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Assessing 21st Century Skills

Assessing 21st Century Skills
Recently, one of the teachers who is participating in our district’s 21st Century Learning grant project came to talk with me about assessing 21 century skills – one of the expectations for teachers in this project. Her observation was that students frequently practice the skills when engaged in research or project based learning. The thing she was struggling, with, though, was how to “grade it.” Assessing skills like collaboration, information literacy, creativity, self-direction, and critical thinking seems like a difficult task–when you think of assessment as “grading.” So to effectively assess skills and habits of mind –we must design a performance task for the students. One of the most difficult tasks of designing an effective formative assessment tool for 21st century skills is deciding what criteria should be included. These items become the criteria upon which a rubric or checklist can be built.

It’s About Self-directed Learning “This is about students learning at their own pace, not working at their own pace.” – Summit San Jose Math Teacher Three weeks into the school year, a student in our Optimized Learning math pilot raised his hand and said to a teacher, “I think I am behind.” That simple statement led to a larger conversation and a good look at this ninth grader’s schooling history. When digging into his past, it became evident he had always been behind. And yet, he just kept moving forward through social promotion and low D grades. It was a defining moment for both this student and me. I strongly believe that if we are to achieve our mission of preparing every student to be successful in college, career and life, they need to become self-directed learners. When we launched our Optimized math pilot in the beginning of the school year, we gave students full autonomy over their learning. Mostly, students struggled almost immediately. However, they didn’t know what to do next. The Learning Cycle: Plan:

Education Week Teacher Professional Development Sourcebook: Writing Re-Launched: Teaching with Digital Tools Published Online: April 4, 2011 Published in Print: April 4, 2011, as Writing Re-Launched: Teaching with Digital Tools Second grader Daisy Mora Gomez uses an iPad application called "Puppet Pals" to work on her pre-writing skills. —Manny Crisotomo Innovative language arts teachers find that adapting writing instruction to technology can enhance engagement without sacrificing the fundamentals. The nature of writing has shifted in recent years. So why does writing in school still so often involve a pen, paper, and a hardbound print dictionary? “Schools are in catch-up mode,” says Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, the director of national programs and site development for the National Writing Project, a federally funded program that provides professional development in writing instruction. There are plenty of reasons for teaching writing without a technology component, including lack of resources, lack of training, and the pressures of testing. —Manny Crisostomo Writing as Collaboration Writing to Be Read

27 Ways To Publish Student Thinking Publishing student thinking can be among the most powerful ways to improve learning. There are a variety of reasons for this, but the biggest reason is that the “threat” of publishing moves the lodestone from the classroom to the “real world.” This, of course, changes everything. What To Publish Note that publishing finished products and the thinking process itself are two very different things–and the idea here is to publishing the thinking itself: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Most of the following can also be used to publish the finished products–essays, documentaries, and other project-based learning artifacts. Below are 27+ ways to make this happen–and most are available as apps. WordPress.comKidblogVoicethreadYouTube AnimotoVimeoGoAnimateEdmodoStoryKitIdea SketchJingStorifyPreziScribdSlideshareTwitterWordleiMovieTumblrInstagramGoogle+SkitchiBooks AuthorMookletBloggerBook Creator Creative Book Builder Image attribution flickr user flickeringbrad

Cycles of Learning 5 Strategies For Incorporating Social Emotional Learning Into Your Classroom by Meg Price, theeiexperience Social emotional learning (SEL) by definition is a process for learning life skills, including how to deal with oneself, others and relationships, and work in an effective manner. Although there are many great SEL programs, SEL can also be incorporated into each lesson as a way of teaching for students to really understand how to action the skills in a variety of situations and form positive habits. All students start school with some level of social and emotional skills and all will develop their social and emotional skills at a different rate. Parents and teachers are both responsible for teaching students life skills and certainly much of what they learn will be by watching our actions. The 5 strategies below are will not only benefit students SEL but will also be beneficial to teacher’s well-being. 5 Strategies For Incorporating Social Emotional Learning Into Your Classroom 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. - What aspects of this class did you enjoy today?

Getting It Wrong: Surprising Tips on How to Learn For years, many educators have championed “errorless learning," advising teachers (and students) to create study conditions that do not permit errors. For example, a classroom teacher might drill students repeatedly on the same multiplication problem, with very little delay between the first and second presentations of the problem, ensuring that the student gets the answer correct each time. The idea embedded in this approach is that if students make errors, they will learn the errors and be prevented (or slowed) in learning the correct information. But research by Nate Kornell, Matthew Hays and Robert Bjork at U.C.L.A. that recently appeared in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition reveals that this worry is misplaced. People remember things better, longer, if they are given very challenging tests on the material, tests at which they are bound to fail. This work has implications beyond the classroom. Are you a scientist?

12 Things Teachers Must Know About Learning 12 Things Teachers Must Know About Learning By Bill Page closeAuthor: Bill Page Name: Bill PageSite: About Bill Page ... Bill Page, a farm boy, graduated from a one-room school. He forged a career in the classroom teaching middle school “troublemakers.” For the past 26 years, in addition to his classroom duties, he has taught teachers across the nation to teach the lowest achieving students successfully with his proven premise, “Failure is the choice and fault of schools, not the students.” Bill Page is a classroom teacher. Bill Page’s book, At-Risk Students; Feeling Their Pain is available through his web site, or through In the midst of the worldwide psycho-neurological revolution, knowledge about the brain and learning is exploding. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. With joy in sharing, At-Risk Students:

Content Curation Tools What is Content Curation? As instructors, we are all information curators. How do you collect and share currently relevant content with your students? How do your students research and share information that they find with the rest of class? What tools do you use to manage or facilitate presentation of resources? Modern web tools make it easy for both students and instructors to contribute online discoveries to class conversations. How can I use Content Curation in My Class? Instructors are using online content curation tools in the classroom to: The following are some real-life examples of how content curation tools are being used in education. Pinterest is a pinboard-styled social photo sharing website. Storify is a way to tell stories using social media such as tweets, photos and videos. allows users to create and share their own themed magazines designed around a given topic. Get Started Using Content Curation Tools Additional Resources

21 Simple Ideas To Improve Student Motivation - 21 Simple Ideas To Improve Student Motivation by TeachThought Staff The best lessons, books, and materials in the world won’t get students excited about learning and willing to work hard if they’re not motivated. Motivation, both intrinsic and extrinsic, is a key factor in the success of students at all stages of their education, and teachers can play a pivotal role in providing and encouraging that motivation in their students. Of course that’s much easier said than done, as all students are motivated differently and it takes time and a lot of effort to learn to get a classroom full of kids enthusiastic about learning, working hard, and pushing themselves to excel. Even the most well-intentioned and educated teachers sometimes lack the skills to keep kids on track, so whether you’re a new teacher or an experienced one, try using these methods to motivate your students and to encourage them to live up to their true potential. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.

How Teachers are Using Tumblr in the Classroom Tumblr is a web based social media platform that was designed to make it easier for people to share digital media with each other. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, where conversation is a common mode of communication, Tumblr is more about sharing content. It is a great resource and tool for people and professionals of every stripe. As a Course Web Site Here’s an example of a Creative Writing teacher who uses Tumblr as a course web site: Sharing (and Locating) Resources Tumblr doesn’t just make it easier for teachers to educate their students, it can be used as a resource sharing tool. As a Lesson in Content Credibility Tumblr can also be used as a lesson on using the Internet for research. Make a Pitch for Classroom Supplies Teachers are often responsible for funding some or all of their own classroom materials. There are lots of reasons to use Tumblr as a teacher. About Samantha Peters Print This Post

The 4 Newest Ways To Make Education More Interactive Sorry to have to say it, teachers, but few students want to listen to you talk about a subject for an hour, no matter how much you may love it. You think that you have prepared a nail-biting lecture of suspense about every war in which the United States has fought, and, by the War of 1812, your students are staring out the window, hoping for a superhero to fly in and rescue them from the classroom. Even for the most dedicated of students, books and lectures get boring. Keeping lessons fresh and challenging means keeping them interactive, and given it is almost 2013, incorporating this task is actually much easier than ignoring it. The incorporation of technology into classroom settings has shown a positive impact on the attention and scores of students. Below are some advances in 2012 which have changed the face of education and how students interact with technology, and each other: The Kineo Tablet : an 8-inch 1.3 GHz dual-core tablet aimed at schools that starts at $299. 2013 is coming.