This is Day 27 of 31 of the Slice of a Life Writing Challenge from www.twowritingteachers.wordpress.com.
Last night, I participated in three webinars hosted by CommonCore.io. A team from a website called EdCite presented on the resources found at their site. I would like to highlight some ideas that have resonated with me as I serve up my slice of knowledge from the EdCite Team. As we approach the final quarter of the school year, teachers will find great test prep resources.
First, the EdCite team shared the Depth of Knowledge Circle Chart found here:
They placed boxes around words on the Depth of Knowledge Circle Chart such as the following:
Level One Words (Recall): Define, Name, Recall
Level Two Words (Skill/Concept): Infer, Graph, Predict, Interpret, Distinguish
Level Three Words (Strategic Thinking): Develop a Logical Argument, Cite Evidence
Level Four Words (Extended Thinking): Create, Prove
Whether a teacher is teaching using the Common Core State Standards or not, the Level 3 and 4 Words are powerful. As 21st Century Learners, our students need to be able to take a stand on a topic, justify their reasoning, and cite evidence from applicable sources. They suggested that teachers could make multi-step multiple choice assignments that require students to read a passage from a text then have to answer a Part A and Part B Question. For example, Part A of the question might read, “Circle the sentence that explains what might happen …” then Part B might read, “Circle the sentence from the text that supports your answer in Part A.” This type of rigor built in to students reading lives would help them as they strategically think about text.
Second, EdCite studied types of questions that will appear in Smarter Balanced Assessments based on Common Core State Standards. I took some screen shots of two circle graphs which show the types of questions on English Language Arts and Math tests.
It is interesting to me that in ELA, 64% of the text is Multiple Choice which means that there could be multi-step Part A and Part B-like questions. Now that I am aware of this, I can design reading and writing assignments that ask students to respond in Part A and Part B format. I plan to do more of this as I assign articles from Newsela or DogoNews to my students. I will ask them to defend their position and write blog entries where they will develop a logical argument and cite evidence from the text. Other students will respond to the blogs by giving feedback on how well constructed their argument and how well they cited evidence. Incorporating more opportunities for students to explain their reasoning will be a goal of mine.
Third, I discovered EdCite’s website for the first time and the tremendous resources found there. They have created multiple choice questions about reading passages by making them multi-select (Part A and Part B) or by having students cite evidence throughout the questions that they have placed on their site. Teachers can make assignments for students using the resources at EdCite, send the link to students, or have students join the class by having them sign in with a Class Code. Teachers can find assignments built by other teachers in their library and share their own creations with other teachers. Teachers can customize for their classes by changing assignments easily to fit the needs of their classes by adding, editing or deleting questions that appear from other teachers. See an example from a Fable at their website.
Fourth, they recommended giving students performance tasks that are directed by a specific goal or outcome, require students to use a wide range of skills and knowledge and help students make connections between the content they’re learning and the real world. These performance tasks move students to deeper depths of knowledge on the Depth of Knowledge Circle Chart. In one math example that they gave, they shared two students’ thinking about a math problem and then asked students to decide who was correct and explain their reasoning.
To see an examples of Performance Tasks , visit EdCite and the following places:
The New York City Department of Education has great resources on Performance Tasks found here: http://schools.nyc.gov/academics/commoncorelibrary/tasksunitsstudentwork/default.htm
The Smarter Balanced website also has many performance tasks for every grade.
Fifth, they suggested Inquiry Based Learning and Project-Based Learning that is driven by a guiding question. When teachers start a lesson by posing questions, problems or scenarios, rather than presenting facts, then students construct their own knowledge causing them to be heavily vested in the process of learning. The guiding questions can be answered throughout a project as students dig deeper into Level 3 and 4 Knowledge Levels. They provided a link that has Project Based Learning suggestions: www.bie.org.
I welcome online tools that can help me design assessments such as EdCite and look forward to using it. I hope you will check it out too.