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Science Break Out Session. February 2009 New Teacher Support PIMSER Lexington, KY. Characteristics of High Quality Teaching and Learning. Knowledge of Content Instructional Rigor and Student Engagement Instructional Relevance Learning Climate Informative Assessment and Reflection. Rigor

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science break out session

Science Break Out Session

February 2009

New Teacher Support


Lexington, KY

characteristics of high quality teaching and learning
Characteristics of High Quality Teaching and Learning
  • Knowledge of Content
  • Instructional Rigor and Student Engagement
  • Instructional Relevance
  • Learning Climate
  • Informative Assessment and Reflection

Standards Based

Higher Level Thinking

Real World Connection

Challenging, yet obtainable

Inquiry based tasks

Student Engagement

Meaningful and relevant to the student

Authentic (has value outside of school)

Designed to maximize enjoyment while mastering content (variety to choice)

examples of rigor
Examples of Rigor
  • Open Ended Questions
  • Student Friendly Learning Targets
  • Plan With The End In Mind—Backward Design Model
  • Learning Experiences Are Designed And Sequenced To Learning Targets
  • Real World Application
  • Challenging, Yet Obtainable
higher order questioning
Higher Order Questioning
  • Indicator of rigor—both on formal assessment and normal classroom discourse.
  • Promote deeper thinking about concepts that extends beyond the level of recall.
    • This means that the learning expectation for every CCA standard is that students have knowledge of that content to (at least) the level of application or basic reasoning.

How often do you ask students to think at those levels?



Your Assessments!


“When choosing instructional

approaches, think about what is

needed for learning,

not just what is comfortable for


-Wiggins and McTighe,

Understanding by Design, pg. 242

combination notes
Combination Notes

Regular Notes

Symbols, Pictures,




learning targets
Learning Targets
  • I can describe and identify the 4 types of learning targets
  • I can compare and contrast strong and weak models of deconstructed standards
  • I can practice deconstructing state standards

Learning/Achievement Targets

Statements of what we want students to learn and be able to do.


“Teachers who truly understand what they want their students to accomplish will almost surely be more instructionally successful than teachers whose understanding of hoped-for student accomplishments are murky.” -W. James Popham


Are the student learning targets stated and easy to find?Are the student learning targets focused—are there too many?Are they clear?Are they appropriate?Do the stated learning targets reflect a bigger plan to cover all important learning targets over time?


Assess what?

What are the learning targets?

Are they clear?

Are they good?

educators students must be able to answer
Educators & Students must be able to answer……
  • Where am I going?
  • Where am I now?
  • How can I close the gap?
  • How will I know I’m getting there?
  • How can I keep it going?
is this a target
Is this a Target?

What do you think?

  • Complete a senior project
  • Build a bird Feeder
  • Use a band saw safely
  • Analyze a lab report
  • Construct a diorama

An Example

  • Science
  • Chemistry
  • Page 152 in the book
  • Mystery Powders Lab
  • Observe chemical interactions in order to identify materials





Learning Target


The single most common barrier to sound classroom assessment is the teachers’ lack of vision of appropriate achievement targets within the subjects they are supposed to teach.Rick Stiggins

learning targets1
Learning Targets
  • Knowledge
  • Reasoning
  • Performance/ skills
  • Products
knowledge targets
Knowledge Targets

Mastery of substantive subject content where mastery includes both knowing and understanding it.

knowledge examples
Knowledge Examples
  • Identify metaphors and similes
  • Read and write quadratic equations
  • Describe the function of a cell membrane
  • Know the multiplication tables
  • Explain the effects of an acid on a base
reasoning targets
Reasoning Targets

The ability to use knowledge and understanding to figure things out and to solve problems.

reasoning examples
Reasoning Examples
  • Use statistical methods to describe, analyze, evaluate, and make decisions.
  • Make a prediction based on evidence.
  • Examine data/results and propose a meaningful interpretation.
  • Distinguish between historical fact and opinion.
performance skill targets
Performance/Skill Targets

The development of proficiency in doing something where the process is most important.

performance skill examples
Performance/Skill Examples
  • Measure mass in metric and SI units
  • Use simple equipment and tools to gather data
  • Read aloud with fluency and expression
  • Participates in civic discussions with the aim of solving current problems
  • Dribbles to keep the ball away from an opponent
product targets
Product Targets

The ability to create tangible products that meet certain standards of quality and present concrete evidence of academic proficiency.

product examples
Product Examples
  • Construct a bar graph
  • Develop a personal health-related fitness plan
  • Construct a physical model of an object
  • Write a term paper to support a thesis
clear targets
Clear Targets

Clear targets help us:

  • Recognize if the formative assessment adequately covers and samples what we taught.
  • Correctly identify what students know/don’t know, and their level of achievement.
  • Plan the next steps in instruction.
  • Give meaningful descriptive feedback to students.
clear targets continued
Clear Targets (continued)
  • Have students self-assess or set goals likely to help them learn more.
  • Keep track of student learning target by target or standard by standard.
  • Complete a standards-based report card.
classifying learning targets
Classifying Learning Targets
  • Lay out the four learning target category cards—Knowledge, Reasoning, Performance/Skill, and Product—in a row in that order.
  • Sort the learning target example cards according to which kind of learning target it is. Lay these cards in columns under the appropriate category.
  • When you have finished, walk around and look at what other groups have done.
classifying learning targets1
Classifying Learning Targets
  • What were some considerations for how you classified the samples you had?
  • Is it always clear how to classify a statement from the standards? Why or why not?

What is the difference between a


and a


an example
An Example
  • STANDARD: An excellent golf swing
    • Proper placement for feet (stance)
    • Proper grip while maintaining stance
    • Swing A, B, C (3-parts to swing)
    • Watch videos of great golfers and imitate their stance

When should these be

added and/or developed?

“By setting out clearly in their own minds what they wanted the students to learn, the teachers would be in a position to find out what the ‘gap’ was between the state of students’ current learning and the learning goal and to be able to monitor that ‘gap’ as it closed.”

--Assessment for Learning: Putting it into Practice

Students who can identify what they are learning significantly outscore those who cannot.Robert J. Marzano
are the standards clear
Are the Standards Clear?
  • Can your content standards stand alone and be used as learning targets or do they need to be deconstructed or ‘unpacked’?
  • Deconstruction involves taking a standard and breaking it down into manageable learning targets—Knowledge, Reasoning, Performance/skills, and/or Products—so that students and teachers can accurately identify what students should know and be able to do.



Produce writing to communicate with different audiences for a variety of


Type: Knowledge Reasoning Skill Product

Learning Targets:

What are the knowledge, reasoning, skill, or product targets underpinning the standard?









Know what a

sentence is

Understand concept

of word choice

Distinguish the uses or

meanings of a

variety of words

(word choice)

Hold a pencil correctly

Print letters correctly

according to DN methods

Space words

Use lines and margins


Stretch out sounds in words

to create a temporary

spelling of the word

Write sentences

with varied



Creating Targets for “Driving a Car with Skill”

  • What knowledge will students need to demonstrate the intended learning?
  • What patterns of reasoning will they need to master?
  • What skills are required, if any?
  • What product development capabilities must they acquire, if any?

Driving a Car with Skill

  • Knowledge
    • Know the law
    • Read signs and understand what they mean
  • Reasoning
    • Evaluate ‘am I safe’ and synthesize information to take action if needed
  • Skills
    • Steering, shifting, parallel parking, …
  • Products
    • (not appropriate target for standard)
deconstruction models
Deconstruction Models
  • Find a partner
  • Look at the STRONG example
    • How would this help teachers?
    • How would this impact student learning?
  • Look at the WEAK example
    • Would this be beneficial to teachers?
  • In order to deconstruct effectively what skills/knowledge are needed?
practicing deconstructing standards
Practicing Deconstructing Standards
  • Working with a partner, use the standards provided to deconstruct.
  • Think about what knowledge, skills, reasoning or products students will need in order to meet that standard.
  • Start with the skills column, then move to understanding and last to core content.
  • Do NOT think of how you will teach the standard or how you will assess it, ONLY about what students will need to know and be able to do.
group debrief
Group Debrief


  • How did the process feel?
  • What is the value of going through this process?
  • What support materials are needed to facilitate the process?
without clear targets we can t do any of the following
Without Clear Targets We Can’t Do Any of the Following…
  • Know if the assessment adequately covers and samples what we taught.
  • Correctly identify what students know and don’t know and their level of achievement.
  • Plan next steps in instruction.
  • Give detailed, descriptive feedback to students.
  • Have students self-assess or set goals likely to help them learn more.
  • Keep track of student learning target by target or standard by standard.
  • Complete a standards-based report card.
for next month
For Next Month
  • Bring a selection of standards that you will be teaching next.
    • Not just core content, but skills and understandings as well
  • We will begin to deconstruct those standards.