Cassandra Erkens

Cassandra Erkens is the author of eight books with more currently in progress, as well as chapters in several anthologies. Additionally, she is a facilitator, a trainer of trainers, an educator, and a coach. Her work focuses on educational topics, including assessment, instruction, leadership, school improvement, and professional learning communities.

As an educator and recognized leader, Cassandra has served as a middle and high school English teacher, a director of staff development at the district level, a regional school improvement facilitator at the state level, a director of staff and organization development in the private sector, a contracted curriculum developer for trainer-of-trainer programs in major education companies, and an adjunct faculty member for multiple universities. Today, she is a lead architect for the Assessment Collaborative at Solution Tree.

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Helping students to become global digital citizens

Growing Tomorrow’s Citizens in Today’s Classroom: Assessing 7 Critical Competencies

Categories: 21st Century Skills, Assessment

[VIDEO]  Based on Growing Tomorrow’s Citizens in Today’s Classrooms

Being able to recall the states and capitals, solve routine problems, identify causes of various wars, or name and describe characters in a novel used to be enough—learning content and developing basic reading, writing, and mathematics skills used to be the end goal. Collaboration, critical thinking, communication, self-regulation, and other critical competencies, or 21st century skills, were often the means by which students learned content deemed necessary. Students would collaborate to analyze a character in a novel, talk about the evidence in the text to support their thinking, and then be assessed on identifying and describing characters from the discussion; this is no longer sufficient. Read more

Empowering teachers makes leaders superheroes.

Powering Teacher Leadership

Categories: PLC, School Improvement

There are many rewards to operating as a Professional Learning Community, but one remarkable feature is found in the need for and value of teacher empowerment as the pathway to school improvement from the classroom level. In PLCs, teacher leadership is paramount to the school’s ultimate success. But what does leadership look like in a collaborative team of equal peers?
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Error Type to Instructional Strategy

Understanding Error Can Support Learning

Categories: Assessment

Assessment is a classroom tool that must be used to build hope and efficacy in learners. It must provide learners with the necessary information that they need to be able to make instructional decisions to support academic gains.

Too often, our assessments are returned to learners with any number of markings on them (total number wrong, percent correct, grades, rubric scores or scale score, standard based achievement levels, stickers or stamps, etc.) that do not help the learner understand exactly what went wrong.

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