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Georgia Performance Standards. Middle School ELA, Math & Science Fall 2005. What’s Different about GPS?. Student learning is the focus. Learning Goals are the same for all students. Standards are integrated and should not be taught in isolation.

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georgia performance standards

Georgia Performance Standards

Middle School

ELA, Math & Science

Fall 2005

what s different about gps
What’s Different about GPS?
  • Student learning is the focus.
  • Learning Goals are the same for all students.
  • Standards are integrated and should not be taught in isolation.
  • Assessments are used to guide and modify instruction.
  • Planning is structured in units.
  • The effectiveness of instruction is judged by whether students meet the standard.
standards based education
Standards-Based Education
  • Identify Desired Results

(Learning Goals)

  • Develop an Assessment Plan

(Evidence of Learning)

  • Make Instructional Decisions

(Planned Learning Opportunities)



Student Evidence

instead of

Teacher Coverage

(Handout page 10)

highly qualified teachers
Highly Qualified Teachers
  • Special Education
    • Highly qualified in Accommodations, Differentiation, and Modifications
  • Content Specialists
    • Highly qualified in reading, or science, or math, or social studies.
  • What must happen for every student to have a Highly Qualified Teacher throughout the day?
vips very important points
VIPs—Very Important Points
  • All teachers must be familiar with the standards.
  • Standards are revisited continuously throughout the teaching/learning process.
  • Planning takes place at the unit level, and units are usually 3 to 6 weeks in length.
  • Established coding procedures for unit/lesson plans need to be rethought.
assessment vs grading
Assessment vs. Grading

Student 1 receives mostly As and high Bs in the beginning; but his/her performance drops off considerably, and s/he receives an F on the final performance test.

Student 2 is erratic, receiving an equal number of As and Fs.

Student 3 is clueless at the beginning, but by the last few sessions, s/he catches on and performs flawlessly on the final performance. His/her grades are, in order from the first test to the last, F, F, F, F, C, B, A, A, A.

assessment for learning
Assessment for Learning
  • Not all students learn at the same rate or in the same way.
  • Assessment is ongoing and continuous.
  • Assessment guides instruction.
  • Assessment provides evidence of student growth toward the learning goals.
determine an assessment plan
Determine an Assessment Plan

Observation, Dialogue, & Discussion

Tests & Quizzes

Academic Prompts

Performance Tasks


Informal Checks

adapted from Understanding by Design

an assessment inventory
An Assessment Inventory
  • Assessments can also be categorized as selected response, constructed response, performance task, and informal/self-assessment.
  • To determine whether or not classroom assessment is balanced, complete the balanced assessment inventory as if you were still in the classroom.
  • How might this inventory assist you as you conduct teacher observations?

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

--Albert Einstein

research suggests
Research Suggests . . .
  • According to Rick Stiggins, a balanced range of classroom assessments is effective in improving student achievement, not only in individual classrooms, but also on state or other standardized tests that provide program evaluation data.
  • In fact, Stiggins refers directly to a research review by Paul Black and Dylan William that reports effect sizes on high stakes tests of one-half to a full standard deviation for students who experienced “improved formative assessment” in their classrooms.
  • This gain is sufficient to improve student achievement on standardized tests by “more than 30 percentile points, two grade-equivalents, or 100 points on the SAT scale” (Stiggins 2002).
table talk
Table Talk

Identify 3 things you’ve seen or heard so far

today that will impact your role as instructional


Be prepared to share your insights with the

whole group in 10 minutes.

what is differentiation
What is Differentiation?

Differentiation can be defined as a way of teaching in which teachers proactively accommodate curriculum, teaching methods, resources, learning activities, and student products to address the needs of individual students and/or small groups of students to maximize the learning opportunity for each student in the classroom.

--Facilitator’s Guide, At Work in the Differentiated Classroom, 103.

making instructional decisions
Making Instructional Decisions
  • Differentiated instruction is the norm when teaching with performance standards.
  • A differentiated classroom is “big on

standards,” but “short on standardization.” (Tomlinson, The Differentiated Classroom, 29)

the road to student success
The Road to Student Success

Although the destination remains constant, the routes we take to reach that destination and the time it takes us to get there may vary.

according to grant wiggins
According to Grant Wiggins:

"Good planning leaves room for the unplannable. You do not know what you'll be doing on April 11, and you're a fool if you think so. If you do, then the curriculum is more important to you than your students."

(Grant Wiggins, "Designing and Using Student Reflections and Self-Assessment," ASCD Summer Conference on Differentiated Instruction and Understanding by Design, June 2005)

making instructional decisions19
Making Instructional Decisions
  • Schedule planned assessments on unit calendar.
  • Determine the instruction necessary to equip students to provide evidence of learning on scheduled assessments.
  • Select the most appropriate instructional strategies for providing students access to learning.
  • Schedule instructional activities on unit calendar.
incorporating a variety of instructional strategies
Incorporating a Variety of Instructional Strategies
  • Thinking back to your own classroom practice, read over the categories of instructional strategies.
  • Mark a strategy with a + if you used it regularly, a if you used it occasionally, or a if you rarely or never used it.
  • How might this checklist assist you as you conduct teacher observations?
observing teachers with gps in mind
Observing Teachers with GPS in Mind
  • Are learning goals clear to both the teacher and the students?
  • Are students actively engaged in their own learning?
  • Are the readiness levels, interests, and learning styles of the students being addressed?
  • Is assessment for learning guiding instruction to ensure growth for every student?
vips very important points22
VIPs—Very Important Points
  • All instructional and assessment activities should be designed to move students toward the learning goals—the GPS.
  • Students need multiple opportunities to learn using a variety of instructional strategies that incorporate a number of different modalities.
  • Instruction should focus on growth for all students. Often the students who come into a classroom knowing the most, learn the least.
  • Unit plans must be flexible in order to allow assessment to guide instruction.
more vips very important points
More VIPs—Very Important Points
  • Unit plans must be flexible in order to allow assessment to guide instruction.
  • In standards-based classrooms, teachers create student-centered learning environments.
  • In student-centered learning environments, instruction takes place when students work independently, in pairs or small groups, one-on-one with the teacher, and in the class as a whole.
table talk24
Table Talk

Performance standards provide consistency in terms

of learning goals, but standards are not the same

thing as standardization. Effective implementation of

the GPS precludes lockstep instruction. Discuss

what this may mean in terms of teacher observations

and evaluations.

Be prepared to share your ideas with the

whole group in 15 minutes.

science in middle school

Science in Middle School


Science GPS in grades 6 and 7

Science QCC in grade 8

co requisites in science
Co-Requisites in Science

Content – Characteristics =


Characteristics – Content =


Characteristics + Content =


science content example
Science Content Example

S7L4. Students will examine the dependence of organisms on one another and their environments.

d. Categorize relationships between organisms that are competitive or mutually beneficial.

what is a relationship
What is a relationship?

Mutualism? Commensalism? Parasite/Host? Predator/Prey? Competition?

characteristics of science
Characteristics of Science

S6CS5. Students will use the ideas of system, model, change, and scale in exploring scientific and technological matters.

  • Observe and explain how parts can be related to other parts in a system such as predator/prey relationships in a community/ecosystem.
  • Understand that different models (such as physical replicas, pictures, and analogies) can be used to represent the same thing.
characteristics of science cont
Characteristics of Science (cont.)

S6CS9. Students will enhance reading in all curriculum areas by:

a. Reading in all curriculum areas

b. Discussing books

c. Building vocabulary knowledge

d. Establishing context

sample task
Sample Task

You are a curator at an animal park. Your new project is to design a display depicting a major biome that includes how the organisms relate to and interact with each other.

Your display will include

  • A research narrative with facts about a minimum of ten organisms and their energy needs
  • A food web of including all organisms from the narrative including arrows showing sequence of the transfer of food energy (See next slide)
  • Examples of and explanations of sample symbiotic relationships including mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism
products that provide evidence of understanding
Products that provide evidence of understanding

Signs for display:

  • Major biome, organisms listed by kingdom
  • Choose an example of an organism from each role in the ecosystem (predator, prey, producer, consumer, parasite, host, scavenger, decomposer), explain the role of that organism and its energy (food/nutrient) needs.
  • Diagram of energy pyramid depicting organisms with arrows showing sequence of energy flow.
  • Show examples of symbiotic relationships from the biome. (commensalism, mutualism, competition, parasitism)

Pay attention that you are scoring the evidence of what you want the student to know and be able to do. How good is good enough? Don’t get confused by criteria that sounds good but doesn’t match the goal.

Far Side Gallery by Gary Larsen

ela in middle school

ELA in Middle School

GPS in grades 6, 7, and 8

power standards in ela
Power Standards in ELA

RL1Comprehension and Interpretation ◄

RL2 Vocabulary

RL3 Fluency

RC1 1,000,000 words

RC2 Discusses topics related to content


RC3 Content vocabulary

RC4 Puts reading in context

power standards in ela40
Power Standards in ELA

W1 Organization, structure, and context

W2 Competence in a variety of genres ◄

W3 Research and technology to support


W4 Writing process

C1 Usage and mechanics

LSV1 Verbal interactions: S-T; S-S; Group

LSV2 Media literacy ◄

determining learning goals for an ela unit
Determining Learning Goals for an ELA Unit



Listening, Speaking, and Viewing


math in middle school

Math in Middle School

Math GPS in 6th Grade

Math QCC in 7th and 8th grades

test alignment
Test Alignment

Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT)

Test alignment is completed during

Year II implementation for each content area and grade level.

grade 7 math assessment timeline
Grade 7 Math Assessment Timeline
  • 2005-2006 School year:

Grade 6 math CRCT will assess the GPS.

Grade 7 math CRCT will assess the QCC.

  • 2006-2007 School year:

Grade 7 math CRCT will assess the GPS.

  • Students will investigate relationships between two quantities.
  • They will write and solve proportions and simple one-step equations that result from problem situations.
  • M6A2. Students will consider relationships between varying quantities.

a. Analyze and describe patterns

arising from mathematical rules,

tables, and graphs.

  • Materials are on the way to your schools!
  • A sixth grade framework has been added to the GPS mathematics site!
http www georgiastandards org

Training Materials


Frequently Asked Questions

NEW! Framework

teaching for understanding
Teaching for Understanding
  • In order to provide evidence of understanding, students must be able to apply acquired knowledge and skills to new situations.
  • Culminating performance tasks allow students to provide evidence of understanding.
performance tasks
Performance Tasks . . .

. . . generally occur over time

. . . result in tangible products or observable performances

. . . involve meaning-making

. . . encourage self-evaluation and revision

. . . require judgment to score

. . . reveal degrees of proficiency based on criteria established and made public prior to the performance

. . . sometimes involve students working with others

-Marzano, Pickering, & McTighe

vips very important points54
VIPs—Very Important Points
  • Assessment and grading are not the same thing.
  • Students should be assessed on nearly everything they do, but it’s generally unwise to over-grade or to assign grades before the learning process is complete.
  • Students do not all learn at the same rate or achieve the learning goals at the same time.
  • Averaging to determine final grades does not provide an adequate picture of student growth.
  • Students who learn conceptually perform significantly better on standardized tests.
table talk55
Table Talk

Performance standards require that we rethink our

assessment and grading practices, but these

practices are deeply embedded in the culture of our

schools. Determine 2 or 3 things that you might do

in your schools to begin to align your grading policies

with the underlying principles of standards-based


Be prepared to share your ideas with the

whole group in 15 minutes.

contact information
Alice Smith

Director of Reading and Middle Schools


Alicia McCartney

Reading and Middle Schools


Marlee Tierce


(404) 463-1977

Claire Pierce


(404) 657-7063

Peggy Pool


(404) 657-9063

Contact Information