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Focus on Assignments: Working Together to Improve Teaching and Learning. U.S. Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education. Where are we going?.

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

Focus on Assignments:

Working Together to Improve Teaching and Learning

U.S. Department of Education

Office of Vocational and Adult Education

where are we going
Where are we going?
  • Focus on Assignments—Close any gaps that exist between what students are learning and what they need to learn to meet the standards.
slide3
“Students can do no better than the assignments they are given.”
  • ―Kati Haycock, President, The Education Trust
goals of focus on assignments
Goals of Focus on Assignments
  • Close gap between standards and classroom practice
  • Make assignments and student work relevant and engaging
  • Develop common, high expectations for students
  • Improve instructional practices/strategies
  • Promote structured, thoughtful standards-based conversations among colleagues

p.3–3

key characteristics of the process
Key Characteristics of the Process
  • Requires formation of Critical Friends Groups
  • Each instructor showcases an assignment
  • Provides a systematic way for instructors to analyze what they are assigning to their students
  • Implementation and cataloguing of re-envisioned standards-based assignments
focus on assignments 5 steps
Focus on Assignments: 5 Steps
  • STEP 1: Determine assignment’s purpose
  • STEP 2: Analyze demands of the assignment (without looking at the standards)
  • STEP 3: Compare standards of best fit to assignment’s demands
  • STEP 4: Diagnose student work
  • STEP 5: Ratchet-up and redesign the assignment

pp.3–3 to 3–18

structural features needed
Structural Features Needed
  • Small groups (4–6 members)
  • Regular meetings
  • Facilitated meetings
  • Ample time for meetings (1.5 to 2 hours)
  • Convenient spaces to meet

p.3–8

complete feedback checklist
Complete Feedback Checklist
  • Ask team members—including presenting instructor—to fill out the Feedback Checklist before and after sessions.
  • As team gains experience, use checklist only when a refresher is needed.

pp.3–12 and 3–23

keys to serving as critical friends
Keys to Serving as Critical Friends
  • Critical does NOT mean to disparage the work of others.
principles of critical friends groups
Principles of Critical Friends Groups
  • Exists to examine teaching and learning
  • Depends on data to inform the process
  • Requires commitment of time to group process
  • Requires honest, reflective and supportive input from group
  • Depends on members honoring established group norms

pp.3–12 and 3–31