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Supporting Success for Every Child Supporting a Reformed Learning Environment in our Classrooms
Determining Our Core Beliefs about the Working on the Right Work • Recent two-day staff retreat • Focused on identifying critical research-based components for school improvement, the “non-negotiables” for our work • Staff presentations demonstrating how we’re supporting use of critical work in classrooms around the region
Working on the Right Work (cont.) Our list of non-negotiables included • Research-Based Instructional Strategies (Marzano’s proven 9; Silver/Strong’s 16) • Balanced Assessment System (recognizing the power of Formative Assessment – Stiggins, Reeves, Marzano, Dufours) • Research-Based Curriculum Design (Wiggins/McTighe, Reeves, Silver/Strong)
4. Student-Centered Learning Environments(21st century content & skills, high levels of student engagement, effective use of instructional technology, project-based and inquiry-based learning, high rigor & relevance - Daggett, Moersch, Reeves) 5. Reading and Writing Across all Content Areas(Keene, Zimmerman, PEBC) 6. All of the above reaching classrooms through well-trained and well-supported Professional Learning Communities(DuFours, Reeves)
“I believe we have reached a tipping point in the evolution of our schools when we must fundamentally re-evaluate, redefine, and redesign assessment’s role in the development of effective schools.” Rick Stiggins A Call for the Development of Balanced Assessment Systems April 2008
Achieving a Balanced Assessment System • Annual Accountability Testing (CATS) helps determine the percentage of the state’s schools meeting standards • Interim, Benchmark, Short Cycle, Teacher-Developed Common Assessments help determine what standards our students are meeting or not meeting, collectively. Are our school and district instructional programs workings? • Classroom Formative (continuous) Assessments help the teacher and students know how each student is doing on his/her journey of mastering each standard and to know what comes next in the learning process. Rick Stiggins - Lexington, KY November 2008
A Critical Understanding in Assessment Dynamics “If formative assessment isn’t occurring or isn’t working well at the classroom level, the other assessment levels don’t matter. They (the interim, benchmark, common, and state-level assessments) are wasted; they can’t fix the problems that result.” Rick Stiggins, Lexington, KY November 2008
Further Evidence for Districts to Stress Formative Assessment • Formative assessment is the most powerful single component in the enhancement of student achievement (Hattie,1998) • When teachers use formative assessment, they are better able to create appropriate lessons, activities, and groupings and to inform students accurately about their progress. • Research has shown greatest gains with low achievers.
What We’ve Learned . . . • General assessment “literacy” is necessary to get everyone on the same page in their understanding. • Just because we’re doing common assessments doesn’t mean we’re doing formative assessments. • Preeminent researchers like Rick Stiggins refer to formative assessment as “continuous” – occurring daily or almost daily.
For formative assessments, students do not receive a grade, but they do receive timely understandable feedback that helps them do better on the part(s) they don’t understand. • Students need to realize “academic self-efficacy.” Winning streaks and hopefulness must trump losing streaks and hopelessness. • For students, it becomes a matter of “I know what to do next” vs. “I have no idea what to do and may as well give up.”
“Students can hit any target that they can see and that holds still for them. But if they are guessing about what success looks like, success becomes a random event.” Rick Stiggins – Lexington, KY November 2008
Formative Assessment Can’t Be the First Step • To get to an effective formative assessment learning environment, we have to start with the state standards and district curriculum documents including those that identify essential standards vs. “nice to know” standards (work of the state and the districts/schools) • These standards have to be deconstructed or unpacked to get to the learning targets that will build to mastery of the standard (work of PLC’s) • These learning targets must be transformed in student-friendly versions (work of PLC’s)
Formative Assessment Can’t Be the First Step • Students much be able to locate their own progress on the scaffolding toward the standard, and the next target must seem reachable to them. In other words , the classroom learning environment must promote hope(work of the classroom teachers). • And once this happens, grading systems can be reformed.
From Continuous Formative Assessment to A New System for Grades “If schools can master the effective use of formative assessment, we can finally realize grading reform. This will be a critical step toward the school reform that we’ve been talking about in this country for 40 years.” Bob Marzano “We’ve trained them (students) into the ‘does this count’ mindset – I firmly believe we can train them out of it.” Ken O’Conner
Grades are broken when they . . . • Include ingredients that distort achievement • Arise from low quality or poorly organized evidence • Are derived from inappropriate number crunching • Do not support the learning process Ken O’Conner ETS Assessment Training Institute
Ken O’Conner’sFifteen Fixes for Broken Grades • Do not include student behaviors • Don’t reduce marks on work submitted late • Don’t give points for extra credit or use bonus points • Don’t punish academic dishonesty withreduced grades
Fifteen Fixes for Broken Grades (cont.) • Don’t consider attendance in grade determination • Don’t include group scores in grades • Organize and report learning (on report cards) by learning goals/standards • Don’t assign grades using unclear performance standards
Fifteen Fixes for Broken Grades (cont.) • Don’t assign grades based on the student’s achievement compared to other students • Don’t rely on evidence from assessments that fail to meet standards of quality • Don’t rely only on the mean or the average • Don’t include zeros in gradedetermination
Fifteen Fixes for Broken Grades (cont.) • Don’t use information from formative assessments and practice to determine grades • Don’t summarize evidence accumulated over time • Don’t leave students out of the grading process
Questions for GRREC Districts to Consider(Rate your district on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being excellence) • How assessment “literate” is our district? For example, when we discuss formative assessment, do all of our educators have the same understanding of what this means? 2. Where does our district stand in terms of having a truly balanced assessment system? 3. Does our district have our “achievement roadmaps” in place; Have we identified the essential standards for each content area at each grade level? Have we deconstructed these standards into learning targets? Have we transformed the learning targets into student-friendly versions?
4.How confident are we as a district that our teachers are developing accurate assessments? 5. How capable are our teachers in communicating student progress via descriptive feedback instead of grades or scores? 6. Do students in our district know the targets they are aiming for and are they aware of their own progress toward those targets? 7. Do our learners have hope about their learning progress and their future success in school?
GRREC’s K-8 Math Alliance Predicating Districts Allen(3 schools) Monroe (4 schools) Bowling Green (district team) Russellville (1 school) Breckinridge (2 schools) Simpson (3 schools) Butler (3 schools) Glasgow (2 schools) Grayson (2 schools) Taylor (2 schools/district team) Hancock (3 schools) Warren (16 schools) Hardin (1 school) Logan (5 schools) Metcalfe (2 schools)
GRECC Science Projects Project I Project II Adair Middle Breckinridge Middle Allen Middle Caverna Middle Campbellsville Middle Cumberland Middle Elizabethtown Middle College View/Daviess Green Middle J. T. Alton Middle/Hardin Hancock Middle East Hardin Middle (7th Grade) Auburn Elem/Logan (7th Grade) Bonnieville Elem./ Hart (7th Grade) Meade Middle Memorial Elem./Hart (7th Grade) Metcalfe Middle Lewisburg Elem./Logan (7th Grade) Monroe Middle Owensboro Middle Ohio Middle Todd Middle Taylor Middle Moss Middle/Warren
To view Rick Stiggins’ webinar, What Makes An Assessment Really Formative and Ken O’Connor’s webinar, 15 Fixes for Broken Grades, go to www.assessmentinst.com