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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:

Stop Stealing Dreams | Stop Stealing Dreams Stop Stealing Dreams by Seth Godin (read by Zia Hassan) Tweet Preface: Education transformed 00:00 / 04:52 Digital Album Immediate download of 132-track album in your choice of MP3 320, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire. Free Download Share / Embed Preface: Education transformed 04:52 download A few notes about this manifesto 01:34 Back to (the wrong) school 03:50 What is school for? Column A and Column B 01:30 Changing what we get, because we’ve changed what we need 01:10 Mass production desires to produce mass 02:46 Is school a civic enterprise? Three legacies of Horace Man 01:34 Frederick J. To efficiently run a school, amplify fear (and destroy passion) 00:50 Is it possible to teach attitudes? Which came first, the car or the gas station? The wishing and dreaming problem 00:46 “When I grow up, I want to be an astronaut assistant” 01:54 School is expensive 01:04 Reinventing school 01:30 Fast, flexible, and focused 02:06 Dreams are difficult to build and easy to destroy 01:26

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

The Language of Learning From HookED Wiki Developing a common language of the learning process We identified the language of learning most commonly used in New Zealand schools by analysing the task descriptors used in Level One NCEA papers. The most commonly occurring terms in the language of learning were developed into ten visual maps coded against student learning outcomes to help students understand the process of (or how to) define, describe, sequence, classify, compare and contrast, causal explanation, part whole analysis, analogy, generalise, predict and evaluate. These Hooked on Thinking visual maps help make the language of learning visible to students whether they are five years old or eighteen years old. The maps are introduced individually but are intended to be used fluently in a sequence of learning experiences designed to unpack an NZC Achievement Objective as shown below. HOT Visual Maps Figure X HOT Compare and contrast Map HOT SOLO Coded Self Assessment Rubrics Media type="custom" key="5024685"

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

Make School Different - A Good Bumper Sticker For A Great Cause! Cycles of Learning Strategies to enhance student self-assessment Reflection activities Teachers often use proformae to encourage students to reflect on their learning experience. While these are convenient and provide a record of student thinking, they can become an activity devoid of any real thinking. View Sample reflective questions and prompts (doc,30kb) for younger students and Designing reflective prompts (doc,33kb) for older students. Student-led and three-way conferences Student-led conferences in which students present their learning to their teacher and parents are an opportunity for students to formally reflect on the learning that has taken place over a period of time. Usually the evidence they produce is in the form of a portfolio, which students have prepared according to provided guidelines. The student, with teacher guidance, is the one who selects the work. The teacher makes sure the students understand the purpose of the portfolio - that is, that: Use of rubrics Rubrics are a valuable tool for self-assessment. Use of graphic organisers

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?

SF New Tech | SF New Tech is San Francisco's Largest, Longest-Running and Most-Loved Monthly Tech Event and Networking Mixer 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?