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CHAPTER 3

Dixon, Juli K Solution Tree Press ePub

CHAPTER 3

After the Unit

You can’t learn without feedback. . . . It’s not teaching that causes learning. It’s the attempts by the learner to perform that cause learning, dependent upon the quality of the feedback and opportunities to use it. A single test of anything is, therefore, an incomplete assessment. We need to know whether the student can use the feedback from the results.

—Grant Wiggins

You have just taught the unit and given your common end-of-unit assessment. Did students reach the proficiency targets for the unit’s essential learning standards? How do you know? How do your students know? More importantly, what are the responsibilities of your collaborative team after the unit ends?

Your after-the-unit-ends high-leverage team actions support steps four and five of the PLC teaching-assessing-learning cycle (see figure 3.1).

Source: Kanold, Kanold, & Larson, 2012.

Figure 3.1: Steps four and five of the PLC teaching-assessing-learning cycle.

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CHAPTER 2

Dixon, Juli K Solution Tree Press ePub

CHAPTER 2

During the Unit

The choice of classroom instruction and learning activities to maximize the outcome of surface knowledge and deeper processes is a hallmark of quality teaching.

—Mary Kennedy

Learning is experience. Everything else is just information.

—Albert Einstein

Much of the daily work of your collaborative team occurs during the unit of instruction. This makes sense, as it is during the unit that you place much of your collaborative team effort put forth before the unit into action.

Your team conversations during the unit focus on sharing evidence of student learning, discussing the effectiveness of lessons or activities, and examining the ways in which students may be challenged or need scaffolding to engage mathematically. While discussion about some of the tasks and the end-of-unit assessment planning take place prior to the start of the unit, teachers often plan and revise day-to-day unit lessons during the unit as they gain information regarding students’ needs and successes. What your students do and say while developing understanding of the essential learning standards for the unit provides the data for your teacher team conversations.

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EPILOGUE

Dixon, Juli K Solution Tree Press ePub

EPILOGUE

Taking Your Next Steps

So now what? You and your collaborative team have moved through the stages of the PLC teaching-assessing-learning cycle, and should now be ready to start the process again with the next unit. Some of the considerations from this handbook relative to work with your instructional unit include:

• Was the size of the unit manageable within the teaching-assessing-learning cycle?

• How did your team discussion of essential learning standards help you to support student understanding?

• How did the design of the mathematical tasks and assessment instruments work? Were they aligned?

• How did the unit formative assessment plan fit with the end-of-unit assessment?

Figure E.1 (pages 146–147) provides a final summative evaluation your team can use at the beginning or the end of the school year to identify your current progress on each of the high-leverage team actions. Celebrate your strengths and prioritize your areas for continued growth.

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CHAPTER 1

Dixon, Juli K Solution Tree Press ePub

CHAPTER 1

Before the Unit

Teacher: Know thy impact.

—John Hattie

The ultimate outcome of planning before the unit begins is for you and your team members to gain a clear understanding of the impact of your expectations for student learning and demonstrations of understanding during the unit.

In conjunction with the scope and sequence your district mathematics curriculum provides, your collaborative team prepares a roadmap that describes what students will know and be able to demonstrate at the conclusion of the unit. To create this roadmap, your collaborative team prepares and organizes your work around five before-the-unit-begins high-leverage team actions.

HLTA 1. Making sense of the agreed-on essential learning standards (content and practices) and pacing

HLTA 2. Identifying higher-level-cognitive-demand mathematical tasks

HLTA 3. Developing common assessment instruments

HLTA 4. Developing scoring rubrics and proficiency expectations for the common assessment instruments

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APPENDIX B

Dixon, Juli K Solution Tree Press ePub

APPENDIX B

Cognitive-Demand-Level Task-Analysis Guide

Source: Smith & Stein, 1998. Copyright 1998, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Used with permission.

Table B.1: Cognitive-Demand Levels of Mathematical Tasks

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