When you think about it, our education systems are incredible things. Consider it: we place groups of our most important citizens (children and youth) in rooms for hours at a time with adults who truly want to support them and who are charged with developing their potential; showing them not only who they can be, but ensuring they believe in themselves and their ability to get there successfully. Read more
Perhaps your team is working to minimize the percentage of students earning a D or F in your mathematics course or grade level. Upon analyzing the data, it suddenly becomes clear that teachers on the collaborative team are not all calculating the student grades the same way, or even scoring assessments consistently. Suddenly, proficiency and intervention are all in flux until this issue can be resolved. Students proficient in one class would not be identified as such in another and it becomes clear that expectations differ by teacher, even when teaching the same course or grade level. Read more
There are four questions that drive the conversations of members of collaborative planning teams have as part of their Professional Learning Communities. These questions are (DuFour, DuFour, Eaker, & Many, 2010):
- What is it we want our students to learn?
- How will we know if each student has learned it?
- How will we respond when some students do not learn it?
- How can we extend and enrich the learning for students who have demonstrated proficiency? (p. 119)
For the past several decades, schools have focused on these questions to impact students’ learning. Well, really, teams have more likely focused on the first three questions. Read more
The first half of the school year has drawn to a close. Which students have learned the mathematics standards your team has taught and assessed? Which students have not yet learned those standards? Read more
I recently received a question from a teacher who was concerned that her colleagues, who were opposed to changes in grading systems, insisted that in the real world, it was essential to get things right the first time. Therefore, her colleagues claimed, the average, along with draconian punishments for failures, were appropriate grading policies.