Dear Miss Conceptions,
I am interested in providing choice in assessments for my students. I want to get away from exams, and assessing outcomes âin writingâ, but how am I supposed to make 6 rubrics to go with all of the choice I am giving?
Dear Wannatry Guy,
First of all, I want to say that I am happy that you are getting away from writing tasks in your subject area. Jennifer Katz has always discussed the importance of recognizing that most outcomes donât say, âin writingâ at the end, and that we should be assessing student understanding rather than their ability to write (aside from the language courses). Now that you are reflecting student needs in the assessment choices you offer, your students can show you what they know in a format that makes sense to them.
Big Rocks/Essential Understandings
In order to build a tool that we can use regardless of what product the student chooses to complete, we need to ensure that our measurement criteria are focused on what level of understanding the student demonstrates. The other important point is that we focus our rubric on the âbig rocksâ when selecting our outcomes.
Identify a proficient level of understanding first
Building the language for a proficient level, where we want most of our students, and then identifying what the levels both up and down from that can be the most efficient. A document from the AAC that can be helpful for generating words is found below:
Jennifer Katz has built rubrics for each content-specific area that you may want to look at as exemplars. For example, if the âbig rockâ idea is âAboriginal, French and British peoples had diverse social and economic structuresâ, then the 4 levels of understanding might look as follows:
- Jennifer Katz
Add content-specific measures if required.
If we stick to a rubric that focuses on student progression through the outcomes, we essentially disregard the presentation through the product. In areas where student ability to communicate, or clarity of discussion needs to be assessed, a row can be added to the bottom of the rubric. It may look something like the following:
Or, in a science course, content-specific language use is assessed as follows:
Lastly, remember that a good rubric undergoes many revisions to be a working tool for you and your students. It is always important to ask yourself if the tool you are using to assess your students will help them understand how to improve/increase their learning.Christine Quong
"I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn"
Developing a safe and caring environment ...
Dapp School has developed a program in which all students are assigned a "school family". Family events take place throughout the year with the intent of developing "helping" relationships among family members. Recently family groups met to build "bird houses". The priority was for older students to help the younger students finish their bird houses first! In all approximately 150 "bluebird houses" were built.
Developing activities that suit student
needs and interests ...
Staff at the Hillman Hutterite Colony School have been striving to provide experiences that suit the needs of their students in a variety of ways. Brett Seatter and members of the AISI team developed "Fraction Stations" including daily cooking or construction problem solving activities, two real life fraction experiences for Hutterite children. Using measurement and fraction skills, students are currently building a new "store" for the colony. In addition, students measured and pre-cut all of the pieces for the "bird house" building activity at Dapp School. Make sure to stop by the "store" sometime this spring or summer to admire the student's carpentry skills. Along with produce, you may be able to buy some mittens sewn with care by the young ladies of the colony!
Exploring new technology to see if it
suits our purpose ...
The Tech Department recently purchased an Epson Projector. The projector projects an interactive image onto a wall or table much like the projector we currently use with our SMART Boards with the bonus feature of not needing the SMART Board surface. We see potential for this technology as it will free up precious whiteboard space when the projector is turned off and could be a fun tool for students, particularly younger children who have difficulty reaching a traditional SMART Board. The projector is currently at BES and is scheduled to move to WES next week. If your staff is interested in "playing" with this new tool, please contact the Dave or Alex in the tech department to get in the "queue".
Are you curious about Differentiation of Instructional strategies?
Are there goals in your Professional Growth Plan with regard to technology or differentiation that you need support with?
Would you like AISI Coaches to help you plan an instructional piece for this school year or for one that you can use next school year?
With the recent cut to the AISI Cycle 5 Project and the completion of some of our project work thus far, our AISI Coaching Team would like to take the remaining time this school year to support as many teachers as possible. Now that we are no longer tied to the stringent reporting and research component that was part of this AISI cycle we are able to look at supporting teachers in various ways and at various grade levels.
Our research that we have completed will be compiled and shared at the end of this year however we would like to expand our parameters for what remains of this school year.
If you are interested in working with the AISI coaches on differentiated instructional strategies, assessment, web-based tech tools and/or apps then follow the link to fill out a short form so that we know how to best support you.
The AISI Team
(Wendy Hood, Colleen Toews, Margaret Benham, and Shirley Craig)Shirley Craig
This blog and resources website has been developed through the work of various AISI coaches in PHRD. The lead collaborative teachers for the 2015/2016 school year, Cheryl Frose, Christine Quong and Tammy Tkachuk will continue to update this site. If you have resources you would like to share or would like to contribute to the blog, please contact us.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Canada License.