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Medium 9781942496571

9 Assessment to Inform and Improve Professional Practice

Richard DuFour Solution Tree Press ePub


Assessment to Inform and Improve Professional Practice

A genuine commitment to helping all students learn at high levels requires a systematic process to monitor each student’s learning on an ongoing basis and then use evidence of student learning to:

•  Provide students with relevant, actionable information about the progression of their learning towards clearly defined standards and targets

•  Respond to the individual needs of students in a coordinated way

•  Inform and improve the individual and collective practices of professionals within the school

This assessment process is formative, which the OECD defines as “frequent, interactive assessments of students’ progress and understanding to identify learning needs and adjust teaching appropriately” (Looney, 2005, p. 21). Some authors refer to formative assessment as assessment for learning (Black, Harrison, Lee, Marshall, & Wiliam, 2004; Fullan, 2005; Stiggins, 2007). John Hattie (2012) prefers to use the term assessment as learning. Regardless of the nomenclature, the big idea behind formative assessment is that evidence of student learning is used “to adjust instruction to better meet student needs” (Wiliam, 2011, p. 43). Formative assessment is not a specific test; it is a process that uses multiple indicators of student learning. It is not something to be purchased; it is a skill that educators must master. It is not something that occurs at the end of instruction; it is an integral part of good instruction. It is not designed to result in a final score or grade; it is a process to inform students, better meet their needs, and improve professional practice (Orland & Anderson, 2013).

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Medium 9781935543091


Campbell, Martha F Solution Tree Press ePub

We had a friend who was convinced that the key to avoiding failure is never setting a goal. In a PLC, however, the very definition of a collaborative team is “people working interdependently to achieve a common goal for which members are held mutually accountable.” Note that the pursuit of mutual goals is fundamental to that definition. Furthermore, teams are asked to commit to SMART goals. As opposed to what, you’re wondering . . . stupid goals? No, but let’s be honest. In traditional schools, educators focus on teaching rather than learning, work alone rather than in teams, and focus on teacher activity rather than student learning. If goals are established, they are most often teacher/teaching oriented, rather than student-results oriented. Thus, educators in traditional settings have been famous for establishing, not stupid goals, but rather SMATT goals!

Strategic and specific


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Medium 9781943874026

Chapter 2 Establishing a Discussion Framework for Student Success

Sandi Novak Solution Tree Press ePub

We no longer need to be told what to do and how to do it. We use each other for learning and make decisions about where to go next.

—CONNOR, grade 7

Consistency and structure are important elements of effective instruction. Implementing a framework for student-led discussions, and using it routinely, builds comfort and confidence with the model. When students know what the structures and routines are, they can move more efficiently through daily procedures. Our students gain stronger understanding of their role in discussion, take charge of their learning, and hold themselves accountable. As this process evolves, we guide students’ learning by providing explicit instruction and observing their implementation of strategies and skills while giving feedback to individual students and groups.

Table 2.1 (page 16) breaks down the framework for student-led discussions; the framework can be used in any grade and subject. This framework provides a cyclical model that, when applied consistently, creates discussions that evolve in complexity and rigor. The table lists descriptors of teacher and student actions to guide the process.

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Medium 9781943874514

4. Technology Integration

Marge Maxwell Solution Tree Press ePub

In Ms. Denning’s second-grade mathematics class, the students examine examples of symmetry in nature and human creations. Students are instructed to use symmetry to design a beautiful picture that will inspire students in their class. Using Picreflect, students practice uploading pictures and create a reflection of various images. Groups discuss what makes the picture visually pleasing. Students use Picreflect or Doodle Buddy to design their images. Groups evaluate the various images and select one image to display in the classroom.

With advances in technology doubling every eighteen months (McGinnis, 2006), there is a plethora of technologies available to schools. Schools must have a planned approach in order to maximize the impact of these technologies to enhance student learning (Pence & McIntosh, 2010). Educators, however, struggle to integrate technology in meaningful ways that involve higher-order thinking, collaborative tasks, and authentic problem solving (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO], 2004). Optimally, technology integration is a seamless component of instruction to engage students in authentic, creative-thinking tasks, as demonstrated in this chapter’s opening scenario.

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Medium 9781934009154

Section Six: Working With Difficult Students

Lee Canter Solution Tree Press ePub

There is no question that if you, the teacher, want a disruption-free classroom, you need to go out of your way to build positive relationships with all of your students, especially those who are difficult. Ask any teacher who demonstrates a high level of proficiency in motivating students to be successful, and they will validate this point—and so does the literature.

Establishing positive relationships with students can reduce disruptive behavior by up to 50 percent. A positive relationship with students reduces disruptive behavior at all grade levels (Marzano, Marzano, & Pickering, 2003).

For numerous reasons, too many teachers are not taking the steps needed to convince their students that they are on their side. One recent study sums up the current perceptions of many of our students.

Forty-eight percent of students report they don’t believe teachers care about them (Quaglia, 2008).

Let’s examine why so many teachers have such difficulty building the positive relationships with their students that are critical to everyone’s success.

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Medium 9781475811940

Reflections on Justice in Schooling

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


ABSTRACT: This article is a reflection on the concept of justice as practiced in the public schools in the United States. Examples of justice denied or misconstrued are included. Cases, stories, and concepts invite educational leaders to reflect anew on delivering justice in education to all children. Underlying the article is the belief that understanding the concept of justice is vital if an educational leader is to act justly and model just behavior in schooling.

From crooks to kings, from politicians to philosophers, from writings of Plato to 20th- and 21st-century authors, people have reflected on the meaning of justice. This article is a reflection on justice in the public schools of the United States.

It posits that many of today’s educational leaders operate without a reflected-on and articulated concept of justice to guide their leadership and decision making. It further posits that achieving an understanding and acceptance of this concept by individual educational leaders and the educational leadership field may contribute to the application of the principles of justice in the creation and delivery of excellence in education for all children.

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Medium 9781936764457

Chapter 4 The Shift in Coaching and Feedback: Leading With Guiding Principles

James A. Bellanca Solution Tree Press ePub


The Shift in Coaching and Feedback

Leading With Guiding Principles

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

—John Quincy Adams

Mrs. Waddle, Ms. Hopper, Mrs. Flier, and Ms. High Stepper all teach in the same K–12 school. As the principal, Mr. Coacher observes in various classrooms, and his time with each teacher following the classroom visit becomes a teachable moment. He has learned how to give constructive feedback framed by five guiding principles, to move each teacher along, regardless of where she is currently in her professional learning journey. If the teachers are waddling, he helps them move forward; if they are hopping, he coaches them into a smoother stride; if they are flying, he gives them direction for flights extraordinaire; and if they are high-stepping, he inspires them with a sense of mission. His collegial spirit is the hallmark of his success, as he always ends each visit with a welcoming, “Invite me back.”

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Medium 9781475827149

Increasing STEM Learning for Teacher Trainers, In-Service Teachers, Preservice Teachers, and PK–5 Students Using a 4-Tier Learning Model

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Increasing STEM Learning for Teacher Trainers, In-Service Teachers, Preservice Teachers, and PK–5 Students Using a 4-Tier Learning Model

Nancy Jo Schafer, Brian A. Williams, Diane M. Truscott, and Vera L Stenhouse

ABSTRACT: Recognizing the limited access to quality STEM experiences in public schools writ large and in particular in urban elementary schools, we present a 4-Tier Learning Model aimed at addressing the specific educational needs of PK–5 students as well as the professional development of in-service and preservice teachers. The model is designed to engage teacher trainers, in-service teachers, preservice teachers, and PK–5 students in inquiry-based, curriculum-integrated, culturally responsive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Aspects of the model implemented during a summer science camp experience in an urban-focused alternative teacher preparation program are shared. Implications of the model address recurring concerns about the (lack of) access to STEM in urban elementary schools as well as effectively preparing teachers to teach STEM.

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Medium 9781935542698

Chapter One: Learning Every Time, Everywhere

Rogers, Kipp D. Solution Tree Press PDF
Learning Every Time,Everywhere

I will never forget the day that one of my teachers flew into my office, exclaiming, “Mr. Rogers, I took this cell phone from Chante.’ She had it on in class, and she was text messaging. I caught her red-handed, so I took the phone! Do you want it? ”Four years ago, my reaction to this situation would have been to take the phone and keep it until a parent came to school. Cell phones were becoming a nuisance for teachers and my assistant principals. What changed my mind? Reality. Digital natives, 21st century learners, generation D, or generation text—whatever you choose to call them, this generation of students is ready to learn differently, and future generations are right behind them. While Chante’s behavior was inappropriate, the truth of the matter is that she was just passing notes in class, 21st-century style (Rogers, 2009a).As a middle school principal of almost eleven hundred sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students, and the father of a cell phone–toting eighth grader, it did not take long for me to realize that most middle school students had cell phones. If they did not, they would the next time there was a holiday or gift-giving occasion in their lives. A study by CTIA: The Wireless Association and Harris See All Chapters
Medium 9781574411713

Chapter 2: The Expansion of Bilingual Education, 1968-1978

Guadalupe San Miguel Jr. University of North Texas Press PDF



EDUCATION, 1968–1978


During the first decade of its existence, from 1968 to 1978, bilingual education policy was strengthened and transformed as it was implemented.

Federal court rulings, executive actions, and the political struggles of minority and non-minority group members contributed to its growth and strengthening.

The proponents of bilingual education constantly struggled for funds, created the administrative mechanisms for encouraging the establishment of bilingual education programs, provided definitions of and clashed over the goals and content of bilingual education, and developed a federal support system for its implementation. These developments led to a variety of programmatic, educational, and political changes and to the transformation in the goals, scope, and character of bilingual education. They also led to the emergence of an organized opposition to bilingual education policy.


Expand Scope of Legislation: From Categorical to

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Medium 9781475819540

Identifying What In-Service Teachers Want in Professional Development Experiences

R&L Education ePub


ABSTRACT: To be most effective, teacher professional development needs to be designed and based on teachers’ needs. This study provides information on topics that 53 middle- and secondary-level mathematics teachers believed would be beneficial in future training programs. The teachers had participated in a 2-year Teacher Quality Grant focused on content knowledge and teaching with technology. Professional development themes were identified from interviews conducted with 14 participants. Data were triangulated by incorporating their suggestions into a survey administered to all participants. These themes are discussed in regard to improving the professional development training of mathematics teachers.

Professional development (PD) has become an important factor in the continuing growth and success of beginning and in-service teachers. Effective teaching strategies, technological innovations, new curriculum resources, and the latest research on student learning have all been identified as topics for continuing PD for in-service teachers. Additionally, researchers have concentrated on how PD initiatives are implemented, evaluated, and modified (Darling-Hammond & McLaughlin, 1995; Guskey, 2003) and how effective PD programs are supported and sustained (Guskey, 2002). Educational researchers have focused on understanding what makes PD effective, but one aspect that appears underinvestigated is follow-up activities to already enacted PD sessions. This is the focus of the present study. To provide insights as to the next steps for PD, the in-service educators participating in a Teacher Quality Grant (TQG) were asked, “If you could improve one thing about the TQG training, what would it be and why?”

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Medium 9781475830286

Fostering and Achieving Organizational Change: A Framework for Studying the Complexities of School Leadership

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub



Fostering and Achieving Organizational Change

A Framework for Studying the Complexities of School Leadership

Address correspondence to Frances Kellar, EdD, University of Southern California. E-mail: fjmartin@usc.edu.

ABSTRACT: While education research has explored the role of the principal in the advent of No Child Left Behind (2001), quantitative and qualitative studies fail to describe and explain the ways in which principals’ leadership practices are shaped by their conditions. These conditions include the school culture and climate in which they work; their own beliefs, skills, and understandings about leadership; and the actions they implement to achieve their goals. This article presents a conceptual model, resulting from a qualitative multi-case study, that demonstrates the need for—and benefits of—a more sophisticated approach to examining leadership in practice that takes up the psychological and organizational dimensions of leading in schools.

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Medium 9781936763955

7 Building Cognitive Rigor, Depth, and Complexity

Gayle Gregory Solution Tree Press ePub

Building Cognitive Rigor, Depth, and Complexity

When students have the opportunity to initiate and explore ideas without fear of failure and work cooperatively with other students with whom they can discuss, hypothesize, agree, disagree, and so on, they are using the brain’s natural drive to find meaning. As a result, students make stronger connections in their learning—connections that eventually may transfer new knowledge and skills to long-term memory. It takes an environment that supports a risk-free expression of ideas and intellectual exploration to encourage rigorous, complex thinking, as well as tasks and interactions designed to spark it. In addition, students need a variety of product and performance opportunities to demonstrate learning at high levels. When students have opportunities to actively process their learning, teachers can begin to consider ways to increase their students’ cognitive rigor.

Heather Bower and Joelle Powers (2009) define rigor through their research as “how the standard curriculum is delivered within the classroom to ensure students are not only successful on standardized assessments but also able to apply this knowledge to new situations both within the classroom and in the real world” (p. 4). They also identify higher-order thinking and real-world application as two critical aspects of rigor, suggesting that it is not enough for students to know how to memorize information and perform on multiple-choice and short-answer tests. Students must have deep and rich content knowledge, along with the ability to apply that knowledge in authentic ways.

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Medium 9780985890247

Chapter 3 Establishing Classroom Rules and Procedures

Sonny Magana Marzano Research ePub

The second design question—How can I use technology to establish and maintain classroom rules and procedures?—addresses a crucial step toward a safe, orderly, and predictable learning environment for students. Two elements make up this design question, which falls under lesson segments involving routine events.

Element 4: Establishing and maintaining classroom rules and procedures

Element 5: Organizing the physical layout of the classroom

The idea that routines and procedures ought to be explicitly taught at the beginning of the school year, after which they are practiced and periodically reviewed, is well grounded in research (Anderson, Evertson, & Emmer, 1980; Brophy & Evertson, 1976; Eisenhart, 1977; Emmer, Evertson, & Anderson, 1980; Good & Brophy, 2003; Moskowitz & Hayman, 1976). The technology tools in this chapter facilitate teaching and review of rules and procedures, and they increase students’ participation in generating rules and procedures and designing the physical layout of the classroom. This involvement gives students a sense of agency and belonging in the classroom.

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Medium 9781475816730

Principals’ Perceptions of Professional Development in High- and Low-Performing High-Poverty Schools

International Journal of Educational Ref Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Sheila Moore
Frances Kochan

ABSTRACT: This is the second part of a two-part study examining issues related to professional development in high-poverty schools. The findings from the initial study indicated that principals in high-poverty, high-performing schools perceived higher levels of implementation of quality professional development standards in their schools than did principals of high-poverty, low-performing schools. This study was conducted to determine whether these principals faced similar or dissimilar barriers in implementing high-quality professional development standards and whether they had similar factors in place to facilitate the use of such standards. While the barriers appeared to be quite similar, there were wide differences in the facilitative factors present in the two types of schools. Principals in high-performing schools appeared to be aware of and able to use facilitative factors to foster high-quality professional development practices, while principals in low-performing schools are not. Implications of these findings are discussed.

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