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Writing a Continuous Standards-Story for Students

Writing a Continuous Standards-Story for Students

Educational reform has taken many forms throughout history. But all reform efforts are based on the premise that improvements made to the educational system will have large returns to society. In particular, in the form of increased well-being and decreases in long-term societal costs. In the 1980s, a marked change took place in the approach … Continue reading Writing a Continuous Standards-Story for Students

9 Informal Assessments to Help You Pinpoint What Your Learners Need

9 Informal Assessments to Help You Pinpoint What Your Learners Need

The great thing about informal assessments is they help us gauge students’ understanding during the learning process instead of after. Informal assessment also changes teachers’ relationship to student learning. Through informal assessment, a teacher becomes a guide throughout the learning process, rather than the judge of the student’s final product. While committing to formative—or informal—assessment … Continue reading 9 Informal Assessments to Help You Pinpoint What Your Learners Need

7 Methods for Measuring Student Growth

7 Methods for Measuring Student Growth

Back in the days of NCLB, schools were given credit for the percent of students achieving the state’s “proficient” level, regardless of how far students progressed to proficiency. However, in the past few years, accountability has expanded the proficient view of achievement by recognizing that some students have much farther to go to reach proficiency, … Continue reading 7 Methods for Measuring Student Growth

Assessing Student Understanding Throughout the Instructional Cycle

Assessing Student Understanding Throughout the Instructional Cycle

In the past few years, there has been a lot of discussion around the amount of time that students spend taking assessments. Educators, politicians and parents are concerned that we are over-testing children in schools. To me, the question that should be asked is not how much time is spent assessing students, but what is … Continue reading Assessing Student Understanding Throughout the Instructional Cycle

Identifying the Problem of Percentile Ranks

Identifying the Problem of Percentile Ranks

In education, we frequently use the “Percentile Rank” score a student receives on tests to report to parents and understand how that student performs. As educators we really like the percentile rank because it seems easy and intuitive to understand. However, this article will present some cautionary concepts when using the percentile rank scores on … Continue reading Identifying the Problem of Percentile Ranks

Measuring Student Learning with Student Growth Percentiles & Student Growth Targets

Measuring Student Learning with Student Growth Percentiles & Student Growth Targets

When it comes to measuring teacher effectiveness, educators often wonder how students are performing in relation to their peers. How do they know which students are achieving higher relative to their academic peers? How do they determine if certain students are progressing at a higher rate relative to other students?   In today’s classroom, it’s … Continue reading Measuring Student Learning with Student Growth Percentiles & Student Growth Targets

Developing a Student Achievement System? Here’s How.

Developing a Student Achievement System? Here’s How.

Many educators talk often about wanting to incorporate an assessment system into their instruction, but aren’t quite sure where to start. When it comes to building a student achievement system, the task could seem daunting: How often to conduct data analysis? How to approach developing standards schedules? How to build quality assessments? These are just … Continue reading Developing a Student Achievement System? Here’s How.

The “Effect Size” in Educational Research: What is it & How to Use it?

The “Effect Size” in Educational Research: What is it & How to Use it?

The research of John Hattie created great interest in 2009 when he published Visible Learning. In the book, he compares the statistical measure of “effect size” to the impact of a variety of influences on students’ achievement such as class size, holidays, feedback, and learning strategies. Hattie’s study was designed as a “meta-meta-study” that collects, compares, … Continue reading The “Effect Size” in Educational Research: What is it & How to Use it?

Setting Up a Data-Driven Culture

Setting Up a Data-Driven Culture

I like to think that using data while teaching is like using a GPS while driving. When you’re using a GPS, you enter the final destination. It’s the place you want to get to. Along the way, the GPS will say things like “Turn left…turn right…exit here,” and based on this new information, you adjust … Continue reading Setting Up a Data-Driven Culture

Building a Blueprint Around Formative Assessment

Building a Blueprint Around Formative Assessment

Imagine being on a sports team that’s competing in the Olympics. You belong to a very select group of individuals who are physically capable of excelling in a sport at the highest level. One day, the coach decides to cancel all scrimmages and qualifying events. Instead, she declares: “The only event that really matters is … Continue reading Building a Blueprint Around Formative Assessment