Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pinterested in Literacy?

Batman and Robin Bambrey, of course!
Holy Pinterest, Batman!
Check out our very own Robin Bambrey's elementary literacy pinterests. Of course, you'll have to do that at home. Some things are too pinteresting for the school firewall.

(Thank you, Robin!)

Are You Having Fun Yet?

Word Study Games!

There are a bunch of ideas in the Words Their Way book, you can print off pre-made games online using your code in the back of the book, or you can make your own.

Our HCSchools/Literacy site has lots of blank game boards and a super-trendy spinner for you.

And...we can make stuff. If you want something custom made for you, leave a comment below or e-mail Jeff Paulson.

Game Boards (Look under "G" for Games)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Justifying Thinking

Check out this gem from Diane Huseman's class. Common literary themes are posted on the wall. After a read aloud is finished, students discuss in small groups which theme best describes the text.

The group comes to a consensus, writes out their declaration, and then--here comes the meaty part--they justify their thinking using evidence from the text. Each group shares out and a class determination is set; a miniature copy of the cover is posted under the categorical theme.

(Check out the Comp & Flu pages 232-234 about keeping a class record of read alouds, too!)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Word Study Resources

These resources are in your building! Ask your literacy coach!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Students Cite Evidence from Text

Citing evidence from a text is a big deal in Common Core and in Constructed Response Testing. I introduced some third graders to this idea a few weeks back as they were learning about genres. Students read an excerpt from "Tops and Bottoms", and then wrote a formulaic response to it. One student wrote:

"Tops and Bottoms" is a fantasy text. Fantasy storys include elements that are impossible. For example, the athr rote "I'm hungry," Bear said.

This author of this three-sentence text response did several things:

  • Made a claim: Determined the genre of the text.
  • Described the genre.
  • Cited evidence from the text to support the claim.
The student showed me:
  • That he understands the genre of fantasy.
  • That he can apply his knowledge of genre to a text.
  • What he applies regarding grammar and word knowledge.
  • That he can reference an anchor chart ("...include elements that are impossible").
  • That he can cite evidence from a text.
Now, we're ready to apply this skill at a deeper level! Oh-ho!

Check out this anchor chart from Jennifer Hartley's 5th-Grade class:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Holy Common Core Resources, Batman!

Have you seen the onslaught of amazing and free Common Core resources on the HCSchools site? Check this out:

  • Common Core Scoring Rubrics by grade level (I'm not making this up.)      [Getting ready for report cards, K-2?]
  • Student-Friendly "I Can..." Statements by grade level (I know you've seen these, but what if you lose them? Look! They're right here!)
  • An Alignment of Common Core Standards and the Literacy Continuum by grade level (This is absolutely true!)
  • Text Exemplars and Sample Performance Tasks (I know! Right?!)
  • Tons of cool things like Text Complexity Bookmarks, Qualitative Rubrics for looking at texts, and Essential Questions! (Crazy!)
These are all at > and then click on the Standards tab. (Or just click here.)

Standards Based Grading

I have gotten a lot of questions about the concept of standards based vs. traditional grading. Apparently, this concept is really throwing some people for a loop!
Here are the basics:

Traditional Grading System
Standards-Based Grading System
  1. Based on assessment methods (quizzes, tests, homework, projects, etc.).  One grade/entry is given per assessment.
  2. Assessments are based on a percentage system.  Criteria for success may be unclear.
  3. Use an uncertain mix of assessment, achievement, effort and behavior to determine the final grade.  May use late penalties and extra credit.
  4. Everything goes in the grade book - regardless of purpose.
  5. Include every score, regardless of when it was collected.  Assessments record the average - not the best - work.
  1. Based on learning goals and performance standards.  One grade/entry is given per learning goal.
  2. Standards are criterion or proficiency-based.  Criteria and targets are made available to students ahead of time.
  3. Measures achievement only OR separates achievement from effort/behavior.  No penalties or extra credit given.
  4. Selected assessments (tests, quizzes, projects, etc.) are used for grading purposes.
  5. Emphasize the most recent evidence of learning when grading.

Adapted from O’Connor K (2002).  How to Grade for Learning: Linking grades to standards (2nd ed.).  Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.