What teacher hasn't tried to figure out ways to conserve time with mountains of student learning to assess? Here's a list of strategies from Dr. Jade Caines Lee (sent over to me by our Director of Data Annie Cervin) that may provide you with some ideas about how to rethink the way you spend time during grading/assessment. What I like most about this post is that these strategies connect to our common sense: focus on what is most important in grading an assignment in order to emphasize the student learning that is occurring.
Here's a recently posted article from the "Shanahan on Literacy" blog about what to do when going through the "growing pains" of a new literacy series. Several of our schools have considered or recently adopted new literacy programs. This question-and-answer post will help you consider some questions related to the tensions between whole group and small group literacy instruction, as well as what it takes to find balance and manage the change of adopting a new literacy program.
As I've been traveling around the Archdiocese, people have heard me talk about the need for more high quality and authentic learning opportunities for students in our schools. This post, from the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, provides four practical examples for elementary and secondary cross-disciplinary performance assessments that you could use today. For more information on quality performance assessment in general, check out the Center for Collaborative Education's website here.
Check out this post from EdWeek describing what it takes to turn an instructional leadership or teacher coaching conversation into a productive learning opportunity. What I like most about this brief article is its focus on the questions that help frame and center this instructional leadership conversation. Instructional leadership is built on professional relationships. Solid questions and the willingness to work together with teachers you mentor, coach, or supervise are part of the foundation of excellent conversations about teaching practice.
Chalkbeat, a great source of education news and research I recommend all teachers and leaders peruse regularly, has just announced they are going to have a Great American Teach-Off in March 2018. I encourage any math teacher in the Archdiocese who is interested to read more and consider applying before the January 19 submission deadline.
The editor-in-chief of Chalkbeat, Elizabeth Green, writes extensively here about why this Teach-Off is such a great idea for making teaching practice public. Even if you think you may not be ready to apply for this kind of "competition," I highly recommend you take some time to read Green's post and consider what teaching and learning would look like if we had lesson study systems in place like those she mentions observing in Japan. Lesson study is something the CSO is looking into currently, considering what it might look like throughout the Archdiocese. Reach out if you would like to be a part of that planning and conversation!
EdWeek put together the following short suggestions as quick interventions (that cost little-to-nothing) that you could use to re-engage students in your school community.
The New York Times recently released a comparison of public school districts' student learning growth measures throughout the country. Read here to find out more about the developing interest among education policymakers in student learning growth.
News and Resources
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