Rubric All the Things!

Every assignment or activity you assign your students should have a DIRECT AND CLEAR link to an expectation listed in the course curriculum. You may be assessing a student’s ability to meet an overall or specific expectation under each strand. This is the basic requirement for all planning we do.

curriculm 1

This will bring us the to next point in our assessment: assessment by expectation. Our mark-books should have clear connections between a student’s success in individual expectations. A parent should be able to see that a student has difficulty with the skills strand History A1 but can meet the criteria to master expectations associated to B1, B2, C2, D2, etc. Some teachers don’t mark like this. But you should. It’s Ministry Guidelines.

Ideally, according to the Ministry of Education, students do not receive a letter or numerical grade for their tasks. Their achievement is based on their ability to meet a series of normative steps representing the ‘typical’ student. Growing Success identifies the following criteria in each level of achievement. These are then tied (in practice) to percentage equivalents (I have added these).

Levels of Achievement
The achievement chart also identifies four levels of achievement, defined as follows:

Level 1 (50 – 59 %) represents achievement that falls much below the provincial standard. The student demonstrates the specified knowledge and skills with limited effectiveness. Students must work at significantly improving learning in specific areas, as necessary, if they are to be successful in the next grade/course

Level 2(60 – 69 %)represents achievement that approaches the provincial standard. The student demonstrates the specified knowledge and skills with some effectiveness. Students performing at this level need to work on identified learning gaps to ensure future success.

Level 3(70 – 79 %) represents the provincial standard for achievement [emphasis added]. The student demonstrates the specified knowledge and skills with considerable effectiveness. Parents of students achieving at level 3 can be confident that their children will be prepared for work in subsequent grades/courses.

Level 4(80 – 100 %) identifies achievement that surpasses the provincial standard. The student demonstrates  the specified knowledge and skills with a high degree of effectiveness. However, achievement at level 4 does not mean that the student has achieved expectations beyond those specified for the grade/course.

Specific “qualifiers” are used with the descriptors in the achievement chart to describe student performance at each of the four levels of achievement – the qualifier limited is used for level 1; some for level 2; considerable for level 3; and a high degree of or thorough for level 4. Hence, achievement at level 3 in the Thinking category for the criterion “use of planning skills” would be described in the achievement chart as “[The student] uses planning skills with considerable effectiveness”. (p 18)

These levels then form the basis of the ALMIGHTY RUBRIC.

According to Growing Success, students are to be assessed on their mastery of a subject through a series of CATEGORIES OF KNOWLEDGE (KITCA – Knowledge, Inquiry & Thinking, Communication, Application).

The categories, defined by clear criteria, represent four broad areas of knowledge and skills within which the expectations for any given subject/course can be organized.  (pg 17)

Your job, as the teacher, is to plan units, activities, and assessments (over the duration of the course) connecting the curricular expectations to these categories of knowledge.

Steps for a good Rubric:

1) Identify your curricular expectations (you would have used these in planning the activity/assessment

2) Decide on how extensive your rubric must be. I consider the time it will take students to do the assessment and make the rubric a relative size (short = small rubric, massive assignment = giant rubric, etc).

3) Understand what skills you will be assessing. Are you using A strand and one of the B-E strands? These must be reflected in your rubric.

You may want to actually embed the KITCA Category which suit the planned activity [Are your students demonstrating mastery of facts (K/U) or are they applying information to new contexts (Application)].

4) Create your table. Play around with its look to maximise student understanding of expectations and criteria. 

5) The language of your rubric should be student friendly – but contain enough ‘meat’ for you to make consistent decisions and give solid feedback.

GD Rubric C1

Rubric with Overall Expectation focus

Rubric by expectation

Rubric by expectation

Rubric with KITCA category focus (B1, A1 expectations as well as Historical perspective)

The rubric above assesses achievement in both Knowledge/Understanding and Application. The author elected to avoid using written descriptions of the levels of achievement and opted for numbers to simply for the visuals for a grade 10 Applied History student.

KITCA categories (A1) focus

The author of the rubric below used words to describe expectations.

Check out the examples in this document. Rubric Examples

Happy Building!
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Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking allows an individual (or group) to keep favourite websites in a place stored on the web/cloud. This allows for several advantages:

1) Access your favourites/bookmarks from any device, not just one computer or browser

2) ‘Tags’ (or keywords) allow you to associate your favourite sites to the way you might use them and/or identify the type of resource they are. I organize mine by the courses, units and topics.

3) They are searchable by Tag.

4) You can set some social bookmarking sites to ‘automatically Tweet’ your favourite sites, or, when signed into your Twitter account, ‘favourites’ are automatically indexed in your social bookmarking site.

5) Access  or join other ‘groups’ to allow you to benefit from the knowledge of like-minded folk!

Diigo Education Ideas

Delicious.com or Diigo are great places to start.

Check out my Diigo Links on the side bar of this blog.

Diigo has some new pricing options. I paid the $2/$5 ‘social fee’ to allow a for a few more options. I have also applied for a free Educator’s account.

A former PED3183 student created a group for us. Check it out and join. I post there regularly.

What is Social Bookmarking?

REDDIT

But wait! There’s More!

You can always find interesting things on Reddit. The Amazing Internet Hero, CGPGrey explains it below.

Collaborative Tools online

Padlet

This is my new favourite collaborative software.

Richard Byrne did a great little video about how to start using Padlet and why you might use it in class. He talks about using this as an assessment for and assessment as learning.

The program allows people to log on anonymously or through an account. The Wall-owner can include images on the wall – perhaps an opportunity to annotate? You can also print out the contents of the wall for sharing in hard copy.

You can also add images from your computer or using a laptop camera.

Ways you could use this in your classroom

1) Collect information during student inquiry

2) use “layout modification” to force entries to be ranked in order of posting, and use as a debate

3) use as a Graffiti wall or as part of a jigsaw activity

4) Share links and ideas on a topic

5) Ask students to contribute personal connections to a historical theme – example: How is your life at home different in 2013 than when you were 5 years old?

Here are some other ideas by Cynthia Treichler. She even includes a tutorial on her website.

padlet integration

Let’s Play!

hey, PED3183, Let’s share some cool resources we’ve found and play with this resource.

http://padlet.com/wall/historytips – Groups 1 – 4

http://padlet.com/wall/historytips2 – Groups  5 – 8

Today’s Meet

A colleague introduced me to a neat tool called Today’s Meet. It allows students to ask questions, make comments and get clarification from a presentation. The beauty of the site? It doesn’t require someone to log into the site and  the shared  link is memorable. The wall owner can set the duration of time the link is “live” to prevent access to the wall after an activity.

Students can debate with each other using this venue and thus becomes an alternative to Twitter.

The transcript option allows the presenter to save the Room after a discussion. It saves in chronological order and there’s an easy copy & paste function.

The Today’s Meet Blog has some interesting ideas as well.

The website sells itself as a backchannel opportunity.

todays meet

RAFT -Differentiated Instruction

RAFT (Role, Audience, Format and Topic) is a tool for demonstrated the mastery of content. Students are given one or two elements of the RAFT and are encouraged to choose the(ir) best way  in showing their skill and knowledge development.

Students take on a particular Role (teacher, historical figure, leader of community group, inanimate object etc) and use a particular format (report card, song, mixed CD, letter, speach, powerpoint presentation) to convey information to a specific audience (student, newspaper readers, school principal, historical antagonist etc). The topic can be selected by the teacher or the student but the four elements will culminate with the student’s ability to show development.

It is differentiated as it allows students to show mastery in non-conventional forms as well as in the standard ways.

Recently, I had students complete assignments with these RAFTs:

THE GREAT WAR (CHY 4U)

ROLE (option) AUDIENCE (option) FORMAT (option) TOPIC- YOU MUST CHOOSE ONE OF THESE
Woodrow Wilson Members of League of Nations (or non-members) Reddit Forum – Impact of Peace Treaties (be specific)
Georges Clemeanceau Parties at the Versailles Conference Powerpoint urging for the punishment of Germany – Development of the League of Nations
WW1 Nurse Her children Scrapbook about the problems facing the Veterans in her care – Great War Art re: Veterans (poetry, visual art, music)
Czar Nicholas Russian Population Apology letter about the failing to address population’s needs  – Short term consequences of the Russian Revolution
Lenin Russian population Mixed CD/iPod Playlist + letter explaining song selections – treatment of Veterans by home country
Teacher Student test
Veteran 1920s Canadians Painting re: suffering of Veterans

Here’s what one of my students produced.

The Rubric

Every assignment or activity you assign your students should have a DIRECT AND CLEAR link to an expectation listed in the course curriculum. You may be assessing a student’s ability to meet an overall or specific expectation under each strand. This is the basic requirement for all planning we do.

curriculm 1

This will bring us the to next point in our assessment: assessment by expectation. Our mark-books should have clear connections between a student’s success in individual expectations. A parent should be able to see that a student has difficulty with the skills strand History A1 but can meet the criteria to master expectations associated to B1, B2, C2, D2, etc. Many teachers aren’t doing this yet, but it’s coming.

Ideally, according to the Ministry of Education, students do not receive a letter or numerical grade for their work. Their achievement is based on their ability to meet a series of normative steps representing the ‘typical’ student. Growing Success identifies the following criteria in each level of achievement. These are then tied (in practice) to percentage equivalents (I have added these).

Levels of Achievement
The achievement chart also identifies four levels of achievement, defined as follows:

Level 1 (50 – 59 %) represents achievement that falls much below the provincial standard. The student demonstrates the specified knowledge and skills with limited effectiveness. Students must work at significantly improving learning in specific areas, as necessary, if they are to be successful in the next grade/course

Level 2(60 – 69 %)represents achievement that approaches the provincial standard. The student demonstrates the specified knowledge and skills with some effectiveness. Students performing at this level need to work on identified learning gaps to ensure future success.

Level 3(70 – 79 %) represents the provincial standard for achievement [emphasis added]. The student demonstrates the specified knowledge and skills with considerable effectiveness. Parents of students achieving at level 3 can be confident that their children will be prepared for work in subsequent grades/courses.

Level 4(80 – 100 %) identifies achievement that surpasses the provincial standard. The student demonstrates  the specified knowledge and skills with a high degree of effectiveness. However, achievement at level 4 does not mean that the student has achieved expectations beyond those specified for the grade/course.

Specific “qualifiers” are used with the descriptors in the achievement chart to describe student performance at each of the four levels of achievement – the qualifier limited is used for level 1; some for level 2; considerable for level 3; and a high degree of or thorough for level 4. Hence, achievement at level 3 in the Thinking category for the criterion “use of planning skills” would be described in the achievement chart as “[The student] uses planning skills with considerable effectiveness”. (p 18)

These levels then form the basis of the ALMIGHTY RUBRIC.

According to Growing Success, students are to be assessed on their mastery of a subject through a series of CATEGORIES OF KNOWLEDGE.

The categories, defined by clear criteria, represent four broad areas of knowledge and skills within which the expectations for any given subject/course can be organized.  (pg 17)

Your job, as the teacher, is to plan units, activities and assessments (over the duration of the course) connecting the curricular expectations to these categories of knowledge.  This can be accomplished through the rubric.

Steps for a good Rubric:

1) Identify your curricular expectations (you would have used these in planning the activity/assessment)

2) Select the most appropriate Category (or Categories) of Knowledge which suit the planned activity. Are your students demonstrating mastery of facts (K/U) or are they applying information to new contexts (Application).

3) Decide on how extensive your rubric must be. I consider the time it will take students to do the assessment and make the rubric a relative size (short = small rubric, massive assignment = giant rubric, etc).

That said, even though there may be mulitple stages to the task, perhaps you’re only going to assess the Thinking/Inquiry elements. Even though they used facts (K/U) and are orally presenting the information (Communication), you may be only interested in determining their mastery of the inquiry process or their creative thinking skills (T/I).

4) Create your table with the criteria for success on the left and the levels of achievement across the top.

The rubric above assesses achievement in both Knowledge/Understanding and Application. The author elected to avoid using written descriptions of the levels of achievement and opted for numbers to simply for the visuals for a grade 10 Applied History student.

The author of the rubric below used words to describe expectations.

Check out the examples in this document. Rubric Examples

Happy Building!

Lesson and Unit Planning

All new teachers must find a way which helps them to make sense of the day-to-day activities of teaching. Because I’ve been doing this for 10 years, I am much more comfortable giving myself a theme/concept/stimulus cue and then I can run with the lesson. Here’s what my ‘lesson/unit plans’ might look like. This is a grade 12 university-college level social science course. I like the weekends – they are places for me to write ideas or additions to the lessons.

"What day is it?"

New teachers may needmore direction. Lesson plans are a great way to keep you focused on the goal rather than the nitty-gritty of insignificant details or an over-abundance of information overload.

Lesson plans should have SKILL as well as CONTENT. You need to be aware of what previous knowledge your students have about the subject. We we pitch the lesson far above their ability, the work is useless, if it’s below their skills, boredom sets in. Sometimes one only needs to verbally ‘check in’ to gage students’ abilities.

Good lessons are not teacher-focused. Students should be given activities which guide them between relevant pieces of information and skills. Skills may include theme appropriate literacy activities, numeracy, evaluation of historical significance, map reading, ranking evidence etc.

Here is  link to a google doc for a template for individual class lesson plans. Select ‘make a copy” under the file menu and you can use & manipulate it to your heart’s content.

Think of a unit plan like a large-scale lesson plan. You have similar goals, you must pick out your curricular expectations and you give yourself an overview of all you want to accomplish over the period time allotted. You can use the same curricular expectations for several lessons — this will ensure your students have a mastery of the subject.

Here is an example of Top down Lesson Planning – Planning for Learning template and directions

Remember: in both your lesson plans and your unit plans, focus on the BIG PICTURE. If students can back their arguments and ideas with relevant information that is important to them(and to the course), they are successful. Everything else is just window dressing.

Tops and Tails

Tops and tails encourages students to get up, interact and think about the text they have and the ones they encounter.

Students are provided a portion of a quote on a sheet of paper or cue card. Their job is find the other half of the card. This can be a great icebreaker as students can be required to introduce themselves to people to whom they talk.

Variations:

1) A definition and the term

2) A date (or a decade?) and its significant event

3) Sentences from a text (students find other half and then, as a larger group, try to put the text in the right order and PHYSICALLY stand in this order)

4) Literacy – Have students discuss why certain matches didn’t work together

Example:

History Tops and Tails – quote scramble

How to:

1) create your phrases (Make sure you have enough for all your students!)

2) cut in individual pieces

3) give to students

4) Fun ensues.

Where the Magic Happens

Every day, we ask our students to come into our classrooms and try new things. We ask them to stand in front of their peers and speak, or answer a question on freshly learned topics or throw them into new methods of instruction which are far from the safety of pencil and paper activities. Our classrooms house intimidation!

Magic

I once read about a 30+ year veteran teacher who started a new activity every September. She believed it was a way to remind herself about the challenges of being a student. She reasoned that risk taking is hard and learning something new, although exciting, is really intimidating.

I love the image of a grey-haired woman stepping over the chrome engine of a Harley on her first ride, banging away at a drum lesson or leaping into a jazz dance class. She is risk taking. She giving up control. She is experiencing. She lets her self leave her comfort zone and head “where the magic happens.”

Unfortunately, many teachers forget what it’s like to take risks. We become at ease with the topics we cover (our students always seem so shocked, “how do you know all this?” and the answer is often, “I’ve taught it  a lot”). We make excuses for why we won’t or can’t learn something new.

Teachers can be intimidated by technology. There are so many variables in selecting iPad, interactive whiteboard, web activity, collaboration, Google Apps etc. Then, we have to worry about managing those activities once we’ve created them.

My challenge to you: pick something. If it fails? Try again. Do something differently. You’ll get another crack at it in the future. What is there to lose?

MOST IMPORTANTLY:  Let your students guide you. Let the students who know their way around reddit or tumblr show you how to find .gifs or embed videos. Enjoy being a student. Use the classtime to develop a skill or learn a new web too.