Learning Targets: Helping Students Aim for Understanding in Today's Lesson

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In Learning Targets, Connie M. Moss and Susan M. Brookhart contend that improving student learning and achievement happens in the immediacy of an individual lesson--what they call "today's lesson"--or it doesn't happen at all.

The key to making today's lesson meaningful? Learning targets. Written from students' point of view, a learning target describes a lesson-sized chunk of information and skills that students will come to know deeply. Each lesson's learning target connects to the next lesson's target, enabling students to master a coherent series of challenges that ultimately lead to important curricular standards.

Drawing from the authors' extensive research and professional learning partnerships with classrooms, schools, and school districts, this practical book

* Situates learning targets in a theory of action that students, teachers, principals, and central-office administrators can use to unify their efforts to raise student achievement and create a culture of evidence-based, results-oriented practice.
* Provides strategies for designing learning targets that promote higher-order thinking and foster student goal setting, self-assessment, and self-regulation.
* Explains how to design a strong performance of understanding, an activity that produces evidence of students' progress toward the learning target.
* Shows how to use learning targets to guide summative assessment and grading.

Learning Targets also includes reproducible planning forms, a classroom walk-through guide, a lesson-planning process guide, and guides to teacher and student self-assessment.

What students are actually doing during today's lesson is both the source of and the yardstick for school improvement efforts. By applying the insights in this book to your own work, you can improve your teaching expertise and dramatically empower all students as stakeholders in their own learning.

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Additional Information

Publisher
ASCD
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Published on
Jul 2, 2012
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Pages
220
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ISBN
9781416614807
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / General
Education / Professional Development
Education / Teaching Methods & Materials / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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In her instant, multi-month New York Times bestseller, Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent, but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.” “Inspiration for non-geniuses everywhere” (People).

The daughter of a scientist who frequently noted her lack of “genius,” Angela Duckworth is now a celebrated researcher and professor. It was her early eye-opening stints in teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience that led to her hypothesis about what really drives success: not genius, but a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance.

In Grit, she takes us into the field to visit cadets struggling through their first days at West Point, teachers working in some of the toughest schools, and young finalists in the National Spelling Bee. She also mines fascinating insights from history and shows what can be gleaned from modern experiments in peak performance. Finally, she shares what she’s learned from interviewing dozens of high achievers—from JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon to New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff to Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll.

“Duckworth’s ideas about the cultivation of tenacity have clearly changed some lives for the better” (The New York Times Book Review). Among Grit’s most valuable insights: any effort you make ultimately counts twice toward your goal; grit can be learned, regardless of IQ or circumstances; when it comes to child-rearing, neither a warm embrace nor high standards will work by themselves; how to trigger lifelong interest; the magic of the Hard Thing Rule; and so much more. Winningly personal, insightful, and even life-changing, Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that—not talent or luck—makes all the difference. This is “a fascinating tour of the psychological research on success” (The Wall Street Journal).
Formative assessment is one of the best ways to increase student learning and enhance teacher quality. But effective formative assessment is not part of most classrooms, largely because teachers misunderstand what it is and don't have the necessary skills to implement it.

In this practical guide for school leaders, authors Connie M. Moss and Susan M. Brookhart define formative assessment as an active, continual process in which teachers and students work together--every day, every minute--to gather evidence of learning, always keeping in mind three guiding questions: Where am I going? Where am I now? What strategy or strategies can help me get to where I need to go? Chapters focus on the six elements of formative assessment: (1) sharing learning targets and criteria for success, (2) feedback that feeds forward, (3) student goal setting, (4) student self-assessment, (5) strategic teacher questioning, and (6) engaging students in asking effective questions.

Using specific examples based on their extensive work with teachers, the authors provide


* "Strategic talking points" and "conversation starters" to address common misconceptions about formative assessment;
* Practical classroom strategies to share with teachers;
* Ways to model the elements of formative assessment in conversations with teachers about their professional learning;
* "What if" scenarios and advice for how to deal with them; and
* Questions for reflection to gauge understanding and progress.

As Moss and Brookhart emphasize, the goal is not to "do" formative assessment, but to embrace a major cultural change that moves away from teacher-led instruction to a "partnership of intentional inquiry" between student and teacher, with better teaching and learning as the outcome.

The definitive career guide for grad students, adjuncts, post-docs and anyone else eager to get tenure or turn their Ph.D.  into their ideal job
 
Each year tens of thousands of students will, after years of hard work and enormous amounts of money, earn their Ph.D. And each year only a small percentage of them will land a job that justifies and rewards their investment. For every comfortably tenured professor or well-paid former academic, there are countless underpaid and overworked adjuncts, and many more who simply give up in frustration.
 
Those who do make it share an important asset that separates them from the pack: they have a plan. They understand exactly what they need to do to set themselves up for success.  They know what really moves the needle in academic job searches, how to avoid the all-too-common mistakes that sink so many of their peers, and how to decide when to point their Ph.D. toward other, non-academic options.
 
Karen Kelsky has made it her mission to help readers join the select few who get the most out of their Ph.D. As a former tenured professor and department head who oversaw numerous academic job searches, she knows from experience exactly what gets an academic applicant a job. And as the creator of the popular and widely respected advice site The Professor is In, she has helped countless Ph.D.’s turn themselves into stronger applicants and land their dream careers.
 
Now, for the first time ever, Karen has poured all her best advice into a single handy guide that addresses the most important issues facing any Ph.D., including:
 
-When, where, and what to publish
-Writing a foolproof grant application
-Cultivating references and crafting the perfect CV
-Acing the job talk and campus interview
-Avoiding the adjunct trap
-Making the leap to nonacademic work, when the time is right
 
The Professor Is In addresses all of these issues, and many more.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
What is a rubric? A rubric is a coherent set of criteria for student work that describes levels of performance quality. Sounds simple enough, right? Unfortunately, rubrics are commonly misunderstood and misused.

The good news is that when rubrics are created and used correctly, they are strong tools that support and enhance classroom instruction and student learning. In this comprehensive guide, author Susan M. Brookhart identifies two essential components of effective rubrics: (1) criteria that relate to the learning (not the "tasks") that students are being asked to demonstrate and (2) clear descriptions of performance across a continuum of quality. She outlines the difference between various kinds of rubrics (for example, general versus task-specific, and analytic versus holistic), explains when using each type of rubric is appropriate, and highlights examples from all grade levels and assorted content areas. In addition, Brookhart addresses


* Common misconceptions about rubrics;
* Important differences between rubrics and other assessment tools such as checklists and rating scales, and when such alternatives can be useful; and
* How to use rubrics for formative assessment and grading, including standards-based grading and report card grades.

Intended for educators who are already familiar with rubrics as well as those who are not, this book is a complete resource for writing effective rubrics and for choosing wisely from among the many rubrics that are available on the Internet and from other sources. And it makes the case that rubrics, when used appropriately, can improve outcomes by helping teachers teach and helping students learn.

Educators know it's important to get students to engage in "higher-order thinking." But what does higher-order thinking actually look like? And how can K-12 classroom teachers assess it across the disciplines? Author, consultant, and former classroom teacher Susan M. Brookhart answers these questions and more in this straightforward, practical guide to assessment that can help teachers determine if students are actually displaying the kind of complex thinking that current content standards emphasize.

Brookhart begins by laying out principles for assessment in general and for assessment of higher-order thinking in particular. She then defines and describes aspects of higher-order thinking according to the categories established in leading taxonomies, giving specific guidance on how to assess students in the following areas:


* Analysis, evaluation, and creation
* Logic and reasoning
* Judgment
* Problem solving
* Creativity and creative thinking

Examples drawn from the National Assessment of Educational Progress and from actual classroom teachers include multiple-choice items, constructed-response (essay) items, and performance assessment tasks. Readers will learn how to use formative assessment to improve student work and then use summative assessment for grading or scoring.

Aimed at elementary, middle, and high school teachers in all subject areas, How to Assess Higher-Order Thinking Skills in Your Classroom provides essential background, sound advice, and thoughtful insight into an area of increasing importance for the success of students in the classroom--and in life.

Properly crafted and individually tailored feedback on student work boosts student achievement across subjects and grades. In this updated and expanded second edition of her best-selling book, Susan M. Brookhart offers enhanced guidance and three lenses for considering the effectiveness of feedback: (1) does it conform to the research, (2) does it offer an episode of learning for the student and teacher, and (3) does the student use the feedback to extend learning?  In this comprehensive guide for teachers at all levels, you will find information on every aspect of feedback, including

• Strategies to uplift and encourage students to persevere in their work.
• How to formulate and deliver feedback that both assesses learning and extends instruction.
• When and how to use oral, written, and visual as well as individual, group, or whole-class feedback.
• A concise and updated overview of the research findings on feedback and how they apply to today's classrooms.

In addition, the book is replete with examples of good and bad feedback as well as rubrics that you can use to construct feedback tailored to different learners, including successful students, struggling students, and English language learners.

The vast majority of students will respond positively to feedback that shows you care about them and their learning. Whether you teach young students or teens, this book is an invaluable resource for guaranteeing that the feedback you give students is engaging, informative, and, above all, effective.

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