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Patterns (PAT)

Richard DuFour Solution Tree Press ePub

argument

When you make an argument for or against something, you try to convince someone that it is right or wrong using reasons and evidence.

Examples: When you make an argument, provide evidence to support your perspective. If your argument is that plants and animals alter their environments to suit their needs, you might provide examples of organisms changing the environment—such as a prairie dog burrowing underground—to support your claim.

bias

A bias is a preference for one thing, outcome, person, or group over another.

Examples: If you are doing an experiment, you might have a bias toward a particular result or outcome. To avoid bias, use objective data sources and set criteria and procedures ahead of time.

empirical

Something that is empirical is based on evidence that you can physically see or show.

Examples: When you make a scientific claim, especially about a causal relationship, it is important to use empirical evidence to back it up. When you are defining a design question, make sure it can be tested in an empirical way.

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Medium 9781936764327

Chapter 2 Defining Mission, Vision, Collective Commitments, and Goals

Nicholas Jay Myers Solution Tree Press ePub

The value of creating a meaningful mission, vision, commitments, and goals cannot be overstated. The collaborative process used to create these documents empowers staff to hold themselves highly accountable because they participated in the creation of the objectives. Leaders should not be satisfied with documents that are vague or cliché; they should be a true reflection of the personality and culture of the organization.

BRIAN LAWSON, DISTRICT 54 PRINCIPAL

People within a PLC are unified by their shared sense of purpose, vision for the future, commitment to enacting positive change strategies, and intention to attain measurable achievement goals. To focus the efforts of the system around PLC concepts and principles, District 54 convened a Board Goals Team during the second year of implementation. This group would be responsible for establishing District 54’s mission, vision, collective commitments, and goals that served as the foundation for the district’s work moving forward.

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Medium 9781935542148

Chapter 3 How Should Curriculum and Assessment Connect in the Mixed-Ability Class?

Damian Cooper Solution Tree Press ePub

Curriculum is the “what” of teaching. The origin of the word is the Latin currere, meaning “to run.” Hence, the curriculum represents the course we require students to run on their journey to learning. Few would argue that curriculum must be dynamic, as it must be constantly under examination and review to ensure that it reflects an ever-changing world. That said, curriculum should reflect certain fundamental concepts and essential skills that are timeless. Fundamental concepts—what Wiggins and McTighe (1998) call “enduring understandings”—include, for example, the laws of gravity and energy conservation in science and the archetypal narrative patterns and characters in world literature. Essential skills include problem solving in all domains and argumentative discourse in the humanities. These critical learnings will continue to provide the foundation for curriculum in such subject areas.

However, the overarching question challenging curriculum developers in the 21st century is: what should be the balance of knowledge and skills in today’s curriculum? The Partnership for 21st Century Skills in the United States proposes a framework (fig. 3.1, page 32) to address this question.

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Medium 9781935249573

Chapter 1: Common Language Assessment

Gottlieb, Margo Solution Tree Press ePub

High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectations.

—CHARLES F. KETTERING

Language forms the heart of instruction; thus, all Since language is also a distinguishing characteristic of English learners, educators must be sensitive to students’ language development. This opening chapter introduces common language embedded within instruction and, in doing so, affords teachers and school leaders opportunities to set realistic language expectations for students within grade-level, content-driven instruction. It helps explain how language impacts the performance of language learners from classroom to classroom, highlights the challenges English learners face every day in school, and offers a teacher-driven data source for decision making.

Organizing Principle: common language assessmemt enable teachers and school leaders to set and measure language expecations for language learners across classrooms.

Lead Question: How does common language assessment contribute to understanding the performance of English learners in school?

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Chapter 6 Tackling Curriculum Management

John F. Eller Solution Tree Press ePub

Marvin, a new middle school teacher, is getting ready to teach a unit on measurement. In order to prepare for the unit, Marvin checks the district-curriculum guide for the standards and learning objectives that students are supposed to achieve in this area. He can see that his part of the curriculum moves the students into a more complex application of measurement.

In preparing for the start of the unit, Marvin works with his colleagues to see if they have developed a preassessment he can use to see what skills and content knowledge his students have before he starts the unit. This will help him know what areas may need more focus or emphasis.

In developing his plan for the unit, Marvin includes a list of learning targets that the students need to master. He knows that it is important for them to understand what they will be learning and how they will be reaching the targets.

In this scenario, Marvin develops his unit, determining what he will teach, based on the outcome the students need to reach. This focus on state or districtwide standards and learning objectives ensures that all students are meeting the same goals and learning what has been deemed most critical for their subject or grade level. By helping students understand what they need to know through learning targets, Marvin reinforces the expected learning and helps his students to be invested and successful in mastering it.

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