Sample Items and Performance Tasks Smarter Balanced sample items illustrate the rigor and complexity of the English language arts/literacy and mathematics items and performance tasks students will encounter on the Consortium’s next-generation assessments. The sample items and performance tasks are intended to help teachers, administrators, and policymakers implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and preparing for next-generation assessments. They provide an early look into the depth of understanding of the CCSS that will be measured by the Smarter Balanced assessment system. While the items and tasks are not intended to be used as sample tests, educators can use them to begin planning the shifts in instruction that will be required to help students meet the demands of the new assessments. The sample items and tasks can be viewed by grade band (grades 3-5, 6-8, and high school) or content focus. In the coming months, additional items and performance tasks will be made available. Using the Sample Items and Tasks
6 Online Tools That Will Help The Writing Process Writing can be a difficult task for many students. Some have trouble getting started, others have trouble staying on task, and many struggle with both. Staying focused when you’re sitting at your computer and somewhat uninspired can be a disaster waiting to happen – there’s a lot of stuff to waste time with on The Interwebs! The Internet can be a huge distraction, but it can also be the tool that helps to make you a more efficient and better writer. In fact, there are many online tools you can start using today and start getting the work done more quickly, efficiently, and effectively. Check out some of the tools below that can help keep you focused while your creativity flows! Citelighter Citelighter is a great way to build your bibliography simply – so you don’t spend all of your time worrying about correctly formatting a bibliography in APA, MLA, or Chicago formatting. Write Monkey Focus Writer Focus Writer is a great way to keep yourself free of distractions on your screen. Omm Writer
January 2014 Are reading and writing still the meat and potatoes of language arts? When I began teaching, I considered reading and writing as two separate (yet related) entities. Today, however, students are expected to construct longer responses, and writing has become an integral part of reading. How can we pull writing into our reading instruction? Direct Instruction - Students need to know how to construct a response. I use these steps when introducing constructed response to my fourth grade class (but I don't always require Step 4). Modeling - Giving good directions doesn't always work. from The Wind in the Willows. Practice, Practice, Practice - Students need to construct a variety of responses over the course of the school year. ask intermediate grade students to construct responses for these prompt types. Student Exemplars - Viewing effective pieces written by peers raises the bar and motivates students to continually improve their craft.
Ten Things Parents Should Know About the Common Core State Standards Here are answers to questions you might have about the standards and what they might mean for your children. A list of recommended resources is included at the end of the article. This article is also available in Spanish. Frequently Asked Questions 1. The Common Core State Standards are a set of expectations that outline what students should be learning in English/language arts and mathematics at each grade level (K-12). 2. The goal of the CCSS is to make sure that all students are well prepared for college, technical education, or the workplace after high school graduation. 3. No. 4. No. 5. Currently, each individual state has its own education standards, and there is little consistency from one state to another. 6. The CCSS were not developed by the federal government, but by a group of educators and experts coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). 7. 8. No. 9. 10. Closing Thoughts
22 Easy Formative Assessment Techniques for Measuring Student Learning I came across Terry Heick’s blog – 10 Assessments You Can Perform In 90 Seconds – at TeachThought from earlier this year and really enjoyed the formative assessment strategies that he outlined. Using formative assessment techniques in class – or “simple assessments” as Terry calls them – are easy to administer and provide the instant feedback teachers need to identify which students need more help, and then adjust their instruction and lesson plans to help them. Visit Terry’s blog above to get more detail on the following ten formative assessment techniques: 1. New Clothes 2. Do’s and Don’ts 3. Combining Terry’s ten with the ten we’ve blogged about can give teachers 20 great formative assessment strategies for measuring student learning. 11. Here are a couple more assessments you can use to elicit evidence of student learning. 21. 22. All of these 22 formative assessment techniques are simple to administer and free or inexpensive to use. Do you have a favorite?
Five close reading strategies to support the Common Core I walked in to my first college class, Political Science 101, eager to learn. For my inaugural college assignment, my professor asked the class to read the first three chapters of the textbook for the next class period. That night, I returned to my dorm room, determined to learn everything I could in those three chapters. I pulled out my textbook and highlighter. However, when I opened my textbook it was unlike anything I had read in high school. I shrugged, pulled out my highlighter and started highlighting. I quickly realized that I had no real game plan for reading this complicated textbook. Flash forward to my first few years of teaching. While this method may have been slightly more effective than what I used that first day of college, it was still too vague and ambiguous for my students. Last fall, I attended an AVID workshop about critical reading strategies. 1. The Common Core asks students to be able to cite and refer to the text. 2. 3. 4. 5. · Ask questions.
How To Use Formative Assessment With (And Without) Technology - Edudemic - Edudemic Van de Walle Professional Mathematics Series Volume 1 Blackline Masters Click the link below to download PDFs of all the Blackline Masters for Volume 1. Please note that this will take approximately 1-2 mintues for a dial-up connection. All BLMs Click the links below to download PDFs of specific Blackline Masters for Volume 1. To Download: PC: Right Click the link and choose "Save Target As" from the dropdown menu.
Quick Formative Assessment of Student Writing Since reading Bill Ferriter's post on whether or not true formative assessment is possible, I've been wondering how I could make my own formative assessments more efficient. This post features a screencast of me looking at student work for the purposes of formative assessment. Formative assessment is continuous assessment. In the context of writing workshop, formative assessment occurs during mini-lessons when I ask students to do a small task and I circulate to watch what students are writing. Formative assessment happens as I conference with individual students. And, formative assessment requires me glancing at student work as I prepare for lessons. One common misconception of formative assessment is that teachers need to collect and "grade" all work multiple times. Below are some tricks to make formative assessments go more quickly. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. While I generally do it without paper, the process can be easily adapted to paper-based settings.
Free printable math teasers and puzzles Printable Math Brain Teasers Students love doing math puzzles and brain teasers. We have puzzles in 4 difficulty levels. Level 3 and 4 can be quite challenging and can also be used for high school math students. Math puzzles and brain teasers are fun and good! By solving math puzzles and brain teasers students are actively developing analytical and problem solving skills. Math teasers can be used as warmers, homework or remedial learning and teaching materials. The puzzles on this site are based on the following math topics: - multiples and factors - even and odd numbers - addition and subtraction - number patterns - multiplication - prime numbers - exponents Are math puzzles come with answers and can be very challenging.
Blogging for Writing Instruction is Nothing short of Amazing! | Map without Borders Having read the dreaded “I am going to tell you about” 5-paragraph essay until my eyes glaze over and I fall into a comatose state, I have spent years scouring the earth for engaging approaches to writing. My quest has taken me to the promising lands of writing clubs, writer’s notebooks, and writer’s workshops, Four-square, and Six Traits, mystery bags, photo prompts, guided imagery, peer review, passed around team writing, speed writing, personal journals, and Morning Pages. Some were more engaging than others, but nothing too impressive…until….blogging. So, why is blogging so cool? An authentic audience.Revising! And I saved the best for last. That miracle was worth the whole ride itself, but to see the overall transformation of a process that I used to dread and now look forward to with great anticipation….that is amazing. I use kidblog.org. Like this: Like Loading...
Using Writing In Mathematic Using Writing In Mathematics This strand provides a developmental model for incorporating writing into a math class. The strand includes specific suggestions for managing journals, developing prompts for writing, and providing students with feedback on their writing. Teaching Strategies For Incorporating Writing Into Math Class: Moving From Open-Ended Questions To Math Concepts Starting Out Gently with Affective, Open-Ended Prompts Writing about thinking is challenging. Begin with affective, open-ended questions about students' feelings. Have students write a "mathography"-a paragraph or so in which they describe their feelings about and experiences in math, both in and out of school. Encourage students to keep their pencils moving. Try requiring 20 words per answer, even if they have to copy the same words again to reach 20. Next Step: Getting Students to Write about Familiar Mathematical Ideas 1. 2. 3. Moving On: Writing About More Advanced Math Concepts 1. 2. Procedure: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
How To Use An iPad To Add Voice Comments To Grading Offering timely and effective learning feedback is a critical part of the learning process. This is a concept that’d seem to be more accessible than ever with technology, but sometimes technology is two steps forward, one step back. Take for example grading papers. While K-12 education has (mostly) moved away from pure academic essays to measure all understanding, the writing process is more important now than ever. While digital documents like pdfs allow for increased visibility, simpler sharing, and seamless curation, they have indeed taken a step back in regards to this all-important text marking. PDF Annotation Which is where pdf annotation software comes in. There are many pdf annotation apps available that allow this kind of text marking, but another killer feature that is somehow less celebrated: voice annotation. The video below walks users through adding voice comments to pdf documents, starting right at the 2:00 mark. Other Details Note that the app being shown here is iAnnotate.
The Museum of Mathematics