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.
Learn the value of having the observer examine the lesson from the student's point of view and seek evidence of seven key learning components:
* A worthwhile lesson
* A learning target
* A performance of understanding
* Look-fors, or success criteria
* Formative feedback
* Student self-assessment
* Effective questioning
Drawing upon their research and extensive work with K-12 teachers and administrators, Moss and Brookhart delve into the learning target theory of action that debuted in Learning Targets: Helping Students Aim for Understanding in Today's Lesson and show you how to develop a schoolwide collaborative culture that enhances the learning of teachers, administrators, coaches, and students. They present detailed examples of how formative walkthroughs work across grade levels and subject areas, and provide useful templates that administrators and coaches can use to get started now.
Grounded in the beliefs that schools improve when educators improve and that the best evidence of improvement comes from what we see students doing to learn in every lesson, every day, Formative Classroom Walkthroughs offers a path to improvement that makes sense and makes a difference.
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 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.
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
* 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.
• 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.