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Tagged With: assessments

A new resource guide from Kiddom: Standards-based Grading for ELA and Social Studies

Kiddom is a free standards-based platform designed to help teachers curate individual learning experiences (see my review here). Now, they’re giving away their Standards-based Grading Guide–for free:

Humanities Teachers, Rejoice!

English Language Arts and social studies standards are often tangled webs of both skills and content, not so easily separated. This guide clears common misconception and offers best practices.

Click here for free download of Standards-Based Grading for ELA and Social Studies

Click here to book a PD Consult.


Standards-based grading (SBG) is a paradigm shift for teachers accustomed to traditional curriculum frameworks, but that transition can be more extreme for ELA and social studies. While conventional STEM courses are planned around sequential, discrete standards targeting easily-isolated skills, language arts and social studies standards are often tangled webs of both skills and content, not so easily separated.

This inherent challenge further amplifies common misconceptions about standards-based (or competency-based) grading. This guide clears those misconceptions and offers best practices for language arts and social studies teachers seeking to adopt the standards-based grading practice and mindset.

Download our Standards-Based Grading guide

 ..
For more on how to use Kiddom in your classroom, check out their website and other free resources available for educators.

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Categories: News | Tags: | 2 Comments

169 Tech Tip #116–How to Take Screenshots

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: #116–How to Take Screenshots

Category: CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

Sub-category: Keyboarding, PC, Mac, iPad, Chromebook

Here are the screenshot shortkeys for five platforms:

  • Windows: a tool included in Windows called the Snipping Tool
  • Chromebooks: Ctrl+Window Switcher key
  • Mac: Command Shift 3 for a full screenshot; Command Shift 4 for a partial screenshot
  • Surface tablet: hold down volume and Windowsbutton
  • iPad: hold Home button and power button simultaneously

There are also screenshot programs you can download like Jing and Printkey (the latter uses your keyboard’s Print Scr key) or use from your browser (like Nimbus or Snagit). Each has a different selection of annotation tools. You may find this works better for your needs.

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Categories: Classroom management, Images, Problem solving, Tech tips | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Prepare for the SAT Essay

sat-assessmentSeven million students took the SAT test last year. While it traditionally is an assessment tool for college-bound seniors, more and more high schools are choosing it as an exit exam for graduating seniors (such as these changes in Ohio and the State of Washington). Driven in part by the educational imperative to minimize student testing, what better solution than a test already heavily vetted as being inclusive and cross-cultural that many students are familiar with.

In this article, I’ll focus on preparation for the SAT essay portion. General preparation hints include:

  • practice good writing with every school essay students write
  • use academic-specific vocabulary whenever possible
  • take practice tests
  • read a lot — and let that inform your writing

Here are three different approaches to preparing for the essay portion:

  • Khan Academy — work on the students’ unique writing problems experienced in their PSAT or earlier SATs
  • Revision Assistant — practice writing over a long term and receive targeted feedback to improve skill
  • Mindsnacks SAT vocabulary — develop depth in academic vocabulary that improves not only student writing but their understanding of what they’re reading

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Categories: High School | Tags: | Leave a comment

New from Kiddom

kiddomKiddom is a free standards-based platform designed to help teachers curate individual learning experiences. Its pages are visual and easy-to-understand, enabling teachers to quickly determine how students are doing and where remediation is needed–all without spending a lot of time analyzing data. Many of the details are linked, allowing you to dig deeper on any subject from a variety of pages rather than one specific spot.

I met them last year and continue to be amazed by their creativity (see my review here). Here’s their latest update:

Social Emotional Learning Rubrics Available

Great educators teach the whole child. That’s why in addition to supporting CASEL’s social emotional learning (SEL) competencies, we’re proud to announce we’ve now added SEL-aligned rubrics that can be added to any assignment (for grades 6-12). To start using these rubrics, be sure to add Social Emotional Learning as a subject in class settings.

The links below offer tips on how to best weave these SEL rubrics into your daily classroom practices.

 kiddom 1. Develop self-awareness with summative assessments.
2. Project self-management by adding goal setting and monitoring.
3. Support social awareness by providing reflection opportunities.
4. Promote relationship skills with class discussions or presentations.
5. Track responsible decision making by adhering to assignment deadlines.

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What is Kiddom? Why is it right for you? And free resources to inform your teaching

kiddomThe popularity of standards-based grading and instruction is growing. Why? It’s because the one-size-fits-all concept of a single grade representing the fullness of the students’ work is flawed. Today, teachers want to call out student strengths and weaknesses, accomplishments and areas of improvement, as aligned with the standards that their school mission is built on. That requires a detailed picture of what students have learned.

The problem is: This is time-consuming. Teachers must itemize tasks and work, attach them to relevant standards, monitor each student’s progress toward the goal of achieving the standards, and remediate when they need help. For many teachers, this is overwhelming. The ideal would be to have all assignments, assessment, and submittals for each student curated in one spot that automatically updates as the year progresses–and provides actionable reports.

Happily, there is such a program. It’s called Kiddom.

Kiddom is a free standards-based platform designed to help teachers curate individual learning experiences. Its pages are visual and easy-to-understand, enabling teachers to quickly determine how students are doing and where remediation is needed–all without spending a lot of time analyzing data. Many of the details are linked, allowing you to dig deeper on any subject from a variety of pages rather than one specific spot.

Here are details you’ll like:

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Categories: Classroom management, Reviews | Tags: , | 7 Comments

169 Tech Tips #160–14 Assessment Strategies

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: #160–14 Assessment Strategies

Category: ASSESSMENTS

Sub-category: NA

These fourteen strategies are well-suited to formative assessment:

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169 Tech Tip #151: 8 Popular Year-long Assessments

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: #151–8 Popular Year-long Assessments

Category: ASSESSMENTS

Sub-category: Classroom management

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169 Tech Tip #146: 18 Ideas for Warm-ups, Exit Tickets

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: #146–18 Ideas for Warm-ups, Exit Tickets

Category: ASSESSMENTS

Sub-category: Classroom Management, Writing, Differentiation

Here are eighteen ideas for class warm-up and exit tickets:

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Categories: Classroom management, Tech tips, Writing | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

33 Digital Exit Tickets That Fit Most Subjects

exit ticketsExit tickets (or exit slips) are a time-proven method of checking understanding in the classroom. Often, this means students write down (with pen and paper) a two-three sentence take-away summary of the day’s lesson and turn it in prior to exiting the class. It’s easily understand, requires little preparation, and is done in minutes.

Robert Marzano, classroom researcher and education author, shares four uses for exit slips. Students:

  1. rate their current understanding of new learning
  2. analyze and reflect on their efforts around the learning

….and teachers:

  1. gain feedback on an instructional strategy
  2. gain feedback about the materials and teaching

Technology provides a great opportunity to update this popular activity so it can be collaborative, shared, and published for the benefit of all. A few weeks ago, I published a Google Spreadsheet as a collaborative way for all of us to share our Exit Ticket suggestions. Here are 28 ideas from readers. I love the variety:

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Categories: Classroom management, Teacher resources | Tags: , | Leave a comment

3 Free/Freemium Tools for Rubrics

Rubrics are a well-accepted, even transformative tool for assessing student knowledge over a breadth of criteria. Their deep granular detail enables students to quickly understand what is expected of them, teachers to receive critical feedback on student learning, and both sides to benefit from an agile yet objective tool for measuring workflow competency.

But they are not without their problems. The pre-online versions weren’t dynamic or flexible, couldn’t be re-used, and few teachers had the time or energy to build these summative, purpose-built assessments. That changed with online rubrics. These webtools offer standard topical text that can be quickly personalized, saved for re-use in the future, and easily updated year-to-year to reflect changes in the curriculum and desired learning outcomes.

There are many online rubric creators, each with a little different twist on the norm. Here are three that fill different needs. Decide which works the best for you:

rubistarRubistar

Free

Rubistar is the gold standard of online rubric creators. It lets teachers personalize categories and qualifications, save, and then edit for another class. You can use the site rubric templates or modify them to better serve your particular needs. Rubrics can be created in English or Spanish, in ten different subject areas, with ten or more skill categories (this varies depending upon the subject chosen).

Here’s how it works:

  • Set up an account so you can save your rubrics, making them available to be re-used and edited for future needs. This is optional–rubrics can be created without registering.
  • Pick the subject category you wish to create a rubric for.
  • Start with a generic template or from scratch. Alternatively, search by keyword or topic for rubrics other Rubistar members have created and remix those.
  • Pick a grading scale–either numeric or descriptive.
  • Pick a category for each row from the drop-down list and the rubric automatically populates with language defining what the category would look like based on the rating.
  • Edit criteria so it perfectly fits your needs or accept the well-considered defaults.
  • When you’re done, submit.
  • Once the rubric is rendered, you can print, download, or make it available online to your account.

Educational applications

Rubistar is invaluable in creating personalized, quick rubrics that are easily edited for varied needs. For registered users, there’s a vast library of rubrics created by members that can be used. Teachers can also use the rubric to evaluate student performance. For example, if a third of students scored poorly on ‘Diagrams’ in the math rubric, the teacher knows immediately this is an area that requires review.

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Categories: Classroom management, Reviews | Tags: , , | Leave a comment