Power Standards Introduction Millbury Public Schools August 26, 2008
Why are we here? Have you ever… • been overwhelmed by the demands of too many standards and too few classroom hours? • said to yourself, “I just don’t have the time to teach everything I am expected to teach?” • been frustrated with the focus on breadth over depth?
Beginning with end in mind… Picture this scenario.. “You pack your family into the car for a family vacation… you stop at the gas station and fill up the tank (it costs $65.00 to fill the tank)… you get on the Mass Pike to start your trip with your children already beginning to ask, “are we there yet?”… You look at your spouse and the two of you simultaneously ask, “Where are we going anyways?” --- Does this make sense?
“To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.” (Covey, 1994)
Objectives for today… • To introduce MPS staff to the concepts of power standards, benchmarks, and ‘unwrapping’ the standards • To develop a common vocabulary and understanding of terms related to this process • To establish a timeline for developing district-wide standards and assessments
How does one go about determining what is worth understanding? Worth being familiar with Important to know and do “Enduring” Understanding Wiggins and McTighe, 2000
Written Curriculum Deep Curriculum Alignment Taught Curriculum Tested Curriculum English and Steffy, 2001
POWER STANDARDS Power standards are… “prioritized standards that are derived from a systematic and balanced approach to distinguishing which standards are absolutely essential for student success from those that are nice to know.” Ainsworth, 2004
The dilemma of standards… Marzano (2001) found that… • Average 200 broad standards; • 3093 benchmarks • Feasibility given # of days/hours/minutes • Necessary to lengthen to grades 21-22 prior to college • Increase time or decrease standards Source: (Marzano and Kendall;MACREL, Awash in a Sea of Standards ,1999)
How do Marzano’s findings compare to Massachusetts • Mathematics… • Five strands (Number Sense and Operations; Patterns, Relations, and Algebra; Geometry; Measurement; and Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability ) • Broad concepts identified at the beginning according to NCTM standards • Learning standards (419 standards prek-12)
With all these standards… • Staff becomes overwhelmed • Focus on breadth over depth • Teachers play the ‘blame’ game • In the end, students lose out as teachers ‘glaze’ over all the standards and rush to cover all the standards
So what’s the answer? LESS is more!!!! • Leverage • Endurance • Success in • School
To begin this process, the guiding question becomes… What do your students need for success – in school this year, next year, and so on (leverage; readiness for next levels of learning), in life (endurance), and on your state tests?
What is the process? • Select area to address – (i.e. Math, ELA, Science/Technology, etc) • Within subject area, select strand to address • Selection of Power Standards – individual => as group • Review selection in alignment with state testing • Select skills within the standards selected (individual => as group) • Review selection in alignment with state testing
Process Continued… • Examine vertical flow within grade-spans • Grade-span sharing • Sequencing of standards • Development of periodic assessments to identify student strengths/weaknesses in meeting the Power Standards • Develop action plan for introducing/ presenting standards to school, community, etc.
So what might a product look like? Let’s take a trip to MSP Township in Indianapolis, Indiana… home to a variety of cultural events… and of course to the… Indy 500!!!!
The timeline… • August – Staff Professional development • September/October – • additional meetings with individual grade-levels to discuss process / introduce forms • Grades/department begin process to identify standards (ELA/math - prek-6; all subject areas (by department)– 7-12) • November – • PD day: • Vertical alignment… cross grade-level meetings to review identified standards
The Timeline… • December/January • Refinement of standards in grade/dept meetings • Sequencing/mapping of standards • Develop benchmark assessments • PD Day – refining/reviewing benchmark assessments
The Timeline… • February/March: • Grades/department begin process to identify standards (Science/tech and History - prek-6) • PD day: • Vertical alignment… cross grade-level meetings to review identified standards
The timeline… • April-June • Refinement of standards in grade/dept meetings • Sequencing/mapping of standards • Develop benchmark assessments • Development of brochures/ informational packets for parents to communicate standards by grade-level
We are all in this together… • This process will benefit both you as the teacher and, more importantly, your ability to ensure that our students are able to surpass the curricular demands of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. • Most importantly… As we go through this process, always remember… “It is a process, not an event; a marathon, not a sprint.” (Larry Ainsworth, 2004)