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Medium 9781943874057

Chapter 5: Effectively Address Poverty and Its Variables

Robert Lynn Canady Solution Tree Press ePub


Effectively Address Poverty and Its Variables

Changing from traditional grading practices to standards-based grading is a major change for schools. When schools try to make such a change without long-term study and the involvement of multiple stakeholders, retrenchment can occur (Skyward, n.d.). Many practices are embedded in a school’s culture and have been for generations. Parents whose children benefit from being rewarded for many of the process factors, such as compliance, often like these practices.

Regardless of the grading practices followed, the task of educating a larger and more diverse school population will be easier for both teachers and students in grades K–12 if schools significantly increase the number of students leaving grade 3 reading proficiently; based on 2015 NAEP scores, less than 40 percent do (NCES, 2015a).

Simply documenting and informing students they have failed is insufficient in standards-based grading, which scaffolds instruction, provides focused feedback, and gives students opportunities to redo assignments. Motivating students—especially those who struggle—to work and rework becomes a critical factor in boosting achievement. Asking them to think differently about their responsibilities is related as well. If students are to learn from failure, failure must be viewed as a temporary delay in mastering content. In this chapter we show how schools can tap into the data related to helping students establish a growth mindset and develop persistence, or what Angela Lee Duckworth calls grit (as cited in Perkins-Gough, 2013). If we can accept this thinking, we must examine grading practices that allow students to retake tests or redo work. People do fail in the real world, but those who learn from failure achieve.

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Medium 9781942496373

Chapter 2 Being a Teacher in a Professional Learning Community

Eaker, Robert Solution Tree Press ePub

The key to ensuring that every child has a quality teacher is finding a way for school systems to organize the work of qualified teachers so they can collaborate with their colleagues in developing strong learning communities that will sustain them as they become more accomplished teachers.

—National Commission on Teaching and
America’s Future

Being a great teacher is about so much more than test scores or instructional strategies. While instructional strategies and methodology are certainly important, we do not believe these are the first things that should be examined when discussing teachers, teaching, or the teaching profession—especially when discussing what it means to be a teacher in a PLC. The place to start is with the core beliefs, assumptions, and attitudes that every teacher brings to the table. Instructional strategies—as important as they are—only take a teacher so far. Ultimately, the fundamental beliefs, values, and assumptions that drive the way the teacher thinks and, by extension, behaves determine his or her effectiveness. Taken together, they determine the lens through which teachers view the world of schools and students. They determine the nature and quality of teachers’ interactions with their colleagues, administrators, parents, and most important, their students.

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Medium 9781936763252

Chapter 14 Word Detectives

Patricia M. Cunningham Solution Tree Press ePub


Word Detectives

Think about your students who have the biggest vocabularies. Are these also your students who read the most? Many new words elementary students add to their vocabulary come from their reading (Baumann, 2009). Imagine, for example that your students are reading about falcons, and they come across the words eyases, ornithologists, and stoop. How many of your students would know what these words mean? Eyases is a strange word for most adults, many elementary students don’t know what ornithologists are, and the meaning for stoop probably calls up an image of someone bending down or the small front porch of a house. What will your students do when they encounter these words while reading about falcons? After they read, how many of them will be able to explain that eyases are baby falcons, ornithologists are scientists who study birds, and a stoop is a swift dive, usually to attack prey?

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Medium 9780253350787

6. Musician

Estelle R. Jorgensen Indiana University Press ePub




As a music teacher, I think of myself as a musician—a maker of music. Even though I no longer perform publicly, this persona shaped my earlier life and the way I think about music teaching. I suppose I was a musician before I was a teacher, and I do not remember a time in which I was without music in my life. The story of becoming a musician is inevitably that of a musical life. In my own case, my musical preparation began as a very young child. My parents were both musical—my mother played the piano and my father the violin. I grew up in a home in which singing and playing were a constant part of family activities. Like many youngsters who show early musical promise, I began musical instruction before I went to school. A beneficiary of an Australian educational system of graded classical piano instruction (integrated with theoretical and historical studies), I formed and conducted a choral ensemble at college, was active as an accompanist and piano soloist, sang as a member of a select touring choral ensemble, and watched and listened to conductors rehearsing choral masterworks in a wide range of historical periods. Choral singing and piano and organ instruction continued during my graduate studies in music as I prepared myself as a pianist, choral conductor, music teacher, and church musician. And in the positions of school music teacher for the elementary and secondary grades and church musician, and later as a teacher of music education, music history and theory, and performance at the university level, I continued to hone my musical skills over several decades.

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Medium 9781609945695

Chapter 9 Becoming a Resilient Learner

Adams, Marilee G. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

We keep moving forward, opening new doors,
and doing new things, because we’re curious
and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.

Walt Disney

I glanced at my watch as I pulled into the restaurant parking lot, noting that I was about 20 minutes late. Late or not, I took a minute to glance in the car mirror and fix my hair. Inside the restaurant, the maître d’ escorted me to our table. Jared gave me a peremptory hug and kiss, and I sat down. I didn’t have to be a mind reader to tell he wasn’t in a great mood. I immediately assumed it was because I was a little late, then reminded myself that there was a difference between assumptions and facts. Still, I was annoyed that Jared might be irritated about my tardiness.

“Sorry for being late,” I said.

“It’s okay,” he said. “It’s not a big deal. Really.”

Not a big deal. Really. Jared never said that except when just the opposite was true. I was tensing up, putting one foot on that slippery slope of the Judger path. Nobody can push our buttons like the people we love! I’d just come from Sophie’s, where I was honing my skills for taking the Switching Lane and here I was, squarely on the Judger path again. Wanting to enjoy my time with Jared, and remembering my ABCDs, I leaned back in my chair and took a deep calming breath. Right away, I felt a little better. It was easier now to get curious and shift my attention to Jared.

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Medium 9781934009611

Chapter 2 Adult Learning Theory and a Three-Step Model for Differentiated Professional Development

Linda Bowgen Solution Tree Press ePub

It would be difficult to practice adult differentiated learning without first examining theories of both adult learning and children’s learning. Pedagogy, often used as a synonym for teaching, is the art and science of educating children. In its narrowest sense, pedagogy refers to a model in which the teacher directs the learning by making decisions about what will be learned, how it will be learned, and when it will be learned. However, there are many different theories of pedagogy. John Dewey, for example, believed that formal education for children should be based on a learner-focused philosophy, with students learning through activities with guidance from teachers. He believed that learning was life itself, not just a preparation for life (Conner, 1997–2004).

In 2002, Brian Cambourne outlined eight conditions that must be present in classrooms if learning is to take place for children. Don Holdaway (2000) held similar theories about children’s learning. Cambourne and Holdaway believed that personal interactions within a rich environment capitalized on the social nature of learning. Table 2.1 (page 18) summarizes their theories.

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Medium 9781945349904


Kelly, Frank; McCain, Ted Solution Tree Press PDF

INTRODUCTION by Ted McCain and Frank Kelly

Do you realize that we teach the same way today that Aristotle taught

Alexander the Great 2,000 years ago? It hasn’t changed. That’s got to change.

—Michio Kaku




The purpose of any education system is to help students learn. The key to student learning is effective interaction between a student and a teacher.

Schools are the places best equipped to facilitate that interaction. This raises the question: How can we better design schools for maximum effectiveness in facilitating improved student and teacher interaction?

We immediately face a significant challenge when we ponder the answer to this question—the general look and nature of schools haven’t changed much since the early 20th century. This is something that anyone who was raised in public schools, and then raised their own children or grandchildren in public schools, will recognize. Virtually everyone has a common picture in his or her mind for what a school is and how it operates, and that vision is consistent whether you are a teacher working directly with students in a classroom; a school administrator responsible for creating a timetable that determines when and where teachers and students meet; a facilities staff member for a school district responsible for determining the specifications for new or renovated school buildings; an architect tasked with designing a school facility; a parent of a schoolage child; a schoolboard trustee charting the future course for the schools in your district; or a department of education official at the state (or province) or federal level involved in planning curriculum for secondary schools (grades 6–12). The list goes on, but the mindset persists that learning occurs in schools with classrooms. Communities have built schools this way for so long that it’s difficult to conceive of any other way for them to look.

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Medium 9781936765140

Chapter 6 The Big Picture—Pacing Guides and Unit Design

Kim Bailey Solution Tree Press ePub


•  Pacing guides help teams plan for consistent and viable instruction of essential curriculum.

•  The backward planning model is highly effective for designing instructional units that address multiple standards.

•  Assessments are not isolated events—they are part of instruction, and they should be designed prior to instructional strategies.

So far, we have focused on how teams can identify and unwrap standards to reveal learning targets that they then monitor through the common formative assessments they create. This focus on single standards, however, is not typical in the real world of classroom instruction, where teachers don’t usually teach one standard at a time. Rather, our instructional units tend to address a cluster of integrated standards. This chapter pulls back from the close-up view of single standards to examine the big picture. By examining strategies for establishing pacing guides and designing instructional units (what we like to call learning plans), we hope to support teams in the creation of long-range plans that not only embed common formative assessments but maximize their power on a larger scale. Consider the following scenario.

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Medium 9781936764914

Chapter 4: Imperatives for Instruction and Assessment

National Council of Supervisors of Mathe Solution Tree Press ePub


In this chapter, we identify four imperatives that are essential for effective instruction and productive assessment to maximize learning for all students: (1) consistent implementation of research-affirmed instructional and formative assessment practices, (2) use of high-quality instructional materials and resources aligned with the CCSSM content, (3) availability of intensification strategies to support struggling students, and (4) summative assessment data that guide instructional planning.

Raising achievement in mathematics for every student and effectively implementing the CCSSM in every classroom requires that teachers consistently implement effective, research-affirmed instructional and formative assessment practices in every classroom.

Raising achievement in mathematics for every student and effectively implementing the CCSSM in every classroom requires that teachers consistently implement effective, research-affirmed instructional and formative assessment practices in every classroom. Instructional practices pertain to actions teachers or teacher teams take to plan lessons, make decisions, and analyze and reflect on student learning. These practices include selecting and sequencing appropriate problems, tasks, activities, and questions while employing diverse approaches and representations. Teachers use formative assessment practices during lesson planning and implementation to gather evidence about student learning and adjust instruction to better meet student needs. If teachers do not use the information to adjust instruction, it is not formative.

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Medium 9781936765973

Appendix D Standards for Mathematical Content, Grade 1

Solution Tree Press ePub


Source: NGA & CCSSO, 2010, pp. 13–16. © Copyright 2010. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

In Grade 1, instructional time should focus on four critical areas: (1) developing understanding of addition, subtraction, and strategies for addition and subtraction within 20; (2) developing understanding of whole number relationships and place value, including grouping in tens and ones; (3) developing understanding of linear measurement and measuring lengths as iterating length units; and (4) reasoning about attributes of, and composing and decomposing geometric shapes.

(1)  Students develop strategies for adding and subtracting whole numbers based on their prior work with small numbers. They use a variety of models, including discrete objects and length-based models (e.g., cubes connected to form lengths), to model add-to, take-from, put-together, take-apart, and compare situations to develop meaning for the operations of addition and subtraction, and to develop strategies to solve arithmetic problems with these operations. Students understand connections between counting and addition and subtraction (e.g., adding two is the same as counting on two). They use properties of addition to add whole numbers and to create and use increasingly sophisticated strategies based on these properties (e.g., “making tens”) to solve addition and subtraction problems within 20. By comparing a variety of solution strategies, children build their understanding of the relationship between addition and subtraction.

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Medium 9781935543558

Eight - Turning the Mathematics Vision into Action

Tinothy D. Kanold Solution Tree Press ePub



The Common Core State Standards and the accountability of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act will have a continued and dramatic impact on all levels of K-8 student performance in mathematics. The expected vision and outcomes for student learning in mathematics will only continue to exceed current levels of school performance. In schools and classrooms across the country, educators are working to improve the access and achievement of all students in mathematics. National and international assessments of students' mathematics knowledge have revealed that K-8 U.S. students are improving but not at the same rate as many of their international counterparts (Haycock, 2009). U.S. student performance and access to college and career readiness opportunities continue to highlight significant gaps among minority students (Haycock, 2011).

Goldsmith (2001) explains “as instructional leaders of their schools, principals can contribute to efforts to improve mathematics education in three important ways: (1) becoming knowledgeable about the goals and strategies of mathematics education reform, (2) guiding and supporting school improvement efforts, and (3) involving parents and community members” (p. 53). Additionally, principals need to set a tone of high expectations for all students and encourage teachers to use instructional strategies that promote the development of “active and independent mathematical thinkers” (p. 53).

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Medium 9781943360130

Chapter 6 How Will Reporting Facilitate Student Learning?

Robert J. Marzano Marzano Research ePub

Like scheduling, reporting in a PCBE system can involve significant changes from current practice. One of the biggest changes is that it is difficult to assign overall (omnibus) grades or scores to students. As is the case with scheduling, there is no single best way to report learning in a PCBE system. In this chapter, we present multiple examples of reporting systems or report cards. While they all share commonalities, each example has some unique features. Here, we discuss four options: (1) levels, (2) grade levels and courses, (3) pace, and (4) standards-referenced reports.

One option is to report students’ current status of progression through levels as opposed to grade levels and courses. See figure 6.1 (page 156). Figure 6.1 represents a school system that has gotten rid of traditional grade levels. Note that most subject areas include levels 01 through 10. Level 10 represents mastery of a subject area sufficient for a general high school diploma. However, not all subject areas include ten levels. For example, art has six levels, technology has seven levels, and personal or social skills has five levels. Each content area, then, contains as many or as few levels necessary to describe progression up to high school graduation. Also, note that some subjects contain levels above and beyond that required of a general high school diploma. For example, mathematics has three advanced levels, as do language arts and science. Art has one advanced level, and technology has two.

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Medium 9781943874941

3 Consolidating Learning by Choosing Significant Tasks

Laurie Robinson Sammons Solution Tree Press ePub



It happens in classrooms regularly. Readers may recognize this situation. The teacher thinks things have gone well and sends his or her students off with a little homework to make sense of and practice the day’s learning. The next day, students come back and say, “I understood it in class, but when I got home I couldn’t do the homework.” The teacher sees the problem is that, as someone who can explain things well, he or she has made the learning seem very logical and easy. We teachers understand, but the students haven’t done the work to make sense of the learning for themselves until they attempt the homework—and then find out they truly do not understand after all. Until students do the work of making connections and deepening understanding, they do not own the learning.

There is a difference between renting and owning. Often people drive rental cars harder or faster than their own cars. If someone rents a house and something breaks, that person is usually not responsible for fixing it; the landlord is. Sometimes students treat learning as a rental, not fully investing their time and efforts in class. Sometimes teachers do not offer opportunities for student ownership in class. The strategies we choose and activities we design for class largely determine whether our students will be renters of information who largely forget what they learned following the assessment, or owners of learning that they store in their long-term memory who are able to transfer their understanding and skills in the future. We call this consolidating learning. Students consolidate learning when they make sense for themselves of how new learning connects with previous learning to make a coherent whole (Fisher & Frey, 2015). In this chapter, we will examine how complexity, rigor, and balance are necessary to empower and motivate students to invest in and consolidate their learning. We also offer suggestions for several engaging and rigorous activities and strategies teachers can use in their classrooms.

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Medium 9781609945695

Workbook With Mindset Tools

Adams, Marilee G. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

This workbook presents the 12 tools of the Learner Mindset System, within which the story of Emma Shepherd was framed. Because these tools are life skills, compatible with how our brains take in new information and learn, you’ll discover they can make a positive difference in every moment and area of your life, both professionally and personally.

These tools have proven useful in a wide variety of organizational and educational settings. They are ideal for more productive conversations with professional learning communities as well as with students, other staff members, and in your personal life.

Over the years, my students and clients have shared hundreds of stories about breakthroughs they’ve made simply by posting Choice Maps on bulletin boards, as Emma did in the story, sharing them with colleagues and teams, or putting them on their refrigerators at home. The Choice Map is central to this mindset and questioning work, so it’s a perfect way of introducing others to the benefits of these practices.

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Medium 9781934009741

Chapter 6 Making Critical Thinking Matter

James Bellanca Solution Tree Press ePub

Making Critical Thinking Matter

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.

—Martin Luther King Jr.

Critical thinking is one of the preeminent skills called for by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Most state and national content standards contain the process standards for critical and creative thinking. By identifying the thinking process embedded in a content standard, teachers can target the appropriate thinking skills to include in an enriched learning project’s instructional plan. Using the three phases of learning, this chapter explains various approaches to help students learn and use these thinking skills in instructional frameworks.

Geometry and calculus teacher Vernoy Johnson asserted that he never taught mathematics. “I teach thinking,” he said. “I teach students how to think mathematically. Sharp thinking is the essence of mathematical thinking and problem solving.”

Vernoy’s favorite instructional tool was the journal. “Journals allow us to talk to ourselves without anyone believing we are crazy. In a thinker’s journal, you can play with numbers or solve complex problems or do whatever you want so that you understand what your world is about in mathematical terms. That means you can also draw your own geometric shapes, quicken your mind, and shape how you think. The best mathematicians were great thinkers.”

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