Meanwhile, the percentage who took the highest-level curriculum doubled, to 10 percent.”

16 Place Your Bets THREE… TRUE OR FALSE?
Generally, curriculum in the United States tends to emphasize critical and creative thinking rather than knowledge-recall learning…

17 False! In the U.S., schools tend to emphasize coverage of material with many topic segments, rather than a limited set taught in depth. The U.S. curriculum tends to be a “mile-wide, inch-deep.” U.S. education tends to emphasize subjects and content rather than the learner as the center of the learning process.

18 Place Your Bets FOUR… TRUE OR FALSE?
According to Robert Marzano, author of What Works in Schools, American teachers generally have sufficient time to address the standards for which they are responsible.

19 False! Robert Marzano (McRel): “If teachers are expected to get students to learn all of the [K-12] standards identified by their district, on average we need to expand students’ time in school by a minimum of 6,000 hours.”

20 Place Your Bets FIVE… TRUE OR FALSE?
One of the most effective ways to boost and maintain standardized test scores is to ensure that you cover every standard in your curriculum in case it is on the test.

21 False! (I) TIMSS, Stigler, Marzano, and others report a test preparation paradox: We seem to feel the obligation to “cover” and “touch on” lots of things in case they are “on the test.” Results confirm, however, that superficial coverage of material causes poorer, not better, test results.

22 False! (II) “What an extensive research literature now documents is that an ordinary degree of understanding is routinely missing in many, perhaps most students. If, when the circumstances of testing are slightly altered, the sought-after competence can no longer be documented, then understanding—in any reasonable sense of the term—has simply not been achieved.” Howard Gardner, The Unschooled Mind

23 So What Can We Conclude? The more students understand what they are learning, the higher their levels of retention, transfer, and test performance. A mile-wide, inch-deep curriculum does not promote high levels of student understanding—or higher test scores. Teaching a conceptually-organized and time-sensitive core curriculum produces higher test results—without having to teach to a test through a mechanical, worksheet approach.

24 What Does the Research Tell Us About Promoting Learning?
True learning is not passive: Students construct meaning and learn best when they are actively and experientially engaged. When we learn, we move along a continuum—from initial acquisition (A) toward constructed meaning (M), moving on to guided and independent transfer (T). Students retain learning best when three memory systems are activated: the (1) declarative, (2) procedural, and (3) episodic. We learn whole-to-part (i.e., forming gestalt patterns): We need to understand the big ideas and themes that organize the “little stuff.” Learners benefit from the “10-2” rule: For every 10 minutes of direct instruction, a minimum of two (or more) minutes of student discourse, cooperative learning, and other interaction should be in place.

25 What’s Changing in the ACPS Curriculum to Address These Issues?
With a partner, review the handout “What’s Changing About the ACPS Curriculum?” How would you summarize the major changes in the new curriculum design? How do you envision these changes affecting ACPS students? How do these changes reflect the issues raised in our “Place Your Bets!” activity?

26 End-in-Mind Curriculum Guides “At-a-Glance”
Stage One: Desired Results: a. Transfer Goals b. Essential Questions c. Enabling Knowledge Objectives d. Suggested Resources Stage Two: Assessment Evidence: a. Balanced Assessment: Diagnostic, Formative, Summative b. Transfer Tasks and Measurement Topic Rubrics Stage Three: Unit Learning Plan: a. Pre-Assessment/Diagnosis: Requisite Background Knowledge b. Using Essential Questions to Promote Discourse c. Sequencing to Create a “No-Secrets” Classroom d. Strategies for Student Language Acquisition e. Differentiation

27 A Curriculum Guide “Scavenger Hunt”
This is your chance to try out the new ACPS Blackboard curriculum site. With a partner (or by yourself), try to complete as many of the Scavenger Hunt suggestions as possible in the time allowed. Be prepared to share what you discover with the rest of the group.

28 A Few Quick Highlights (Stage One)…
Every Stage One begins with SOL alignment. Stage One transfer goals represent powerful long-range learning targets that require students to transfer what they’ve learned to authentic performance assessment tasks (i.e., Stage Two transfer tasks). Essential questions are interpretive, i.e., open-ended questions that require students to discuss, debate, and revisit the big ideas of the unit. Enabling knowledge objectives are the “know and do” of the ACPS curriculum: i.e., its declarative and procedural knowledge—the building blocks leading to transfer goals. All suggested resources should now be available in every school teaching that particular curriculum.

29 Curricular Priorities and Assessment Methods (P. 141)
Traditional quizzes and tests (selected response)……. Quizzes and tests (constructed response)……. Performance tasks and projects… Performance tasks and projects (complex, open-ended, authentic)……... Worth Being Familiar With... All Students Should Know and Be Able to Do... Enduring Understandings

30 A Few Quick Highlights (Stage Two)
Every Stage Two emphasizes the importance of balanced assessment (i.e., using diagnostic/pre-assessment, formative, and summative assessment to monitor and support student progress). Every Stage Two has a required transfer task that asks students to respond to an authentic, real-world scenario requiring their independent application of key unit content (esp. transfer goals). The Stage Two scoring rubrics are aligned with K-12 program-level measurement topics.

31 What Is a Transfer Task? A culminating performance task that assesses students’ level of transfer at the end of each unit. An authentic, real-world task that requires students to explain, apply, interpret, and demonstrate self-regulation and self-knowledge. A task that represents a way for students to confirm that they have internalized the declarative (know) and procedural (do) knowledge of the unit. Scored using one or more measurement topic rubrics.

32 A Sample Transfer Task You are going to be an author! You are being asked to design and publish a new “Fractions Textbook” for students in younger grades to help them understand fractions, their importance, and how to add and subtract them. Start by writing examples of addition and subtraction problems involving fractions. Your textbook should include both word problems and visual representations of required mathematical processes. Ideally, a great textbook should also include interesting and engaging illustrations to excite the minds of younger learners. Your goals for your textbook are to ensure that younger students: 1. Can explain what a fraction is, 2. Can explain how equivalent fractions are used, and 3. Can describe specific ways in which fractions may show up in everyday life. When you have completed your textbook design, you will present it to the rest of the class, defending the approach you took and the types of problems you included. You will be evaluated on the basis of: (1) your understanding of adding and subtracting fractions with alike and unlike denominators; (2) your expression of answers in simplest forms; (3) your presenting valid and well supported mathematical proofs; and (4) your use of three key habits of mind: Striving for Accuracy; Thinking Flexibly; and Demonstrating Efficiency.

33 A Sample Measurement Topic Rubric
Score Analyzing How Operations Relate to One Another 4 Student’s response to the task reflects a consistently accurate and complete analysis of how operations relate to one another with all parts of the response fully supported and explained. 3 Student’s response to the task reflects an accurate and generally complete analysis of how operations relate to one another, but some parts of the response require further support and explanation. 2 Student’s response to the task reflects a somewhat incomplete analysis of the relationship of operations, with many parts requiring further support and explanation. 1 Student’s response to the task reflects a very incomplete interpretation of the required analysis of the relationships among operations, with many parts requiring correction, support, and explanation.

34 A Few Quick Highlights (Stage Three)
Stage Three is the unit learning plan. It is like a Map Quest for the unit: (i.e., recommended stops along the way of implementation—from preparing for the unit to beginning the unit to helping students construct meaning to moving students to eventual transfer…). Stage Three is a starting point for you to design your individual lesson plans.

35 Lesson Planning Using the ACPS Curriculum Guides
How Can You Use the New ACPS Lesson Template?

36 The Four-Tier ACPS Electronic Lesson Planning Template
Tier One: A blank three-stage planner Tier Two: The planner with required elements for each stage Tier Three: Explanations for each of the required elements Tier Four: Glossary and Exemplars

37 The ACPS End-in-Mind Lesson Planning Template
Stage One: Desired Results: a Essential Questions b. Mastery Objectives Stage Two: Assessment Evidence: a. Balanced Assessment: Diagnostic, Formative, Summative b. Unit Transfer Task and Measurement Topic Rubrics Stage Three: Unit Learning Plan: a. Pre-Assessment/Diagnosis: How will you use data about students’ readiness, interests, and learner profiles? b. Using Essential Questions to Promote Discourse c. Sequencing to Create a “No-Secrets” Classroom d. Strategies for Student Language Acquisition e. Differentiation

38 Module One Implementation Walk-Through Process
Take a few minutes to review the implementation indicators handout for Module One. Are there specific questions you’d like answered about these indicators? Walk-through teams will be observing for evidence of each indicator in classrooms within the school as a whole.

39 12 Implementation Indicators: A Video Observation Activity
Pairs-Share: Which of these indicators are frequently evident in your classroom? Which of them might require additional emphasis? Whole Group: Be prepared to share your reactions with the whole group.

40 Reviewing Sample Lessons
With a partner, review each of the two sample lesson plans. What commendations can you make? What questions do you have? Are there recommendations you would give the teacher?

41 Participant Lesson Design Session
This is your chance to design a lesson for the coming week. Either alone or with a partner, decide on a content (or interdisciplinary) focus for the coming week. Use the ACPS lesson planning template to design one or more lessons. Be prepared to share your draft(s) with your table partners.

42 A Gallery Walk Form teams of three to four members.
Spend five minutes writing statements about what you have learned about the new ACPS curriculum…(Try for at least five…). Then, post your list. Take a gallery walk to compare lists. What were the common observations?

43 Closure Activities Participant Debriefing: Pairs share status of lesson design process. Group Debriefing: What have we learned today? What questions would we like answered? Preview of Things to Come: What is the curriculum walk-through process?

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