Monday, February 2, 2015

Teaching With Poverty in Mind (Next Steps)

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of where we are and where we need to be in terms of next steps, is to continue to improve our focus on the use of hard data within the context of standards based grading.  This process of sorting and prioritizing instruction is a challenging task that can often lead to difficult conversations.  Our teachers have been engaged in on-going dialogue for the past year and half (Wednesday PLC sessions) on the following considerations:

  1. What is it we want all students to know and be able to do?
    1. Grade Level “I Can Statements…”
  2. How will we know if the students have mastered a skill?
    1. Common Formative Assessments
    2. Common Summative Assessments
  3. What will our response be to those students have not mastered the skill?
    1. Interventions
  4. What will our response be for those students have demonstrated mastery?
    1. Enrichments
I look forward to and appreciate participating in the PLC meetings, as I can clearly sense our teachers’ passion for what they believe in by the urgency at which they go about their work.  I would also predict that most teaches would say that the entire process has been both perplexing and rewarding.  The transition to standards based grading has moved us beyond traditional data.  It has provided us with a host of information that enables us to focus on instructional specificity; it has brought clarity to our responsibilities within the tiers of instruction; and ultimately, it has assisted us in developing system of using results to drive future instruction (targeted interventions and/ or enrichment strategies). 

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