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Aligning Curriculum Standards, Instructional Practices and Assessment.

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1 Aligning Curriculum Standards, Instructional Practices and Assessment.
Alaska School Leadership Institute May 2009

2 What needs to be aligned?
What's taught in school Standards & GLE's In many schools across the country, we see what is taught, what is expected and what is assessed are separate entities working in isolation of one another. Assessments

3 Alignment in Action What's taught in school Standards & GLE's
The ultimate goal would be to have what is taught, what is expected and what is assessed to be in alignment with one another. This means administrators, teachers, students and parents can see how curriculum, instruction and assessment are interconnected and work in synch with one another. Assessments

4 A Model of Alignment DATA Standards Student GLE's

5 How is performance towards standards demonstrated at the classroom level?
If we say we are teaching to the standards and GLE’s how is that demonstrated at the classroom level? The following video clip demonstrates how some teachers are aligning standards with Learning Targets in the Classroom

6 Curriculum Alignment Check
Do we understand how our curriculum is aligned to the Alaska Standards and GLE’s? Do we have a good understanding of what our students are expected to know and be able to do within the content standards and GLE’s? Do we use unpacked standards and learning targets to plan lessons and assessments?

7 If Curriculum is defined as…
…desired “performances of understanding.” Then the next step is to… Unpack the Standards Identify the underlying concepts and skills needed for students to demonstrate proficiency at each grade level. It helps to start with having a common understanding of what we mean by our “curriculum.” Typically, when we ask about a school’s curriculum, teachers and administrators will direct us to a series of text books and workbooks. This is NOT a curriculum. A curriculum should be the desired performances of understandings…academically, the GLE’s come close to. The GLE’s however do not represent the other aspects of character education and critical thinking skills. The GLE’s represent a core set of knowledge and skills that students should know and be able to do no matter what teacher or text the student has. Unpacking the standards and GLE’s help to identify the underlying concepts and skills needs for students to demonstrate proficiency.

8 Why Unpack the Standards?
Fosters a process for collegial dialogue Eliminates redundancy and focuses instruction Promotes consistency Provides equity Promotes continuity between grade levels and between schools Increases student learning for ALL These are the major benefits of unpacking the standards. We consistently hear, we don’t have enough time to teach all that we have to teach, well…there is so much redundancy happening within our schools that if instruction was more clearly focused and promoted continuity between grade levels, learning would increase for all. In some of my discussions with some of the rural teaching principals, where schools are comprised of 10 students of varying grade levels in one classroom, the standards and GLE’s are the checkpoints of progress, not an age related to a certain grade level. Some of you may be in these kinds of situations. So, using learning targets may be a natural daily occurrence for you already. I hope this confirms your standards-based approach to instruction.

9 The Dichotomy of an Unpacked Standard
GLE Concept Skill Concept Skill This graphic gives a breakdown of what we mean by the term “Unpacked Standard” The standard is the overarching big idea. The GLE is an indicator of meeting that standard. Within many GLE’s, there are embedded concepts and skills that need to be identified to be able to truly assess what students know and can do. These specific skills and concepts are sifted out as Learning targets and written as I can statements in simple, clear, student friendly language. The standards and GLE’s are the expectation for the students to reach by the end of the year. The learning targets are what students need to demonstrate on the path towards meeting the GLE or standard. Learning Targets I Can… Statements

10 What are Learning Targets?
A Learning Target is any achievement expectation we have for students on the path toward meeting a standard. It specifically states what we want the students to learn and be able to do. Learning Targets should be formatively assessed to monitor progress toward meeting a standard. Here is how we define a learning target. Having specific Learning Targets makes your instruction and assessment transparent to your students. This will be further illustrated through the next activity.

11 Standards and Targets To fully utilize the Standards and Grade Level Expectations, educators must be able to answer the following questions: What specific content and skills are embedded within the standards and GLE’s? How are learning targets used by teachers and shared students? These are a couple of essential questions that guide the utilization of the GLE’s and the lead into this next activity.

12 Instruction How do we make sure that our instructional strategies are meeting the varied needs of all our students?

13 Assessment as Instructional Feedback
From… Teach Test Grade & Move On To… Assess Teach Assess Adjust Instruction Assess

14 Assessment in Support of Learning
go beyond merely providing judgments about student performance to providing rich descriptions of student performance, evolve from being isolated events to becoming events that happen in ongoing series to reveal patterns, go beyond merely informing instructional decisions of teachers to informing decisions also made by students. Rick Stiggins, 2006

15 Assessment In what ways do the assessments we use inform our instructional practices and monitor student progress at the building, classroom and individual student levels?

16 How do you know what they know?
What data do you collect to: verify student understanding? monitor progress? inform instruction, curriculum or program needs? Copyright Measured Progress 2008 16

17 There are so many options out there for assessment
There are so many options out there for assessment. What do you use for what? Our next webinar will be discussing a few different types of assessment options from questioning strategies, to multiple choice, open response or performance tasks. I encourage you to start thinking of ways we can share some of your favorite classroom based assessment practices. That would be the ideal outcome of this webinar series.

18 Using Data to Identify Learning Gaps
Formative assessment can identify specific students’ learning gaps at a time when the learning is still taking place and timely interventions can be made.

19 Analyzing your Classroom Assessments Fundamental Questions
What standard(s) are you assessing? What kind of evidence are you gathering? What levels of performance do you expect? How will the assessment be used? THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL IS: What do you really want to know? THEN: What standard (benchmark(s) am I assessing? Does this assessment do it? (recognize what the assessment is telling you about what the student knows/can do) Pay attention to what specific skills the assessment is measuring; choose the right tools to do it

20 The Garden Analogy of Assessment
Summative Formative The garden analogy: If we think of our students as plants… Summative assessment of the plants is the process of simply measuring them. It might be interesting to compare and analyze measurements but, in themselves, these do not affect the growth of the plants. Formative assessment, on the other hand, is the equivalent of feeding and watering the plants appropriate to their needs, which directly affects their growth.

21 Assessment and evaluation are no longer the product of teaching, they are the tools that learners and teachers use to support learning. Teachers now have the opportunity to use assessment as a tool to support learning. Not just as a product of teaching. I hope you found tonight’s webinar a way of supporting you. 21

22 Assessment can help us move towards…
Learning …instead of just teaching Quality …instead of quantity Improvement …instead of one-shot deals Depth …instead of coverage Confidence …instead of anxiety

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