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Chapter 6

Marzano, Robert J.; Norford, Jennifer S.; Ruyle, Mike Solution Tree Press PDF


Non-Subject-Specific Skills

In addition to traditional academic subject-specific content like mathematics and science, there are a number of other areas for which teachers commonly collect and report assessment data. These areas usually deal with very generalizable skills in that they apply to multiple subject areas and even situations outside of school. In this chapter, we present four types of skills: (1) cognitive analysis skills, (2) knowledge-application skills, (3) metacognitive skills, and (4) general behavior skills.

Cognitive Analysis Skills

In chapter 2 (page 25), we introduce the notion of standards that focus on cognitive analysis relationships.

In chapter 2, we also discuss these relationships in terms of mental skills that teachers can use in taxonomies for both declarative and procedural knowledge. Here we take the discussion one step further by considering these skills as a type of curriculum in themselves.

During the 1980s in the United States, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development led an effort to encourage K–12 educators to place great emphasis on these skills and others as explicit components of the curriculum (Marzano et al., 1988). Educators should explicitly teach these skills and provide practice and feedback for students. As such, these skills should have their own proficiency scales and qualify as their own measurement topics. In previous chapters, we consider a set of five cognitive analysis skills: (1) comparison, (2) classification, (3) elaboration, (4) error analysis, and (5) constructing support. Figure 6.1 depicts a proficiency scale with content for comparison at scores 3.0 and 2.0.

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Chapter 7: Creating a Positive School and Classroom Climate

Crystal Kuykendall Solution Tree Press ePub

I have come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It is my personal approach that creates the climate, my daily mood that makes the weather . . .

—Haim Ginott (1969)

If you have ever experienced genuine “emotional warmth” or felt “emotionally cold”—regardless of what the thermostat says—you’ll understand that climate is not always contingent on temperature. Most assuredly, how we feel emotionally in a particular physical setting is determined not only by room appearance (colors, lighting, arrangement of furniture) but also by the relationships and interactions of the individuals in that particular setting.

All of us, especially children, respond emotionally to our physical surroundings. While colors have been shown to evoke certain feelings and emotions in adults, it is also true that colors and other physical elements have a strong impact on moods and behavior in children. A good school climate can generate enthusiasm, clarify values, build confidence, and strengthen relationships. Through the school and classroom climate, students are often inspired, nurtured, supported, and comforted. A negative school climate can foster hostility, alienation, underachievement, and hopelessness. Teachers and administrators must make certain that the classroom and school climates neither stifle student growth nor destroy student confidence. Since climate is determined not only by physical appearance, but also by human interaction and the prevailing conditions affecting activities, school officials must make sure schools and classrooms incorporate climate conditions and variables conducive to student and teacher success.

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Chapter 4 The Backward Planning Approach to Unit Design: Pre- and Culminating Assessments and Criteria for Success

Kathy Tuchman Glass Solution Tree Press ePub

Once you articulate a unit’s learning outcomes by identifying what students should know, understand, and do (KUDs), it is time to determine how students will show evidence of learning—the second part of backward planning. The focus of this chapter is on the culminating assessment and the criteria against which it will be assessed. Additionally, I suggest ways you can preassess to gather useful information about students’ writing capabilities and genre knowledge. I feature tools and strategies for you to create or redesign writing prompts, checklists, and rubrics and discuss writing models, anchor papers, and grading. This culminating assessment and the accompanying criteria, together with the KUDs, will guide you in orchestrating learning experiences to teach key skills. During lesson planning—the last stage of backward planning—you’ll have the opportunity to incorporate appropriate resources, instructional strategies and methods, differentiation, and various assessments, implementing all of these with a clear focus on helping students achieve well on the culminating assessment. If needed, review figure 3.1 on page 40 for a visual representation of backward planning to guide your reading of this chapter.

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3 Use High-Yield, Research-Based Strategies

Davis, Bonnie M. Solution Tree Press ePub


Use High-Yield, Research-Based Strategies

You can change your mindset.

—Carol Dweck

We all want strategies, techniques, and tools that will magically transform students into engaged learners who can’t wait to enter our classrooms and master the work. As teachers, we want this so much that, when we have opportunities for professional development, we most often ask for strategies and teaching techniques. Fullan (2008) calls this search for strategies “‘techniquey’—seeking tools as solutions instead of getting at the underlying issues” (p. 130). Techniquey strategies don’t solve problems and bring about change, because there are underlying issues present in schools that prevent students from achieving at their full potential—and we can’t solve the problem of low achievement with a single strategy. However, there are strategies and effective teaching tools that do influence student learning and support the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, and research (Hattie, 2012) provides a list of the most effective ones, some of which we examine in this chapter. Too often we are trying our best, but we are not using the most effective high-yield, research-based learning strategies. To influence student learning, we need to choose and refine strategies, techniques, and tools that are proven by the research to make a difference.

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4 Vocabulary Strategies: Helping Students Become Word Wise

Kathy Perez Solution Tree Press ePub

Vocabulary development is critical to literacy achievement. One of the most persistent findings in reading research is that the extent of students’ vocabulary knowledge relates directly to their ability to comprehend and to their overall reading success (Baumann, Kame’enui, & Ash, 2003). Vocabulary knowledge is also one of the best predictors of verbal ability (Jensen, 1980). It is important to note that people possess four distinct and overlapping vocabularies: (1) listening, (2) reading (receptive language), (3) speaking, and (4) writing (expressive language). Young students have much larger listening and speaking vocabularies than reading and writing vocabularies. Helping students further develop their vocabularies is a challenge for educators.

Teachers need a variety of “fab vocab” strategies that are active, engaging ways to expand the listening and speaking vocabulary of their students. These techniques are hands-on, practical, and effective—well suited to busy classroom literacy programs. As students increase their vocabularies, they boost their reading comprehension and strengthen their ability to tackle informational text. In developing and enhancing your program for word learning, keep in mind that the program of instruction you create for students should be personal, active, flexible, and strategic.

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