Core Task implementation Project Session 4, Grades 3-5

The 4th session of CTiP for Grades 3rd through 5th focused on syntax and a look at the Language Standards. The session was like the other January sessions but with a closer look at assessment items similar to those students will see on SBAC. Likewise, teachers reviewed a reading protocol and discussed if it would help students transfer literary dispositions to the new test.

PowerPoint for 3-5 can be found here

K-2/3 PowerPoint has been Updated

Teacher Reflection Form (new)

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ELA Mini Assessments

This is a belated post on the Mini Assessments (MA) we used in Session 3 or the Core Task implementation Project. The MA’s can be used to formatively gauge student growth on important literary dispositions including working with academic vocabulary; speaking, reading and writing using evidence; and attending to what a text says, how an author says it, and what it means. The MA’s were developed by Student Achievement Partners to “illustrate the shifts of the Common Core.”

3rd Grade Cactus Jam MA

3rd Grade Because of Winn Dixie MA

4th Grade Archaeology Paired Text MA

4th Grade Walk Two Moons MA

5th Grade Bubblology MA

5th Grade Marco Polo Paired Text MA

You can find more Mini Assessments here.

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Shanahan on Test Preparation—What not to do

In a presentation titled, “What Not to do to Prepare for the Assessments,”Common Core Work Team Member Dr. Timothy Shanahan share some provocative insights into PARCC and SBAC. Among these is his claim that test preparation likely does not work. This assertion begins at minute 12:00 and continues with his contention that practicing question types (e.g. taking practice tests) has no effect on student achievement.

At minute 31:13, Shanahan addresses the focus on test preparation materials from publishers. Again, he shares the evidence that practicing question types, without a strong emphasis on the passage itself, does not boost scores.

So what does work? Jump to minute 36:39 to hear his answer. Not surprisingly, the explanation involves having students practicing reading with rich texts. This is consistent with what’s been shared by the authors of the Common Core and even one of its detractors. Shanahan is specific in also noting that you have to build stamina with longer passages (42:50) and that this can only be accomplished if its part of the instructional cycle (47:00)

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Core Task implementation Project, Session 4 Materials

Session 4 of the Core Task implementation Project (CTiP) focused on refining work with the Core Knowledge materials and a renewed effort to build understanding around syntax and the Common Core language standards. Teachers also brought student writing samples, based on implementation of the In Common resource and annotated for evidence that students were making claims, citing evidence, and when appropriate, adding reasoning.

The Core Task implementation Project includes 200 teachers from 21 elementary schools. You can read more about the effort here. You can review the session 4 materials in the links below.

Session 4 PowerPoint

Language Standards Notetaker Kindergarten

Language Standards Notetaker First

Language Standards Notetaker Second

Language Standards Notetaker Third

Language Standards Notetaker Fourth

Language Standards Notetaker Fifth

Teacher Reflection Updated (January, 2015)

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Session 4 Materials for DC CTP

The fourth session of the DC Core Task Project focused on strategies to allow all students to engage in the work of the lesson—the focus of Core Action 3 within the Instructional Practice Guides. Educators engaged in professional learning taken from a webinar by Dr. P. David Pearson, worked with the instructional move Keep It or Junk It, and practiced using the Instructional Practice Guides. You can review all of the session materials in the links below.

DC CTP Session 4 PowerPoint

Keep It or Junk It, Participants

Keep It or Junk It, Teacher Key

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Dr. Catherine Snow’s Video Presentation on Vocabulary and Content Knowledge

In a video linked here (start at minute 38:46) Harvard Professor and Validation Team Member of the Common Core State Standards Dr. Catherine Snow makes the case that the vocabulary deficit that plagues highly impacted students is as much a content knowledge deficit. She goes on to assert that systems need to be strategic in remediating the issue by providing students access to a content rich curriculum (minute 39:59).

At minute 48:31 Dr. Snow describes the type of curricular supports teachers need to assist children with vocabulary acquisition. She is specific in noting that curriculum should be seen as a support instead of a constraint and that when curriculum is well designed, time is available to extend learning.

You can review the entire video here.

snow 1 Snow 2

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A Closer Look at Text Complexity and Using Rich Nonfiction

The Melton Elementary staff reviewed evidence describing why all students should be working with complex texts and rich nonfiction. This included looking at the MetaMetrics study on Lexiles and Dr. Tim Shanahan’s review of the ACT study, “Reading Between the Lines.” This was followed by an overview of Core Knowledge and how it connects to the aforementioned. You can see what was shared by downloading the PowerPoint (here) and clicking through some of the hyperlinks.

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