WPS Report

WPS Board Report 2-9-15

Focus on Learning

3rd Grade Smarter Balanced Assessment

3rd grade students are practicing for the Smarter Balanced Assessments in English Language Arts and Math.  They are practicing how to take the assessment on the computer, which is very different than the paper pencil assessments 3rd grade students experienced in prior years.  Students have been learning how to login, navigate the assessment layout, and how to type their responses in the spaces provided.  Over the course of the next few weeks, students will take an interim assessment which will allow us to determine what Washington Learning Standards are mastered and what standards need continued focus for each and every 3rd grade student.   This information will be valuable to teachers as they continue to set student learning goals towards increasing student achievement and student mastery of the standards.

Learning Goals

Each week, each grade level sets student learning goals focused on targeted student learning objectives.  On February 2nd the following goals were set:

3rd Grade: 100% of all 3rd grade students can speak with complete sentences when they participate in group discussions.  SL3.6

2nd Grade:  100% of all 2nd grade students can compare two three-digit numbers based on meanings of the hundreds, tens, and ones, using <,>,= symbols.

1st Grade: 100% of all 1st grade students can write a narrative text, this means: 1. Recount 2 or more events, 2. Some details, 3. Temporal words, 4. Closure. W.1.3

Understanding By Design

Throughout the month of January and into the month of February, each grade level has been released to develop instructional units of study in English Language Arts. To develop the units of study, each grade level was taught how to utilize the Understanding by Design framework (UbD) which offered a planning process and structure to guide curriculum, assessment, and instruction. Its two key ideas are contained in the title: 1) focus on teaching and assessing for understanding and learning transfer, and 2) design curriculum “backward” from those ends. 

The UbD framework is based on seven key tenets:

1. Learning is enhanced when teachers think purposefully about curricular planning. The UbD framework helps this process without offering a rigid process or prescriptive recipe.

 2. The UbD framework helps focus curriculum and teaching on the development and deepening of student understanding and transfer of learning (i.e., the ability to effectively use content knowledge and skill).

3. Understanding is revealed when students autonomously make sense of and transfer their learning through authentic performance. Six facets of understanding—the capacity to explain, interpret, apply, shift perspective, empathize, and self-assess—can serve as indicators of understanding.

4. Effective curriculum is planned backward from long-term, desired results through a three-stage design process (Desired Results, Evidence, and Learning Plan). This process helps avoid the common problems of treating the textbook as the curriculum rather than a resource, and activity-oriented teaching in which no clear priorities and purposes are apparent.

5. Teachers are coaches of understanding, not mere purveyors of content knowledge, skill, or activity. They focus on ensuring that learning happens, not just teaching (and assuming that what was taught was learned); they always aim and check for successful meaning making and transfer by the learner.

6. Regularly reviewing units and curriculum against design standards enhances curricular quality and effectiveness, and provides engaging and professional discussions.

7. The UbD framework reflects a continual improvement approach to student achievement and teacher craft. The results of our designs—student performance—inform needed adjustments in curriculum as well as instruction so that student learning is maximized.

The Understanding by Design framework is guided by the confluence of evidence from two streams—theoretical research in cognitive psychology, and results of student achievement studies.

As a result of the release day to engage in the UbD process, grade levels created formative and summative assessments designed to measure the intended learning.  Each assessment developed is aligned to the curriculum and the instruction provided.


Upcoming Events

Family Math Night, February 10, 2015 @ 5:30 p.m.