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2 Prioritized Standards and Proficiency Scales

Tammy Heflebower Marzano Research ePub

The first step in implementing standards-based grading is to clearly identify and articulate what students need to know and be able to do as a result of schooling. Those elements of knowledge and skill are usually articulated in standards. Often, however, there are more standards than can be taught in the instructional time available. Additionally, while standards usually articulate a target element of knowledge or skill, they do not always specify the simpler learning that students will need to acquire on their way to mastering the target. To address these issues, school leaders and administrators can help teacher teams prioritize standards and create proficiency scales.

Prioritized standards and proficiency scales clearly articulate what students should know and be able to do as a result of schooling. In many cases, individual teachers identify prioritized standards and create proficiency scales on their own to use in their classrooms. When teams of teachers use the same prioritized standards and proficiency scales, however, consistency from teacher to teacher and school to school increases. This consistency makes any differences in student achievement less dependent on which teacher a student is assigned and more reliably matched to the actual performance of that student on the criteria for a specific prioritized standard. Thus, we strongly recommend that administrators lead teams of teachers to collaboratively identify prioritized standards and create proficiency scales for those standards. Doing so requires input from teachers, of course. Here we present a process that leaders can use to identify teachers to participate in the process, help teachers prioritize standards, and help teachers write proficiency scales for the prioritized standards.

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Chapter 2 Communicating Learning Goals, Tracking Student Progress, and Celebrating Success

Sonny Magana Marzano Research ePub

The first design question under lesson segments involving routine events is, How can I establish and communicate learning goals, track student progress, and celebrate success? As might be inferred from the design question itself, three elements are important to this question.

Element 1: Providing clear learning goals and scales (rubrics)

Element 2: Tracking student progress

Element 3: Celebrating success

Each of these elements is supported by specific research on the effects of setting goals (Lipsey & Wilson, 1993; Walberg, 1999; Wise & Okey, 1983), giving feedback to students (Bangert-Drowns, Kulik, Kulik, & Morgan, 1991; Haas, 2005; Hattie & Timperley, 2007; Kumar, 1991), reinforcing effort rather than innate talent (Hattie, Biggs, & Purdie, 1996; Kumar, 1991; Schunk & Cox, 1986), and the use of praise and rewards (Bloom, 1976; Deci, Ryan, & Koestner, 2001; Wilkinson, 1981). Additionally, specific strategies support each element and each of those strategies can be adapted and improved using technology.

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4 Proficiency Scales and Classroom Assessment

Robert J. Marzano Marzano Research ePub

In addition to guiding classroom instruction, proficiency scales can also guide classroom assessment. Indeed, educators originally coined the term measurement topic because teachers found that proficiency scales served as useful assessment tools. This is primarily because the process of constructing a proficiency scale is very similar to the process test designers use when constructing an assessment.

While there are many descriptions of the test design process (see Downing & Haladyna, 2006), all share at least two characteristics: (1) specification of content and (2) identification of the content’s level of difficulty. These two features are depicted in table 4.1.

Table 4.1: Identification of Level of Difficulty of Content for Test Design

The content axis (horizontal axis) in table 4.1 identifies measurement topics for assessment. In table 4.1, these subjects include the measurement topics of Inheritance of Traits, Variation of Traits, and Adaptation. The difficulty axis (vertical axis) addresses how easy or hard the content will be. To identify the difficulty level of content, some type of taxonomy is typically used. Webb (2006) suggested the following levels of cognitive complexity: level 1 (recall), which includes the recall of simple information; level 2 (skill/concept), which requires students to make a decision in response to a problem or activity; level 3 (strategic thinking), which requires reasoning, planning, using evidence, or higher-level thinking; and level 4 (extended thinking), which requires higher-level, complex thinking over extended periods of time. However, table 4.1 implements the taxonomy described in tables 2.8 and 2.9 (pages 25–28) and appendix A (page 127).

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Chapter 6

Robert J. Marzano Marzano Research PDF




hen considering safety, teachers can examine how they support both the actual and perceived safety of students. Despite tragic and widely publicized violent incidents (such as those at

Columbine High School in 1999 and Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012), statistically speaking, schools tend to succeed at creating environments free of genuine danger. Nevertheless, teachers can ensure students feel safe by addressing various aspects of perceived safety in addition to securing the actual safety of their classrooms. In this chapter, we address four aspects of safety: (1) actual safety, (2) order,

(3) fairness, and (4) consistency.

Actual Safety

Strategies for meeting the actual safety needs of students are often implicit in K–12 schools. For example, while some classes may be more predisposed to potentially dangerous situations (for example, science laboratories), state and school requirements often mandate the development of standard operating and emergency procedures as well as the presence of specific safeguards to ensure students’ actual safety. Additionally, many schools have security guards, metal detectors, and support from local law enforcement as a means to further bolster their actual safety. This being stated, teachers can still take specific actions to support actual safety throughout the year.

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Chapter 4 Engaging in Focused Practice

Robert J. Marzano Marzano Research ePub

At an intuitive level, most people commonly think of practice as performing an action multiple times. As we saw in chapter 1, simply doing something over and over again does not necessarily increase one’s skill with it. What we refer to as focused practice goes well beyond the common conception of practice. As the name implies, focused practice involves repeating a specific strategy with attention to improving detailed aspects of the strategy. A golfer involved in focused practice would choose to practice a specific type of shot (for example, putting, driving, or chipping) using a specific type of club (putter, driver, wedge) in a specific situation (uphill, downhill, or across a slope). A gymnast might focus practice on a specific part of a move (for example, landing a cartwheel) on a specific apparatus (like the balance beam). Pilots often use a simulator to replicate specific weather conditions (such as dry, windy, rainy, or snowy) in which they can practice specific elements of specific flight sequences like taxiing, taking off, approaching an airport, or landing.

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