7 Differentiated instruction and standardized tests – ‘NOT an oxymoron!The only way students will do well on tests is if they learn the material. DI maximizes what students learn. DI and standardized testing are mutually beneficial.
8 It’s nice to have research-based instruction and assessment, but here are four cautions: Some educational research is done poorly. Claims based on some data are not justifiable. Some studies are intensely specific to subject and testing conditions and therefore cannot be used to justify applications to wider groups. Read the study’s limitations at the end of the research. Consider who is doing the research and check for bias. Read the original study!
9 Not all that is wise and wonderful in education has a. research base Not all that is wise and wonderful in education has a research base. Don’t dump an idea because there’s no formal research behind it. Anecdotal research can be helpful.Even the most sound, research-based strategies can have wildly varying results when used in varying populations and circumstances.4. Teachers must get much better at analyzing practice and adjusting lessons as a result of those reflections. To do this, they must be well-read in their field, and a full participant in their profession.
10 (continued) Teachers CAN become evidentiary. In fact, it’s required (continued) Teachers CAN become evidentiary. In fact, it’s required. They need the skill sets to do so. Highly accomplished teachers connect the dots between instruction and its impact on students’ performance, then they use that knowledge to adjust instruction as warranted.Self-Monitoring questions include:Where were students when we began the lessons?Where are they now, and how do I know that?What will we accept as evidence of mastery and almost mastery?Is this evidence of outcomes or of compliance?How does this evidence inform my decisions about what comes next in the learning?
11 Identify the Principles Involved, THEN Gather the Solutions Example: How do I grade English Language Learners?Principles/Tenets Involved:Teachers must be ethical. They cannot knowingly falsify a score or grade.To be useful, grades must be accurate reports of evidence of students’ performance against standards.Regular report cards report against regular, publicly declared standards/outcomes. They cannot report about irregular standards or anything not publicly declared.Any test format that does not create an accurate report of students’ degree of evidence of standards must be changed so that it does or replaced by one that does.(continued)
12 Identify the Principles Involved, THEN Gather the Solutions Example: How do I grade English Language Learners?Principles Involved: (Continued)English Language Learners have a right to be assessed accurately.Lack of language proficiency does not mean lack of content proficiency.Effective teachers are mindful of cultural and experiential bias in assessments and try to minimize their impact.If teachers act upon these principles,what decisions/behaviors/policies should we seein their assessment and grading procedures?
13 One last reminder:Just because it’s mathematically easy to calculate doesn’t mean it’s pedagogically correct.
14 We don’t let a student’s immaturity dictate his learning and thereby his destiny.
15 Just because we can’t fathom the logistics doesn’t mean we abandon the principle.
16 ‘Just to Clarify: Competencies vs. Outcomes Outcomes define what a student is expected to know and be able to do at the end of the grade or Secondary Level course. (Renewed Curricula: Understanding Outcomes)A competency is a know-how: Knowing how to act by making appropriate choices and the proper use of various resources (internal skills and attitudes as well as external resources) in a particular context. A competency is developed over time as students progress through each grade level. The outcomes define the grade level expectations for the development of the competency.Reporting to competencies provides a year-long opportunity for students to achieve the competency as outlined by the grade-specific outcomes.
17 Consider:What should students know about our oceans before they graduate high school?Why is it important that students understand the idea of, “Pitch” in elementary music programs?Which is more important to learn well: scientific method or qualitative vs quantitative analysis?If there’s little time left in the school year, which topic in your English class listed below will receive the least emphasis? Media literacy, rhetorical analysis, developing a strong writer’s voice
18 Define mastery.Agree on a commonly accepted definition of mastery with those around you.
19 What’s the difference between proficient in the standard/outcome and mastery of the standard/outcome? What does exceeding the standard mean?
20 What is Mastery?“Tim was so learned, that he could name a horse in nine languages; so ignorant, that he bought a cow to ride on.”Ben Franklin, 1750, Poor Richard’s Almanac
21 The better question is not, “What is the intended outcome The better question is not, “What is the intended outcome?” The better question is, “What evidence of the outcome will we tolerate?”
22 From your Parent Brochure (downloaded Feb 22, 2013): Thorough understanding and in-depth application of concepts and skills (80% to 100%)Very good understanding and application of concepts and skills (70% to 79%)Basic understanding and some application of concepts and skills (60% to 69%)Limited understanding and minimal application of concepts and skills (50% to 59%)Does not yet demonstrate the required understanding and application of concepts and skills; students with a grade of less than 50% are not granted course credit (Less than 50%)
23 Knowledge and understanding Scientific inquiry process From the Manitoba Provincial Report Card (downloaded Feb 22, 2013):ScienceKnowledge and understandingScientific inquiry processDesign process and problem solving
24 Speaking and representing Critical thinking From the Manitoba Provincial Report Card (downloaded Feb 22, 2013):English Language ArtsComprehensionReadingListening and viewingCommunicationWritingSpeaking and representingCritical thinking
25 “The student understands fact versus opinion.” IdentifyCreateReviseManipulate
26 Accountable Talk (p.23, Checking for Understanding, ASCD, 2007) Press for clarification – “Could you describe what you mean?”Require justification – “Where did you find that information?”Recognize and challenge misconceptions – “I don’t agree because…”Demand evidence for claims – “Can you give me an example?”Interpret and use others’ statements – “David suggested that….”
27 Clear and Consistent Evidence We want an accurate portrayal of a student’s mastery, not something clouded by a useless format or distorted by only one opportunity to reveal understanding. We need a pattern of evidence over time in order to accurately report a student’s performance with learner outcomes.
28 Choose the best assessment: On the sphere provided, draw a latitude/longitude coordinate grid. Label all major components.Given the listed latitude/longitude coordinates, identify the countries. Then, identify the latitude and longitude of the world capitols and bodies of water that are listed.Write an essay about how the latitude/longitude system came to be.In an audio-visual presentation, explain how our system of latitude and longitude would need to be adjusted if Earth was in the shape of a peanut? (narrow middle, wider edges)Create a collage or mural that represents the importance of latitude and longitude in the modern world.
29 Looking at Assessment of Mastery Example 1: Solve: (2x + 4)(x – 3) Student’s Response: 2x2 + 4x – 6x – 12 2x2 – 2x – 12 Is the student’s response correct? What can we conclude about the student’s mastery of this topic?
30 Is it Mastery?The students can match each of the following terms to its definition accurately: noun, pronoun, verb, adverb, adjective, preposition, conjunction, gerund, and interjection.The student can point to any word in the sentence and explain its role (impact) in the sentence, and explain how the word may change its role, depending on where it’s placed in the sentence.
31 What is the standard of excellence when it comes to tying a shoe? Now describe the evaluative criteria for someone who excels beyond the standard of excellence for tying a shoe. What can they do?
32 Which one qualifies for an “A” in the gradebook? Determine the surface area of a cube.Determine the surface area of a rectangular prism (a rectangular box)Determine the amount of wrapping paper needed for another rectangular box, keeping in mind the need to have regular places of overlapping paper so you can tape down the corners neatlyDetermine the amount of paint needed to paint an entire Chicago skyscraper, if one can of paint covers 46 square feet, and without painting the windows, doorways, or external air ventsWhich one qualifies for an “A” in the gradebook?
33 There’s a big difference: What are we really trying to assess? “Explain the second law of thermodynamics” vs. “Which of the following situations shows the second law of thermodynamics in action?”“What is the function of a kidney?” vs. “Suppose we gave a frog a diet that no impurities – fresh organic flies, no pesticides, nothing impure. Would the frog still need a kidney?”“Explain Keynes’s economic theory” vs. “ Explain today’s downturn in the stock market in light of Keynes’s economic theory.”From, Teaching the Large College Class, Frank Heppner, 2007, Wiley and Sons
34 Saskatchewan Outcome: N6.9 Research and present how First Nations and Métis peoples, past and present, envision, represent, and use quantity in their lifestyles and worldviews.Gather and document information regarding the significance and use of quantity for at least one First Nation or Métis peoples from a variety of sources such as Elders and traditional knowledge keepers.Compare the significance, representation, and use of quantity for different First Nations, Métis peoples, and other cultures.Communicate to others concretely, pictorially, orally, visually, physically, and/or in writing, what has been learned about the envisioning, representing, and use of quantity by First Nations and Métis peoples and how these understandings parallel, differ from, and enhance one’s own mathematical understandings about numbers.
35 Grade 8: Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. (From the Common Core Standards)What is the proper way to cite textual evidence in a written analysis?How much textual evidence is needed to support the student’s claims?What if the student cites enough evidence but it’s for an incorrect claim?What if the student is novel or stylistic in some way – will that be acceptable as long as he fulfills the general criteria?How specific does a student need to be in order to demonstrate being explicit?
36 Is the analysis complete if he just makes the claim and cites evidence without a line or two to tie it all back to the theme?And what does, “…as well as inferences drawn from the text,” mean? Does it mean students make inferences about the text and back them up with text references or outside-the-text references? Are students supposed to comment on quality of inferences within the text? Are they supposed to make inferences when analyzing the text?What if they can do it with one piece of text, but not another, or they can do it this week, but not another?What text formats will we require students to analyze in this manner?What will constitute, “Exceeds the Standard?”
37 Prompt: Write a well-crafted essay that provides an accurate overview of what we’ve learned about DNA in our class so far. You may use any resources you wish, but make sure to explain each of the aspects of DNA we’ve discussed. Student’s Response: Deoxyribonucleic Acid, or DNA, is the blueprint for who we are. Its structure was discovered by Watson and Crick in Watson was an American studying in Great Britain. Crick was British (He died last year). DNA is shaped like a twisting ladder. It is made of two nucleotide chains bonded to each other. The poles of the ladder are made of sugar and phosphate but the rungs of the ladder are made of four bases. They are thymine, guanine, and cytosine, and adenine. The amount of adenine is equal to the amount of thymine (A=T). It’s the same with cytosine and guanine (C=G).(Continued on the next slide)
38 The sequence of these bases makes us who we are The sequence of these bases makes us who we are. We now know how to rearrange the DNA sequences in human embryos to create whatever characteristics we want in new babies – like blue eyes, brown hair, and so on, or even how to remove hereditary diseases, but many people think it’s unethical (playing God) to do this, so we don’t do it. When DNA unzips to bond with other DNA when it reproduces, it sometimes misses the re-zipping order and this causes mutations. In humans, the DNA of one cell would equal 1.7 meters if you laid it out straight. If you laid out all the DNA in all the cells of one human, you could reach the moon 6,000 times!
39 Conclusions from Sample DNA Essay Grading The fact that a range of grades occurs among teacherswho grade the same product suggests that:Assessment can only be done against commonly accepted and clearly understood criteria.Grades are relative.Teachers have to be knowledgeable in their subject area in order to assess students properly.Grades are subjective and can vary from teacher to teacher.Grades are not always accurate indicators of mastery.
40 Working Definition of Mastery (Wormeli) Students have mastered content when theydemonstrate a thorough understanding asevidenced by doing something substantivewith the content beyond merely echoing it.Anyone can repeat information; it’s themasterful student who can break content intoits component pieces, explain it and alternativeperspectives regarding it cogently to others,and use it purposefully in new situations.
41 What is the Role of Each One? Formative AssessmentSummative JudgmentCommon Formative AssessmentStandardized Assessments
42 Feedback vs Assessment Feedback: Holding up a mirror to students, showing them what they did and comparing it what they should have done – There’s no evaluative component!Assessment: Gathering data so we can make a decisionGreatest Impact on Student Success: Formative feedback
43 Two Ways to Begin Using Descriptive Feedback: “Point and Describe”(from Teaching with Love & Logic, Jim Fay, David Funk)“Goal, Status, and Plan for the Goal”Identify the objective/goal/standard/outcomeIdentify where the student is in relation to the goal (Status)Identify what needs to happen in order to close the gap
45 Benefits of Students Self Assessing Students better understand the standards and outcomesStudents are less dependent on teachers for feedback; they independently monitor their own progressStudents develop metacognitive skills and adjust what they are doing to improve their workStudents broaden learning when they see how peers approach tasksStudents develop communication and social skills when required to provide feedback to others.-- from Manitoba’s Communicating Student Learning, 2008
46 What does our understanding of feedback mean for our use of homework What does our understanding of feedback mean for our use of homework? Is homework more formative or summative in nature? Whichever it is, its role in determining grades will be dramatically different.
47 Two Homework Extremes that Focus Our Thinking If a student does none of the homework assignments, yet earns an “A” (top grade) on every formal assessment we give, does he earn anything less than an “A” on his report card?If a student does all of the homework well yet bombs every formal assessment, isn’t that also a red flag that something is amiss, and we need to take corrective action?
48 Be clear: We mark and grade against outcomes, not the routes students take or techniques teachers use to achieve those outcomes. Given this premise, marks/grades for these activities can no longer be used in the academic report of what students know and can do regarding learner outcomes: maintaining a neat notebook, group discussion, class participation, homework, class work, reading log minutes, band practice minutes, dressing out in p.e., showing up to perform in an evening concert, covering textbooks, service to the school, group projects, signed permission slips, canned foods for canned food drive…
49 Accuracy of Final Report Card Grade Accuracy of the Final Report Card Grade versus the Level of Use of Formative Assessment Scores in the Final Report GradeHigh Final Grade AccuracyAccuracy of Final Report Card GradeLow FinalGrade AccuracyLow Use ofFormative Scoresin the Final GradeHigh Use ofFormative Scores in the Final Grade
50 This quarter, you’ve taught: 4-quadrant graphingSlope and Y-interceptMultiplying binomialsRatios/Proportions3-dimensional solidsArea and Circumference of a circle.The student’s grade: BWhat does this mark tell us about the student’s proficiency with each of the topics you’ve taught?
51 1 3 2 10 12 6 Student Dimension A Dimension B Total Score Unidimensionality – A single score on a test represents a single dimension or trait that has been assessedStudentDimension ADimension BTotal Score12101236Problem: Most tests use a single score to assess multiple dimensions and traits. The resulting score is often invalid and useless. -- Marzano, CAGTW, page 13
52 100 point scale or 4.0 Scale?A 4.0 scale has a high inter-rater reliability. Students’ work is connected to a detailed descriptor and growth and achievement rally around listed benchmarks.In 100-point or larger scales, the grades are more subjective. In classes in which teachers use percentages or points, students, teachers, and parents more often rally around grade point averages, not learning.
53 Consider:Pure mathematical averages of grades for a grading period are inaccurate indicators of students’ true mastery.A teacher’s professional judgment via clear descriptors on a rubric actually increases the accuracy of a student’s final grade as an indicator of what he learned.A teacher’s judgment via rubrics has a stronger correlation with outside standardized tests than point or average calculations do.(Marzano)
54 Remember: There is a big difference between what we hold people accountable for demonstrating during the learning cycle versus what we hold people accountable for demonstrating once they are fully certified, i.e. finished the learning cycle and received passing scores on valid assessments.
55 Assessment AS/FOR Learning Grades rarely used, if everMarks and feedback are usedShare learning goals with students from the beginningMake adjustments in teaching a result of formative assessment dataProvide descriptive feedback to studentsProvide opportunities for student for self-and peer assessment-- O’Connor, p. 98, Wormeli
56 Result on Student Achievement Teacher ActionResult on Student AchievementJust telling students # correct and incorrectNegative influence on achievementClarifying the scoring criteriaIncrease of 16 percentile pointsProviding explanations as to why their responses are correct or incorrectIncrease of 20 percentile pointsAsking students to continue responding to an assessment until they correctly answer the itemsGraphically portraying student achievementIncrease of 26 percentile points-- Marzano, CAGTW, pgs 5-6
57 Evaluating the Usefulness of Assessments What are your essential and enduring skills and content you’re trying to assess?How does this assessment allow students to demonstrate their mastery?Is every component of that objective accounted for in the assessment?Can students respond another way and still satisfy the requirements of the assessment task? Would this alternative way reveal a student’s mastery more truthfully?Is this assessment more a test of process or content? Is that what you’re after?
58 Clear and Consistent Evidence We want an accurate portrayal of a student’s mastery, not something clouded by a useless format or distorted by only one opportunity to reveal understanding.Differentiating teachers require accurate assessments in order to differentiate successfully.
59 Great differentiated assessment is never kept in the dark. “Students can hit any target they can see and which stands still for them.”-- Rick Stiggins, Educator and Assessment expertIf a child ever asks, “Will this be on the test?”.….we haven’t done our job.
60 Recovering in full from a failure teaches more than being labeled for failure ever could teach. It’s a false assumption that giving a student an “F” or wagging an admonishing finger from afar builds moral fiber, self-discipline, competence, and integrity.
61 Re-Do’s & Re-Takes: Are They Okay? Thomas Edison More than “okay!” After 10,000 tries, here’s a working light bulb. ‘Any questions?Re-Do’s &Re-Takes:Are They Okay?Thomas Edison
62 From Youtube.com: Dr. Tae Skateboarding (Ted Talk) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHfo17ikSpY
63 It takes doing a task (or revisiting content) about two dozen times to get to an 80% proficiency level with that skill or content in long-term memory.
64 Helpful Procedures and Policies for Re-Do’s and Re-Takes Always, “…at teacher discretion.”Don’t hide behind the factory model of schooling that perpetuates curriculum by age, perfect mastery on everyone’s part by a particular calendar date.As appropriate, students write letters explaining what was different between the first and subsequent attempts, and what they learned about themselves as learners.Re-do’s and re-takes must be within reason, and teachers decide what’s reasonable.
65 Identify a day by which time this will be accomplished or the grade is permanent, which, of course, may be adjusted at any point by the teacher.With the student, create a calendar of completion that will help them accomplish the re-do. If student doesn’t follow through on the learning plan, he writes letters of apology. There must be re-learning, or learning for the first time, before the re-assessing.Require the student to submit original version with the re-done version so you and he can keep track of his development.If a student is repeatedly asking for re-doing work, something’s up. Investigate your approach and the child’s situation.
66 C, B, and B+ students get to re-do just as much as D and F students do C, B, and B+ students get to re-do just as much as D and F students do. Do not stand in the way of a child seeking excellence.If report cards are due and there’s not time to re-teach before re-assessing, record the lower grade, then work with the student in the next marking period, and if he presents new evidence of proficiency, submit a grade-change report form, changing the grade on the transcript from the previous marking period.Reserve the right to give alternative versions and ask follow-up questions to see if they’ve really mastered the material.Require parents to sign the original attempt.
67 It’s okay to let students, “bank,” sections of the assessment/assignment that are done well. No-re-do’s the last week of the grading period.Replace the previous grade with the new one, do NOT average them together.Sometimes the greater gift is to deny the option.Choose your battles. Push for re-doing the material that is transformative, leveraging, fundamental.
68 Where Do You Stand?Students should be allowed to re-do every assignment/assessment.Students should be given full credit for re-do’s, not partial credit.Final tests/projects should not have a re-do option.Re-doing assessments/assignments prepares students well for the world beyond school.Students who turn in assignments after the due date should get full credit for demonstrated mastery of content.Students with B’s (or any grade that’s fairly decent) should not be allowed to re-do assessments/assignments.
70 Until Report Card Formats catch up to pedagogy, we may have to translate into three languages: Report Card Rubric Symbol English Symbol 4 Mastery Just below 90 mastery
71 A Perspective that Changes our Thinking: “A ‘D’ is a coward’s ‘F.’ The student failed, but you didn’t have enough guts to tell him.”-- Doug Reeves
72 ABCI, IP, NE, or NTYOnce we cross over into D and F(E) zones, does it really matter? We’ll do the same two things: Personally investigate and take corrective action
73 This assignment had no legitimate educational value. If we do not allow students to re-do work, we deny the growth mindset so vital to student maturation, and we are declaring to the student:This assignment had no legitimate educational value.It’s okay if you don’t do this work.It’s okay if you don’t learn this content or skill.None of these is acceptable to the highly accomplished, professional educator.
74 Why Do We Grade? Provide feedback Document progress Guide instructional decisionsMotivatePunishSort studentsWhat about incorporating attendance, effort, and behavior in the final grade?
75 Outcomes-based Grading Impacts Behavior, not just Report Cards: “When schools improve grading policies – for example, by disconnecting grades from behavior – student achievement increases and behavior improves dramatically.”(Doug Reeves, ASCD’s Educational Leadership, 2008, p. 90, Reeves)
76 Consider… Teaching and learning can and do occur without grades. We do not give students grades in order to teach them.Grades reference summative experiences only – cumulative tests, projects, demonstrations, NOT formative experiences.Students can learn without grades, but they must have feedback.Grades are inferences based upon a sampling of student’s work in one snapshot moment in time. As such they are highly subjective and relative.
77 PremiseA grade represents a valid and undiluted indicator of what a student knows and is able to do – mastery. With grades we document progress in students and our teaching, we provide feedback to students and their parents, and we make instructional decisions.
78 ‘Time to Change the Metaphor: Grades are NOT compensation. Grades are communication: They are an accurate report of what happened.
79 10 Practices to Avoid in a Differentiated Classroom [They Dilute a Grade’s Validity and Effectiveness]Penalizing students’ multiple attempts at masteryGrading practice (daily homework) as students come to know concepts [Feedback, not grading, is needed]Withholding assistance (not scaffolding or differentiating) in the learning when it’s neededGroup gradesIncorporating non-academic factors (behavior, attendance, and effort)
80 Assessing students in ways that do not accurately indicate students’ mastery (student responses are hindered by the assessment format)Grading on a curveAllowing Extra CreditDefining supposedly criterion-based grades in terms of norm-referenced descriptions (“above average,” “average”, etc.)Recording zeroes on the scale for work not done
81 0 or 50 (or 60)?100-pt. Scale:0, 100, 100, 100, 100, % (C+)60, 100, 100, 100, 100, % (B+)When working with students, do we choose the most hurtful, unrecoverable end of the “F” range, or the most constructive, recoverable end of the “F” range?
82 Be clear: Students are not getting points for having done nothing Be clear: Students are not getting points for having done nothing. The student still gets an F. We’re simply equalizing the influence of the each grade in the overall grade and responding in a way that leads to learning.
83 Imagine the Reverse…A = 100 – 40 B = 39 – 30 C = 29 – 20 D = 19 – 10 F = 9 – 0What if we reversed the proportional influences of the grades? That “A” would have a huge, yet undue, inflationary effect on the overall grade. Just as we wouldn’t want an “A” to have an inaccurate effect, we don’t want an “F” grade to have such an undue, deflationary, and inaccurate effect. Keeping zeroes on a 100-pt. scale is just as absurd as the scale seen here.
84 Consider the Correlation 100908070604321A (0) on a 100-pt. scale is a (-6) on a 4-pt. scale. If a student does no work, he should get nothing, not something worse than nothing. How instructive is it to tell a student that he earned six times less than absolute failure? Choose to be instructive, not punitive. [Based on an idea by Doug Reeves, The Learning Leader, ASCD, 2006]5040302010-1-2-3-4-5-6
85 Temperature Readings for Norfolk, VA: 85, 87, 88, 84, 0 (‘Forgot to take the reading) Average: 68.8 degrees This is inaccurate for what really happened, and therefore, unusable.
86 Clarification:When we’re talking about converting zeroes to 50’s or higher, we’re referring to zeroes earned on major projects and assessments, not homework, as well as anything graded on a 100-point scale. It’s okay to give zeroes on homework or on small scales, such as a 4.0 scale. Zeroes recorded for homework assignments do not refer to final, accurate declarations of mastery, and those zeroes don’t have the undue influence on small grading scales.
87 Grading Late WorkOne whole letter grade down for each day late is punitive. It does not teach students, and it removes hope.A few points off for each day late is instructive; there’s hope.Yes, the world beyond school is like this.
88 Helpful Consideration for Dealing with Student’s Late Work: Is it chronic….…or is it occasional?We respond differently, depending on which one it is.
89 Setting Up Gradebooks in a Differentiated Classroom Avoid setting up gradebooks according to formats or media used to demonstrate mastery: tests, quizzes, homework, projects, writings, performancesInstead, set up gradebooks according to mastery: objectives, benchmarks, standards, learner outcomes
90 Set up your gradebook into two sections: Formative SummativeAssignments and assessments Final declarationcompleted on the way to of mastery ormastery or proficiency proficiency
92 Gradebooks and Report Cards in the Differentiated Classroom: Ten Important Attributes Everything is clearly communicated, easily understoodUse an entire page per studentSet up according to Standards/OutcomesDisaggregate!No averaging – Determine grades based on central tendency, trend, mode
93 Gradebooks and Report Cards in the Differentiated Classroom: Ten Important Attributes 6. Behavior/Effort/Attendance separated from Academic Performance7. Grades/Marks are as accurate as possible8. Some students may have more marks/grades than others9. Scales/Rubric Descriptors readily available, even summarized as possible10. Grades/marks revisable
94 Responsive Report Formats Adjusted Curriculum Approach: Grade the student against his own progression, but indicate that the grade reflects an adjusted curriculum. Place an asterisk next to the grade or check a box on the report card indicating such, and include a narrative comment in the cumulative folder that explains the adjustments.
95 Responsive Report Formats Progression and Outcomes Approach: Grade the student with two grades, one indicating his performance with the outcomes and another indicating his own progression. A, B, C, D, or F indicates the student’s progress against provincial outcomes, while 3, 2, or 1 indicates his personal progression.
96 Responsive Report Formats Multiple Categories Within Subjects Approach:Divide the grade into its component pieces. For example, a “B” in Science class can be subdivided into specific standards or benchmarks such as, “Demonstrates proper lab procedure,” “Successfully employs the scientific method,” or “Uses proper nomenclature and/or taxonomic references.”The more we try to aggregate into a single symbol, the less reliable that symbol is as a true expression of what a student knows and is able to do.
97 Report Cards without Grades Course: Outcome Outcomes RatingLang Arts 7 Descriptor (1) (2) (3) (4)_____________________________________________________________________Outcome Usage/Punct/SpellingOutcome Analysis of LiteratureOutcome Six + 1 Traits of WritingOutcome Reading ComprehensionOutcome Listening/SpeakingOutcome Research SkillsAdditional Comments from Teachers:Health and Maturity Records for the Grading Period:
98 100 point scale or 4.0 Scale?A 4.0 scale has a high inter-rater reliability. Students’ work is connected to a detailed descriptor and growth and achievement rally around listed benchmarks.In 100-point or larger scales, the grades are more subjective. In classes in which teachers use percentages or points, students, teachers, and parents more often rally around grade point averages, not learning.
99 Consider:Pure mathematical averages of grades for a grading period are inaccurate indicators of students’ true mastery.A teacher’s professional judgment via clear descriptors on a rubric actually increases the accuracy of a student’s final grade as an indicator of what he learned.A teacher’s judgment via rubrics has a stronger correlation with outside standardized tests than point or average calculations do.(Marzano)
100 Accurate grades are based on the most consistent evidence Accurate grades are based on the most consistent evidence. We look at the pattern of achievement, including trends, not the average of the data. This means we focus on the median and mode, not mean, and the most recent scores are weighed heavier than earlier scores. Median: The middle test score of a distribution, above and below which lie an equal number of test scores Mode: The score occurring most frequently in a series of observations or test data
101 Suggested Language to Use in Parents’ Handbook: Parents, as we are basing students' grades onIntended learner outcomes for each discipline, finalgrades are first and foremost determined by ourteachers' professional opinion of your child'sperformance with those outcomes, not by mathematicalcalculations. Teachers have been trained in analyzingstudent products against outcomes and in findingevidence of that learning using a variety of methods.Please don't hesitate to inquire how grades for yourchild were determined if you are unsure.
102 Grading Inclusion Students Question #1:“Are the learner outcomes set for the whole class also developmentally appropriate for this student?”If they are appropriate, proceed to Question #2.If they are not appropriate, identify which standards are appropriate, making sure they are as close as possible to the original standards. Then go to question #2.
103 Grading Inclusion Students Question #2:“Will these learning experiences (processes) we’re using with the general class work with the inclusion student as well?”If they will work, then proceed to Question #3.If they will not work, identify alternative pathways to learning that will work. Then go to Question #3.
104 Grading Inclusion Students Question #3:“Will this assessment instrument we’re using to get an accurate rendering of what general education students know and are able to do regarding the outcome also provide an accurate rendering of what this inclusion student knows and is able to do regarding the same outcome?If the instrument will provide an accurate rendering of the inclusion student’s mastery, then use it just as you do with the rest of the class.If it will not provide an accurate rendering of the inclusion student’s mastery, then identify a product that will provide that accuracy, and make sure it holds the student accountable for the same universal factors as your are asking of the other students.
105 Grading Gifted Students Insure grade-level material is learned.If it’s enrichment material only, the grade still represents mastery of on-grade-level material. An addendum report card or the comment section provides feedback on advanced material.If the course name indicates advanced material (Algebra I Honors, Biology II), then we grade against those advanced standards.If the student has accelerated a grade level or more, he is graded against the same standards as his older classmates.
107 Samples of Tiered Tasks Grade Level Task:Draw and correctly label the plot profile of a novel.Advanced Level Tasks:Draw and correctly label the general plot profile for a particular genre of books.Draw and correctly label the plot profile of a novel and explain how the insertion or deletion of a particular character or conflict will impact the profile’s line, then judge whether or not this change would improve the quality of the story.
108 Samples of Tiered Tasks Early Readiness Level Tasks:Draw and correctly label the plot profile of a short story.Draw and correctly label the plot profile of a single scene.Given a plot profile of a novel, correctly label its parts.Given a plot profile with mistakes in its labeling, correct the labels.
109 Tiering Tier in gradations Readiness Interest Learning Profile Common Definition -- Adjusting the following to maximize learning:ReadinessInterestLearning ProfileRick’s Preferred Definition:-- Changing the level of complexity or requiredreadiness of a task or unit of study in order to meetthe developmental needs of the students involved(Similar to Tomlinson’s “Ratcheting”).Tier in gradations
110 Tiering Assignments and Assessments Example -- Graph the solution set of each of the following: 1. y > x + 3y < 2 3. –y < 3x – x + 3y < 2 3y < -6x + 2 y < -2x + 2/3 x y 0 2/ /3Given these two ordered pairs, students would then graph the line and shade above or below it, as warranted.
112 Tiering Assignments and Assessments For early readiness students:Limit the number of variables for which student must account to one in all problems. ( y > 2 )Limit the inequality symbols to, “greater than” or, “less than,” not, “greater then or equal to” or, “less than or equal to”Provide an already set-up 4-quadrant graph on which to graph the inequalitySuggest some values for x such that when solving for y, its value is not a fraction.
113 Tiering Assignments and Assessments For advanced readiness students:Require students to generate the 4-quadrant graph themselvesIncrease the parameters for graphing with equations such as: --1 < y < 6Ask students what happens on the graph when a variable is given in absolute value, such as: /y/ > 1Ask students to graph two inequalities and shade or color only the solution set (where the shaded areas overlap)
114 Tiering Assignments and Assessments -- Advice Begin by listing every skill or bit of information a student must use in order to meet the needs of the task successfully. Most of what we teach has subsets of skills and content that we can break down for students and explore at length.
115 Tiering Assignments and Assessments -- Advice Tier tasks by designing the full-proficiency version first, then design the more advanced level of proficiency, followed by the remedial or early-readiness level, as necessary.
116 Tiering Assignments and Assessments -- Advice Respond to the unique characteristics of the students in front of you. Don’t always have high, medium, and low tiers.
117 Tiering Assignments and Assessments -- Advice Don’t tier every aspect of every lesson. It’s often okay for students to do what everyone else is doing.
118 Tiering Assignments and Assessments -- Advice When first learning to tier, stay focused on one concept or task.
119 Don’t Forget: There are gradations or degrees of mastery! Sophisticated Introductory
120 To Increase (or Decrease) a Task’s Complexity, Add (or Remove) these Attributes: Manipulate information, not just echo itExtend the concept to other areasIntegrate more than one subject or skillIncrease the number of variables that must be considered; incorporate more facetsDemonstrate higher level thinking, i.e. Bloom’s Taxonomy, William’s TaxonomyUse or apply content/skills in situations not yet experiencedMake choices among several substantive onesWork with advanced resourcesAdd an unexpected element to the process or productWork independentlyReframe a topic under a new themeShare the backstory to a concept – how it was developedIdentify misconceptions within something
121 To Increase (or Decrease) a Task’s Complexity, Add (or Remove) these Attributes: Identify the bias or prejudice in somethingNegotiate the evaluative criteriaDeal with ambiguity and multiple meanings or stepsUse more authentic applications to the real worldAnalyze the action or objectArgue against something taken for granted or commonly acceptedSynthesize (bring together) two or more unrelated concepts or objects to create something newCritique something against a set of standardsWork with the ethical side of the subjectWork in with more abstract concepts and modelsRespond to more open-ended situationsIncrease their automacity with the topicIdentify big picture patterns or connectionsDefend their work
122 Manipulate information, not just echo it: “Once you’ve understood the motivations and viewpoints of the two historical figures, identify how each one would respond to the three ethical issues provided.”Extend the concept to other areas:“How does this idea apply to the expansion of the railroads in 1800’s?” or, “How is this portrayed in the Kingdom Protista?”Work with advanced resources:“Using the latest schematics of the Space Shuttle flight deck and real interviews with professionals at Jet Propulsion Laboratories in California, prepare a report that…”Add an unexpected element to the process or product:“What could prevent meiosis from creating four haploid nuclei (gametes) from a single haploid cell?”
123 Reframe a topic under a new theme: “Re-write the scene from the point of view of the antagonist,” “Re-envision the country’s involvement in war in terms of insect behavior,” or, “Re-tell Goldilocks and the Three Bears so that it becomes a cautionary tale about McCarthyism.”Synthesize (bring together) two or more unrelated concepts or objects to create something new:“How are grammar conventions like music?”Work with the ethical side of the subject:“At what point is the Federal government justified in subordinating an individual’s rights in the pursuit of safe-guarding its citizens?”
124 The Equalizer (Carol Ann Tomlinson) Foundational Transformational Concrete Abstract Simple Complex Single Facet/fact Multi-Faceted/facts Smaller Leap Greater Leap More Structured More Open Clearly Defined Fuzzy Problems Less Independence Greater Independence Slower Quicker
126 Frank Williams’ Taxonomy of Creative Thinking Fluency – We generate as many ideas and responses as we canExample Task: Choose one of the simple machines we’ve studied (wheel and axle, screw, wedge, lever, pulley, and inclined plane), and list everything in your home that uses it to operate, then list as many items in your home as you can that use more than one simple machine in order to operate.Flexibility – We categorize ideas, objects, and learning by thinking divergently about themExample Task: Design a classification system for the items on your list.
127 Frank Williams’ Taxonomy of Creative Thinking Originality – We create clever and often unique responses to a promptExample Task: Define life and non-life.Elaboration – We expand upon or stretch an idea or thing, building on previous thinkingExample: What inferences about future algae growth can you make, given the three graphs of data from our experiment?
128 Frank Williams’ Taxonomy of Creative Thinking Risk Taking – We take chances in our thinking, attempting tasks for which the outcome is unknownExample: Write a position statement on whether or not genetic engineering of humans should be funded by the United States government.Complexity – We create order from chaos, we explore the logic of a situation, we integrate additional variables or aspects of a situation, contemplate connectionsExample: Analyze how two different students changed their lab methodology to prevent data contamination.
129 Frank Williams’ Taxonomy of Creative Thinking Curiosity – We pursue guesses, we wonder about varied elements, we question.Example: What would you like to ask someone who has lived aboard the International Space Station for three months about living in zero-gravity?Imagination – We visualize ideas and objects, we go beyond just what we have in front of usExample: Imagine building an undersea colony for 500 citizens, most of whom are scientists, a kilometer below the ocean’s surface. What factors would you have to consider when building and maintaining the colony and the happiness of its citizens?
130 CubingAsk students to create a 3-D cube out of foam board or posterboard, then respond to one of these prompts on each side: Describe it, Compare it, Associate it, Analyze it, Apply it, Argue for it or against it. We can also make higher and lower-level complexity cubes for varied groups’ responses.
131 R.A.F.T.S.R = Role, A = Audience, F = Form, T = Time or Topic, S = Strong adverb or adjectiveStudents take on a role, work for a specific audience, use a particular form to express the content, and do it within a time reference, such as pre-Civil War, 2025, or ancient Greece.Sample assignment chosen by a student:A candidate for the Green Party (role), trying to convince election board members (audience) to let him be in a national debate with Democrats and the Republicans. The student writes a speech (form) to give to the Board during the Presidential election in 2004 (time). Within this assignment, students use arguments and information from this past election with third party concerns, as well as their knowledge of the election and debate process. Another student could be given a RAFT assignment in the same manner, but this time the student is a member of the election board who has just listened to the first student’s speech.
132 R.A.F.T.S.Raise the complexity: Choose items for each category that are farther away from a natural fit for the topic . Example: When writing about Civil War Reconstruction, choices include a rap artist, a scientist from the future, and Captain Nemo. Lower the complexity: Choose items for each category that are closer to a natural fit for the topic. Example: When writing about Civil War Reconstruction, choices include a member of the Freedmen’s Bureau, a southern colonel returning home to his burned plantation, and a northern business owner
133 Learning MenusSimilar to learning contracts, students are given choices of tasks to complete in a unit or for an assessment. “Entrée” tasks are required, they can select two from the list of “side dish” tasks, and they can choose to do one of the “desert” tasks for enrichment. (Tomlinson, Fulfilling the Promise of the Differentiated Classroom, 2003)
135 Interpersonal and Verbal KinestheticNaturalistLogicalStudent Choice(Task 5)IntrapersonalInterpersonal and VerbalMusicalVerbal
136 Vary the Assessment Formats Skill demonstrationsPortfoliosWritings and CompositionsReflective analysisArtistic – Fine and PerformingShortTests and quizzesProjectsOral presentationsReal-life and Alternative ApplicationsGroup tasks and activitiesProblem-solvingLaboratory experimentsEmphasize formative over summative!
137 Questions to Consider when Tiering Are we supposed to hold them accountable for everything?Are we just taking things off their plate, and is that okay?How do we assign equitable grades when we tier?When we tier, are we just saying that we’re making things easier or harder?Do we let all students try the more complex assessments if they want to do so, even if they’re not ready?Do we let advanced students “get by” by doing less complex work occasionally? Can students occasionally negotiate the level at which they are asked to perform?How do I manage the classroom when I’m tiering?
138 Teachers May Be Wondering: A Teachers May Be Wondering: A. If teachers accept late assignments without penalty, what happens to students when they get out into the real world where strict deadlines are in place? If I filed my income tax return late I would expect to receive a fine, so why shouldn't a student expect to be penalized for not meeting the deadline for assignments? B. I like the idea about allowing students to redo assignments, or rewrite exams, but what happens at the end of the semester and they do not have all their coursework or exams complete?
139 C. What is the threshold for insufficient evidence when C. What is the threshold for insufficient evidence when asked to report on a student's progress towards the development of competencies/acquisition of the outcomes?Is an academic penalty justifiable for plagiarism?E. What about honour roll?
140 Where Do You Stand?If a student gets a 100% on a pre-test, he should NOT have to do any assignments in the unit of study, and instead, he should do a personal research project related to the general topic of the unit while other students learn the material.In the same 30 minutes, it’s appropriate to give advanced students get 25 math problems while struggling students are assigned only five.On the 100-point scale, any student who turns in nothing, should get a 50 instead of a zero.After two weeks, all incompletes in a student’s grade report should become F’s (or zeroes).The 100-point scale is an effective grading scale for the outcomes-based grading classroom.
141 Where Do You Stand?An “A” or “4.0” means students have gone above and beyond the intended outcome, not just met the standard for the outcome.“C” refers to average performance in our school.Teachers in our school are consistent in their student expectations for each outcome.One student writes poorly, so when the rest of the class is given several non-writing choices as a way to demonstrate mastery, it’s appropriate for the teacher to assign this student a writing piece so he can improve his skills.Danika is borderline between a C and a B grade. In order to choose one or the other for the final report card grade, it’s appropriate for her teacher to consider Danika’s outstanding attitude, behavior, and high homework completion rate when determining whether to record the C or the B on the report card.
142 Two students struggle with graphing the intersection of two inequalities, so the teacher asks them to graph only one instead. Is this okay?All students in Mr. Brown’s class keep journals in math. The type of journal matches each student’s strengths and interests. For example, one journal is for the students whose verbal skills are stronger than their math skills. Students keep a list of math terms learned in class and then use the terms in sentences. Another journal is for students have good visual-spatial skills. These students draw pictures to remind them of math vocabulary.A student who seems to mix up decimal places and place values in his math problems is asked to do his work on graph paper, even on tests, thereby keeping his numbers clearly within their columns.The teacher raises or lowers what she expects of students regarding the grade level curriculum based on their developmental level, and she adjusts her assignments for them accordingly.
143 5. A student has text anxiety, so his teacher schedules his 5. A student has text anxiety, so his teacher schedules his exam for three, after-school sessions, each one for 20 minutes, over the course of three days. Instead of the short answer, multiple choice format the rest of the class is using, she conducts the test as an interview. Is this okay?6. English Language Learner students get a lower-order thinking task than the rest of their class.7. A student keeps re-doing an essay in order to improve his grade, but he seems to disregard the advice the teacher gives him on each attempt. He makes a few cosmetic changes and re-arranges some words, but there’s no substantive change. He and the teacher are getting frustrated at his lack of progress.8. J.J. demonstrates 100% on all of his formative assessments, so his teacher doesn’t make him take the final unit test. She just records a 100 for the final unit test for him.
144 9. The electronic report card used by her school averages 9. The electronic report card used by her school averages grades, but Mr. Teachwell knows this falsifies the final grade. “Oh, well,” he thinks, “there’s nothing I can do,” and he continues to average the grades in his classroom.10. It’s January. For some wonderful reason, your student, Philip, finally completes and turns in a project from September that he never did. You thank him for doing it, but you do not give him credit for doing the work, or for the knowledge and skill demonstrated in it. ‘Any issue here?11. Mrs. GoodTeacher counts her single-sitting, two-hour, final exam at the end of the year as 30% of the overall grade. ‘Concerns?12. Some students did well in outcomes 1, 2, and 5 on the test, but poorly in 3, 4, and 6. Other students did the opposite: performing well on 3, 4, and 6, but bombing out on 1, 2, and 5. Only the aggregate score of “C” is recorded for every one of these students, however. ‘Any concern here?
145 ASCD’s Education Leadership November 2011 issue Vol. 69, Number 3 Also, check outASCD’s Education LeadershipNovember 2011 issueVol. 69, Number 3Theme: Effective Grading PracticesSingle Issue: $7.00,Among the articles:Susan M. Brookhart on starting the conversation about the purpose of gradesRick Wormeli on how to make redos and retakes workThomas R. Guskey on overcoming obstacles to grading reformRobert Marzano on making the most of standards-based gradingKen O’Connor and Rick Wormeli on characteristics of effective gradingCathy Vatterott on breaking the homework grading addictionAlfie Kohn on why we should end grading instead of trying to improve it
146 Two new, substantial study guides for Fair Isn’t Always EqualQ&A’s - abbreviated versions of correspondence with teachers and administratorsVideo and audio podcasts on assessment and grading issuesTestimonials from educatorsArticles that support the book’s main themesAnnouncing a New and FREE Website for Perspective and Practicality on Assessment and Grading Issues!
148 Great New Books on Feedback, Assessment, and Grading: Elements of Grading, Doug Reeves, Solution Tree, 2010How to Give Feedback to Your Students, Susan M. Brookhart, ASCD, 2008Developing Performance-Based Assessments, Grades 6-12, Nancy P. Gallavan, Corwin Press, 2009Measuring Up: What Educational Testing Really Tells Us, Daniel Koretz, Harvard University Press, 2008Assessment Essentials for Stnadards-Based Education, Second Edition, James H. McMillan, Corwin Press, 2008Balanced Assessment, From Formative to Summative, Kay Burke, Solution Tree, 2010
149 Recommended Reading on Assessment and Grading Arter, Judith A.; McTighe, Jay; Scoring Rubrics in the Classroom : Using Performance Criteria for Assessing and Improving Student Performance, Corwin Press, 2000Benjamin, Amy. Differentiating Instruction: A Guide for Middle and High School Teachers, Eye on Education, 2002Black, Paul; William, Dylan “Inside the Black Box: Raising Standards through Classroom Assessment,” Phi Delta kappan, 80(2):Borich, Gary D.; Tombari, Martin L. Educational Assessment for the Elementary and Middle School Classroom (2nd Edition), Prentice Hall, 2003Brookhart, Susan Grading. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall
150 Recommended Reading on Assessment and Grading Fisher, Douglas; Frey, Nancy. Checking for Understanding: Formative Assessment Techniques for your Classroom, ASCD, 2007Heacox, Diane, Ed.D. Differentiated Instruction in the Regular Classroom, Grades 3 – 12, Free Spirit Publishing, 2000Lewin, Larry; Shoemaker, Betty Jean. Great Performances: Creating Classroom-Based Assessment Tasks, John Wiley & Sons, 1998Marzano, Robert. Transforming Classroom Grading, ASCD 2001Marzano, Robert. Classroom Assessment and Grading that Work, ASCD 2006Marzano, Robert; McTighe, Jay; and Pickering, Debra. Assessing Student Outcomes: Performance Assessment Using the Dimensions of Learning Model, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1993
151 Recommended ReadingMillan, James H. Classroom Assessment: Principles and Practice for Effective Instruction (2nd Edition), Allyn & Bacon, 2000O’Connor, Ken; How to Grade for Learning, 2nd Edition, Thousand Oaks, CA, Corwin Press (3rd edition coming in 2009)O’Connor, Ken; A Repair Kit for Grading: 15 Fixes for Broken Grades, ETS publishers, 2007Popham, W. James; Test Better, Teach Better: The Intsructional Role of Assessment, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2003Popham, W. James; Classroom Assessment : What Teachers Need to Know (4th Edition), Pearson Education, 2004Rutherford, Paula. Instruction for All Students, Just ASK Publications, Inc (703) , 1998Stiggins, Richard J. Student-Involved Classroom Assessment (3rd Edition), Prentice Hall, 2000
152 Wiggins, Grant; Educative assessment: Assessment to Inform and Improve Performance, Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1997Grant Wiggins Web site and organization:Center on Learning, Assessment, and School Structure (CLASS)Wormeli, Rick. Fair Isn’t Always Equal: Assessment and Grading in the Differentiated Classroom. Stenhouse Publishers, 2006
153 Three particularly helpful books I just read and I highly recommend: Keeley, Page. Science Formative Assessment: 75 Practical Strategies for Linking Assessment, Instruction, and Learning, Corwin Press, NSTA Press, 2008Brookhart, Susan. How to Assess Higher-Order Thinking Skills in your Classroom, ASCD, 2010Alternatives to Grading Student Writing, Stephen Tchudi, Editor, NCTE, 1997
154 Processing Activity: “I used to think…, but now I think…”
155 “I was put on earth by God in order to accomplish a certain number of things…right now I am so far behind…I will never die!”-Calvin and Hobbes
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