Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Practical Benchmarking

Some tips for making the benchmarking more practical:

– With students previously reading at levels A-K, start benchmarking at two levels higher.

– With students previously reading at levels L-M, start benchmarking at one level higher.

– If possible, try to find the student’s Hard level and the Instructional level right below it.

– Assess one child each day

     – When you send guided reading groups back, keep one student behind to assess
     – Conduct a benchmark assessment first thing in the morning when kids are marking lunch, attendance, morning work

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Questions to Ask Everyday

“There are many ways to help students learn to craft quality constructed responses. It’s important to remember that the key is that students MUST demonstrate comprehension of the text through their responses. That means that their responses do not have to be grammatically sound, nor especially well written. They simply need to answer all parts of the question correctly.” – (Constructed Response Page).
Things we Can Do to Prepare Students for Constructed Response testing:
  • During Guided Reading, Read Alouds, Reader’s Workshop, Daily 5, etc., be sure to ask questions/model thinking each day. (see below)
  • Give students at least one opportunity each day to “construct a response”. (“C.R. is, quite simply, a written response to a question.” – Kristi Pettingill). Students should be able to answer a question and defend/explain/support it in 2-3 sentences. This will be an essential skill in CR testing. Start practicing now!
  • Give students at least one opportunity each day to use a graphic organizer.
Literary Analysis
  • Why do you think the author refers to ______ throughout the story?
  • What does he want you to think about when he does this?
  • The author’s purpose for writing this is to _______.
  • Let’s find the part that tells us this.
  • Talk about the genre of this book ___ and its characteristics.
Main Idea
  • What is the author’s point of view?
  • What is the perspective of this author?
  • What is the author trying to tell us in this story?
  • What is the author’s message?
  • What is the story mostly about?
  • What is the gist of this par to the story?
Word Meanings
  • What emotion does the author describe with the phrases ___?
  • What does this word mean in this story?
  • What does this word mostly mean?
  • This word is like __ .
  • Can you think of another word like this?
  • How is this word like___?
  • Questions: What do you think the author is trying to tell us in this story?
  • Comments: I noticed that the author was trying to tell us that…
  • Modeling: I’m thinking the author’s message in this story is __ because __.

Monday, November 7, 2011

23 Easy Artifacts for an Instructional Portfolio

Domain I: Lesson/unit plans in which students create in response of or to demonstrate theirlearning. Examples:

  • students will create a model of a cell
  • students will work in groups to create posters of mathematical concepts
  • students will select a teacher-prepared content topic and prepare a five-minute multi-media presentation
  • students will think and respond to their reading by creating a variety of graphic organizers in their reader’s notebooks
  • students will write letters to me regarding their connections to and questions of the text they are reading independently
  • students will publish original writing that emulates strategies used by published authors

Domain II: Classroom Management plan/logs of strategies used to foster positive classroom climate. Examples:

  • a description of how writer’s workshop (which is a structure/routine that allows for independent work) as described in the framework and how you implement it
  • a description of reader’s workshop/Daily 5 and how you implement it
  • a discipline plan

Domain III: Evidence of Instructional Delivery

  • take a photo of your essential questions
  • rubrics you use
  • samples of exemplary student work: read-response letter, reader’s notebook, published writing
  • take a photo of students working in groups
  • writer’s workshop, guided reading, and reader’s workshop/Daily 5 are differentiated by definition (if implemented as described in the framework). Briefly describe how you allow students choice in these strucutres (choosing writing topics, choosing texts, choosing response methods), how you differentiate instruction (writing conferences, reading conferences, guided reading with leveled texts), and how students grow individually (writing samples across time, guided reading progress monitoring chart).

Domain IV: Evidence of monitoring, assessment, and follow-up

  • Progress monitoring chart (guided reading)
  • A copy of a student’s RtI folder
  • HCDE assessment forms (the ones we turn in)
  • A Fountas & Pinnell benchmarking assessment and a note of how you used it to form instruction
  • Student work with a rubric attached
  • Exemplary student work (published writing, reader’s workshop responses)

Domain VI: Professional responsibilities

  • Any time you work with a coach or a lead teacher, write up a reflection on it for your portfolio.
  • Teacher attendance, a list of extra duties served (bus duty, clubs, etc.)
  • A copy of any instructional thing you share with colleagues