Standards Based Assessment and Reporting
DCSD TEach MagaZINE
Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment Director Update
Welcome to Teach Magazine! This year, we will continue to focus on the four pillars of the Teaching and Learning Plan. The goal of this magazine is to showcase research and our teacher practice into a fun and easy-to-read magazine. This publication is for DCSD teachers by DCSD teachers. Would you like to read previous issues? Click here.
Is there something you'd like us to highlight? We want your ideas, quotes, pictures, resources or any other items Please send all submissions for the next issue to email@example.com.
Congratulations you made it to the end of the 2019 school year! The 2018-2019 school year has been the year of Polar Vortex 2019, the big flood of 2019 and also the year we will most likely never forget as having unforeseeable challenges and hardships. When a school year like this comes to the end we can’t forget to remember all of the other noble accomplishments that were made. Because of educators like you, more children are leaving school reading fluently, more students are graduating and pursuing post-secondary success, more students are able to use critical thinking skills and collaboration skills and more students know that someone believes in them. As the year ends don’t lose sight of the impact you have made in the life of one or more students. You are heroes who have worked to make an impact in the lives of students.
I want to take a moment to give a shameless shoutout to the many educators who have influenced me as a student and an educator, those individuals are: Kirk Scott-Craig, Rhonda Mitchell, Paul Flynn, Stacey Houk, Karen Kline-Jerome, Jodi Smiley, Pam Hobart, Dan Hafner, Karen Tallman, Sheri Simpson-Schultz, Claire Weise. Not mentioned in this short list are the countless other professional educators who work or worked tirelessly to inspire, influence and support students to see the potential that is inside of themselves. Often times these students have no one else in their lives who can do that for them. Or they simply do not see it in themselves yet.
I want to tell you a story about two of the educators mentioned above who inspired me when I was a student and did not yet see my own potential. As a senior at West High School, I faced my own self-inflicted challenges. I had the ability but not the will to be successful yet Stacey Houk, my art teacher, always made me feel special. She did this by taking time every day to talk one on one with me. She encouraged me and gave me hope that there was something better out there for me. Stacey is retiring this year and she leaves the field of education making so many humans better because she was an advocate of their success. The other educator was Paul Flynn, Paul’s approach was quite different than Stacey, he had the good ole’ tough love approach. I will never forget the time he called me into the gym to give me a stern “talking to” I believe the words “don’t be a knucklehead” were used. While some of his words I don’t remember what I do remember is he took time to talk with me because he sincerely cared. He left an impact because he knew I needed those words of encouragement.
So when the weather is awful, the turmoil of state and local issues get in the way of seeing the difference, know that YOU made an impact. In these dwindling days till the end reflect on the one or many students who are better off because you were in their lives this year. The professional career of education is tough, it isn’t for the faint of heart but it is so incredibly important. Thank you for your work on behalf of our Davenport Community School district students and families. Cheers to a wonderful relaxing summer.
A message was placed on Parent Portal asking for stories celebrating the work teachers do daily. These are some of the responses. You can read more here.
Voices from our Parents and Students
By Jabari Woods
Brandon Yoder, with the support of Matt Hassig, helped develop a Health Science program at West High. Brandon spent the time to get trained in Project Lead the Way so he could teach Principles of Biomedical Sciences and Medical Interventions. In these classes, students get the opportunity to take on the role of the various biomedical careers. For example, in Biomedical Science students analyzed blood splatters to determine the height a person may have fallen. In Medical Interventions, they explore the field of oncology through genetic tests. Since the program provided opportunities for students to explore careers in a hands-on way, it has continued to grow.
Click the video the above to hear more about the Medical Health Program and Brandon's role in creating it.
So often, we ask students to do what we don’t do. Twenty-two of our art teachers did exactly what they ask their students to do on a daily basis, create a piece of art and write an artist statement about the piece. Once they did this work, they presented their work in a show titled, “CREATE- A Celebration of Davenport Community Art Teachers” hosted by MidCoast Fine Arts. This process allowed the teachers to grow as artists and teachers. Below are what two of the teachers learned in the process.
Michele O'Brien, North Art Teacher
I enjoyed the experience of creating my artwork and having it in a show! This was the first time that I have ever had a piece of my art in an exhibit. At first, I was skeptical that my work was good enough to display alongside other art teachers, as I had always considered myself a teacher more than an artist. After my teaching colleagues convinced me that I should take a risk, I decided that if I am trying to get my students to take similar risks, I should be doing it also. It was a great help to have my colleagues available to critique and collaborate. They were very positive and shared ideas and suggestions to make my piece much better than if I would not have utilized them. I feel that I would have become frustrated and not finished the artwork.
This experience has positively impacted my teaching! I was able to feel, what I am sure most of our students experience not only in art but in many other classroom situations. I will use this experience to have more empathy and understanding and to help my students sort through their feelings through the creative experience. I will share my personal experiences with them, so they know that their feelings are a human feeling, not teen angst. Because of these feelings, we can discuss our similar experiences and problem solve ways to support each other and work through any frustration or desire to give up. I hope that by sharing my experiences with my students they can build their confidence and know that they are not alone in their feelings and be more comfortable speaking about it and asking for support through their creative process.
Brian White, Smart Art Teacher
As teachers, we should practice what we preach. Having this show allowed me to do just that. While creating my artist statement, I was reminded of how hard writing can be. As a visual artist I am used to creating with my hands, not so much my words. Just sitting down and writing is not my thing, and English was not my best subject in school. This experience has made me rethink how to approach the manner in which I have my students complete the writing of their artist statements in class. Does it necessarily have to be written at the end of the project? Does it have to be written all at once? Does it have to be written or can they vocalize it? These are all options that I am thinking of changing in how we approach this in the classroom. You can read his artist statement here.
Freedom to Be Equitable
One of Fredrick Douglass’ most famous quotes starts with the word freedom.
“Freedom is the road seldom traveled by the multitude” was embroidered on the back of my college Black Student Union t-shirt. Although the author who coined this quote did so under extraordinary circumstances, it still rings true today.
As a famous abolitionist, Fredrick’s deepest desire was to abolish slavery. As educators, one of our deepest desires is to abolish barriers that have hindered all students but more specifically impeded students of color from succeeding. The mantle of history has been placed on the shoulders of each generation anointing them to pick up a worthy cause. Something they genuinely believe in and forge ahead with the courage to see their dreams come true. I must ask the question, could there be a worthier cause than our children? I would like to encourage you to look for ways to break down these barriers. The Pre-Brown vs. Board of Education teachers have some practices that can help us to reach this goal. You can read more about them here.
Now, more than ever, we must evaluate our mindset, our purpose, and heart. The effort and energy it is going to take to truly customize each student's educational experience will test our patience and challenge us to overcome our fears of failing. As we turn the page on last year’s disappointments, we must move forward with laser focus and a commitment to forging stronger alliances with our co-workers and parents by inspiring one another to make real, sustainable change in our classrooms, buildings, and departments. To delve deeper into even one of these areas can spark change. Beverly Daniel Tatum gives us some actionable steps to make changes in our schools here. It is a great place to start.
This is our opportunity to pave a new road of equity for our district, students, and the overall community. Let’s make a collective decision today to seize our freedom to be equitable.
Teacher Helps create Opportunities for Students
ART: Practicing What they Preach
Did I ask for student feedback in regards to the classroom procedures?
Can I change the procedure or strategy to make it more exciting or successful?
Where in the process did students have problems?
Did I provide meaningful discussions and interactions that lead to a better understanding of content? How many culturally linguistically responsive strategies did I try?
Did students come up with rules that they feel will contribute to successful classroom relationships?
Was classroom seating in my class conducive to collaborative learning?
Did I have students effectively self-evaluate at a natural time daily/weekly their actions to ensure and support their reflection and learning of behavior?
Did I find a connection between student behavior and the outcomes? Did I sit with them and establish an environment that supports them with their input?
Did you introduce the system to students and teach (not tell) procedures, classroom routines, disciplinary interventions, and good student-teacher relationships?
While it can be challenging to find the time to reflect on your classroom management, it’s an Iowa teaching standard (ITS 6: Demonstrates Competence in Classroom Management) and a crucial component of PBIS implementation. This is a continuous process, and reflecting and evaluating your performance at the end of every year helps you identify what worked well and determine areas that need refinement. This ensures that the proactive procedures you have in place, as well as your strategies for implementing a safe and supportive environment, get better with every school year.
Classroom management is an essential component in any educational setting. This is because meaningful learning takes place when students are in a safe environment (Kauffman et al., 2006).
A combination of a good classroom setting, effective preventive measures for behavior problems, and implementation of engaging instruction as well as actively involving all students in learning activities are foundational to student success. As we come to the end of this year, here are five steps to help you reflect on classroom management implementation
Step 1: Celebrate! First, pat yourself on the back for making it through another year or your very first. Endowing your student’s behavior choices and responsibility involves an element of calm and a significant amount of time and energy. Take a moment to let your day after day ability to support students be a celebration.
This time of celebration isn't the time to agonize over difficult aspects that were hard to work through. Use this reflection time to enjoy what went well and capture it as to reflect.
Step 2: Take time to reflect and evaluate individually. First and foremost, you need to ask if what you implemented was successful in regards to student behavior in the learning environment.
Take the time to do an end of year reflection and evaluate your classroom management using the End of year self-assessment form. If you reflect and have most of these implemented give yourself a hand. If any are missing, consider the next steps. Consider asking yourself the following questions:
Classroom Management: Time to Celebrate, Reflect, and Evaluate
By Sarah Harris
Step 3: Solicit Student Feedback. Take time after teaching behavioral lessons to ask students for feedback about the learning objective. Take time to create exit tickets or quick self-evaluations to check for understanding. You could start with a simple show of hands: “Should I do this again next year?”
Ask your students to describe changes they think you should make in the classroom to make it even better for next year's class. Encourage student voice and let them provide specific feedback on the elements of the classroom that they felt were helpful or a hindrance to success. If problems were mentioned, ask for solutions. This is an excellent opportunity to help ensure their voice matters in delivering effective instruction.
Step 4: Be willing to make changes. Look through your reflections and student feedback. Once you have reviewed all of the potential items for improvement, list the four things you feel will be most important to address for next year.
Remember that some things can be challenging to shift, and habits can keep us from expanding our improvements. Capitalize on what you feel will help you implement better strategies for next year and be willing to learn from peers, others, and yourself. You can do it!
Step 5: Start Next Year
Reflection and refinement are essential to successful classroom management implementation. It may be difficult at first, but both you and your students will reap the rewards of this hard work. Classroom management is the key to a conducive, safe learning environment where students feel safe and get actively involved in learning activities. Begin next year by creating an all-inclusive learning environment that ensures successful teaching, acknowledging, and reinforcing expected classroom behavior. Remember, the vital part of classroom management is creating a favorable report with the students, setting high expectations for them, and providing engagement opportunities.
Last, enjoy the journey! It is not a destination, so always be willing to reflect, assess, and start fresh!
The teacher asks a question or provides a prompt for students to respond to in writing. The teacher explains that students will be sharing their answers with several classmates. The teacher asks students to stand with their papers or answers in hand. The teacher turns on music. When the music starts, the students begin to move or dance around the room. When the music stops, students either sit down in a seat or stop and turn to the person closest to them to share. The teacher gives students about 30 seconds and then resumes the music and repeats the process until students have had an opportunity to share with 3-4 different people.
Validates and Affirms: Musicality; Sociocentrism
Builds and Bridges: Teaches collaboration and listening to a partner
Implementing Musical Shares in Your Classroom (video)
Standards & Objectives
Presenting Instructional Content
Lesson Structure & Pacing
Activities & Materials
TEacher Content Knowledge
Teacher Knowledge of Students
This indicator helps to create a positive classroom climate. A respectful culture allows students to feel safe and take risks while learning. We must be aware that respect can look different depending on a person's culture. One way teachers can help create a common understanding is to develop collaborative expectations with the class and model them daily.
Want More Ideas??
DCSD Instructional Toolbox: All of the CLR featured in the TEACH magazine can be found here.
Corey Kitzmann, Smart Teacher: In this video, Corey and his co-teacher clearly communicate the expectation that all students are working together to master the standard. Click here to see the video.
Bree Johannsen, McKinley Teacher: In this video, two of Bree's students discuss and evaluate sample essays using the rubric. The students exhibit respect for each other. Click here to see the video.
Sarah Ebener, Central Teacher: In this video, Sarah moves throughout the classroom, as small groups discuss the prompt, to seek the opinion of her students. She encourages students to share their answer with the class. Click here to see the video.
Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching And Learning Strategies
NIET Rubric Language:
Featured Videos from the Teach Website:
Teacher and student interactions demonstrate caring and respect for one another.
Students exhibit caring and respect for one another.
Teacher seeks out and is receptive to the interests and opinions of all students.
Positive relationships and interdependence characterize the classroom.
Thinking on your Feet
The teacher prepares a list of questions that have two potential answers or choices. Students then stand. The teacher asks a question and tells students the two answer choices. If students choose the first answer. they move to one side of the room. If they choose the second answer, they move to the opposite side of the room. Once they are on either side of the room, they each share with a partner standing near them 1-2 reasons for their choices. Next, the teacher selects 2-3 students from each side to share their thinking and reasoning with the whole class. The process is repeated until all questions have been asked.
Validates and Affirms: Communalism; Sociocentrism
Builds and Bridges: Reviews concepts learned in class, and providing reasons for choices
Variation: Take a Stand Students share their level of agreement with a statement on an imaginary line.
Teaching videos at teach.davenportschools.org are protected since they feature student faces and voices. They are accessible only to DCSD Google accounts.
I presented two sessions for fellow art educators titled: Animated GIFs and Visual Data & Infographics. The theme was “Iowa: Site Specific” and explored ways in which art educators from Iowa mold their visual arts curriculum and programing to the unique community in which they teach. We listened to a panel of four keynote speakers and attended a myriad of sessions. A speaker from Youth Art Team shared how she uses arts to find evidence of hope and build confidence in students through the artistic processes. Heidi and I attended a workshop led by contemporary artist, Aurora Robinson. Next year, our CAA students will design 3 large repurposed wall sculptures inspired by the techniques we learned in this session. We recently received an educational grant from the Waste Commission of Scott County to purchase needed materials.
This learning opportunity connects us to educators from all over our state and keeps us fresh with relevant practices specific to the arts education field and the newly state adopted fine arts standards.
The National Science Teacher’s Association Meeting in St. Louis this year focused on four main strands of learning: 1. The Confluence of Equity and Education, 2. Jazzing up Science with Cross-Curricular Connections, 3. Phenomena: Gateway to Learning, and 4. Three-Dimensional Grand Slams. Underlying all of the strands of learning was how different districts and educational agencies are implementing Standards Based Grading and Reporting inside of their own schools. I attended several sessions on the different ways that different places are going about SBAR, as well as some sessions with the resources that are out there from government resources, including NASA, the DoE, and NOAA. A new VR experience that I learned about was NASA’s Infiniscope is found at: https://infiniscope.org/ .
District Teacher Quality
Going to the National Conference for the Organization of American Kodály Educators is always the best PD I get all year. I loved going to sessions about multicultural songs and games that can be used to teach musical concepts in the elementary music classroom. And I loved going to sessions about differentiating for entire schools, something that few educators have to do. This year, OAKE released K-5 benchmarks for the music room. It's a wonderful resource for all music teachers, and they will be expanding it to include ensemble tracks in the future!
What: National Science Teacher's Association
Who: Jesicca Hughes and Alene Vandermyde
The district teacher quality funding allowed our team to attend this valuable training which increased our knowledge and skill level with the 95% Group materials to support our MTSS model. 10 Success Factors for Literacy Intervention by Dr. Susan Hall is a guide for ensuring our school is implementing MTSS effectively.
The focus of the seminar was on planning intervention instruction for students by pinpointing their skill deficits using the products. Day 1 was an introduction and review of the Phonological Awareness Screener for Intervention (PASI), Phonological Awareness Lessons, and the Teaching Blending Lessons. Day 2’s focus was on the Phonics Screener for Intervention (PSI), Phonics Chip Kit, and the Phonics Lesson Library (PLL). This two-day training increased our knowledge and improved our teaching practices using the 95% curriculum.
What: Art Educators of Iowa Fall Conference
Who: Heidi Hernandez and Colleen McCarty-Tomlinson
What: Iowa Technology Conference
Who: Jerry Serrano
What: National Conference for the Organization of Kodály Educators
Who: Jacob Barker
What: 95% Group Regional Training
Who: Kim Rollinger, Fran Vaughan, Wendi Votroubek, Debbie Weindruch
Inspired and want to learn more? Click here to read about how to apply for district TQ.
I presented with my wife on game based learning and gamification. My part of the presentation was on game based learning as I do a lot of interactive games to help students better understand history. My experience at the Iowa Technology Conference has also paved the way for me to present again, this time at ISTE in Philadelphia. My goal is to try to bring something back to education that has been lacking for a very long time…FUN!!! Anyway, we want people to be lifelong learners, and I try to set my sights on indulging others to achieve a love of learning.
Teachers throughout the district have taken advantage of District Teacher Quality money by applying for unique learning opportunities. Below are some of the teacher's story about what they learned.
Superheroes and Growth Mindset
training and networking
Davenport North student Lacey Wendl helped Mic Seifert to create this focal point in the gym to promote the characteristics of a superhero.
DCSD EdTech Boot Camp EdTe
Dates: August 13th-16th, Location: Mississippi Bend AEA. Times: 8:00-11:45 or 12:15-4:00 (pick ONE)
What: A week of awesome technology integration training on a huge variety of topics for all different experience levels, interests, content areas, and grade levels. All sessions are led by DCSD teachers and a few other guest colleagues.
This year, we will again offer beginner and advanced options in both the morning and afternoon sessions. You may select whichever works for your schedule and be assured that there will be training perfect for you!
Registration: You MUST register in order to attend. You may select audit, relicensure, or graduate credit options. Click here for more information.
Hurry! This boot camp fills up quickly each year!
Google Training and Certification
This year's Google for Education Level 1 and Level 2 Cohorts are complete!
This year we had over 180 people on board for the cohorts! This means that between this year and last, we have around 300 DCSD educators who have tackled Level 1 and over 50 who have completed Level 2 learning. Wow!
We will continue to plan for another Level 1 and Level 2 cohort next year.
You can find complete information about the cohort on our website.
All DCSD employees are welcome to join the cohort.
Contact your Technology Innovator or your Teacher Librarian next fall if you are interested in participating in next year's cohorts.
Want to network with other DCSD educators about anything at all? Check out our professional learning handle on Twitter: #dcsdpln
How a DCSD teacher could use #dcsdpln:
Stealth mode: It’s okay to “lurk” on Twitter. You can get a lot out of reading what others put out there before you even decide to tweet.
Tweet anytime: Write your own tweet about anything you want to celebrate or discuss, and include the #dcsdpln hashtag. Other #dcsdpln educators will reply!
Your building might also have its own hashtag. Ask around, and tweet away! It allows us to write our own stories of our buildings and our work.
Mic Seifert, the PE teacher at Madison Elementary, has embraced the growth mindset in his own life which began with a great deal of self-reflection. Mic recalls, “During last school year having moments where I felt as though my teaching had become repetitive as if I was just going through the motions. I knew that this year was going to be my 20th year of teaching. I wanted to treat it as though it was a new beginning, almost as if it was my first year of teaching all over again.” He reread one of his favorite books, The Strange Secret of the Big Time, by Frosty Westering. The author discusses how an individual should embrace the things he enjoyed as a kid because they keep him young and happy. As a kid, Mic was really into superheroes and which he still enjoys.
Mic began to brainstorm ideas of ways to incorporate them into physical education in hopes that they would inspire the students as much as they inspired Mic as a kid. Mic shared that “Twitter became an amazing resource for me. There are so many talented PE teachers on Twitter that I was able to follow and we exchanged ideas.” He also purchased the Comic Life app for his mac at home and started creating posters and games for his gymnasium and reached out to comic book stores all over the nation and store owners generously began donating superhero themed items for the gymnasium. Throughout the process, his principal, Steve Mielenhausen supported his growth and inspired him to link to the growth mindset the school was focusing on to his superhero theme. Mic hopes to show his students the importance of embracing these Superhero characteristics both at school and at home.
“In the end, I didn’t want to be the old boring PE teacher doing the same things. I would much rather be the ‘slightly older’ PE teacher looking for inspiration and new ideas to implement into elementary physical education,” said Mic.
Click here to see more of Mic Seifert's superhero resources including a Batman growth mindset poster.
It is the policy of the Davenport Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age (for employment), marital status (for programs), sexual orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status (for programs) in its educational programs and it’s employment practices. There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination. If you have questions or a grievance related to this policy please contact the district’s Equity Coordinator: Jabari Woods, Assoc. Director of HR, Equity & Diversity, 1702 Main Street, Davenport, Iowa 52803; firstname.lastname@example.org or 563-336-7496 or Dr. Erica Goldstone, Director of HR, Equity & Diversity (District Level I & Title 9 Investigator) at email@example.com 563-336-7487.
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