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.
Recently, I was given a magnet that says, “Proceed as if success is inevitable,” these words pretty much summarize my mantra when it comes to my passion for education. With current circumstances in Davenport both fiscal and political, it can be easy to get downtrodden. However, that isn’t an option for passionate educators. We must get up every day with intentionality about making a difference in the lives of students and our community because that is the job we have chosen.
I also realize that it can be hard to be intentional with everything you do at work. Webster defines intentionality as the fact of being deliberate or purposeful. It makes sense then how every interaction with a colleague, student or parent may not be completely deliberate and purposeful. Stress can get to you; you may react in the moment in a way you didn’t intend to act. It’s been cited that the average teacher makes 1,500 decisions in a six-hour day. Yowzer that is an incredibly demanding feat. While each one of those decisions is important, think about the five that you want to have complete intentionality with going into the end of the school year. Hopefully, a student’s face comes to mind or a best practice you want to improve. I challenge you to take these five items and write them on a sticky note somewhere that only you can see them. Whether it is student relationships that you want to work on or incorporating more movement and discussion strategies in your lessons to increase student engagement take time to jot them down and next to it write out a plan for attacking each of these with items with purpose, passion, and intentionality.
Here are the five items both professionally and personally that I am going to attack with complete intentionality.
Listening by seeking first to understand.
Appreciating others by taking time out of my day to acknowledge (verbally and in writing) hard work and dedication.
Getting healthy by working out 3 times a week
Compiling resources for strategies and innovations.
Being timely with feedback.
As I look at this list, I believe that focusing on these five actions will have a powerful impact on my work and others around me. Take a moment to jot down your intentionality list and tweet them to #dcsdpln.
Five Great Resources
Understanding the Standards: New to NGSS? This is a great place to start!
Conceptual Shifts in Science Education: Learn more about the conceptual shifts that make NGSS new and different.
NGSS Quality Examples: This provides peer-reviewed examples of lessons and units that meet the cognitive demands of the standard.
NGSS@NSTA Classroom Resources: National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) curates examples of lessons and units that meet the standard.
Bozeman Science: This site includes a variety of resources including graphic organizers for the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs) and Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs) as well as videos explaining each component of each standard.
By Melissa Trimble
How is CLR Implementation going in your classroom?
"Going to the Jumpstart Workshop in November was very beneficial. It was engaging, and I learned so much. I took back to my classroom many of the call and response protocols and they work so well with my class. I also play the game “I got this” with my class during math as well as spelling practice. My students love the game! I am so lucky that I was able to attend that workshop!
-Michelle Zindell, Hayes Elementary
I used the CLR graffiti discussion strategy in a 3rd grade language arts group. We are reading a novel. I proposed a question from the book for students to brainstorm as many reasons they could for the answer. I think the activity went really well. The students were engaged, and the responses were more than I would get if I were just doing a discussion. It also gave students who are not as outspoken a chance to share their ideas without having to vocally share it out. I think it also helped the students see that there were many different reasons to answer the question.
-Lisa Barry, Madison and McKinley Elementary
Want more information about either of these strategies? Please click HERE to go to the DCSD Instructional Toolbox.
Imagine Our Opportunity
How do you hold Learners Accountable for discussion?
Schools across the state of Iowa are in the final stages of full implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and DCSD is no exception. Currently, all K-6 and high school science classes use the NGSS as the basis for the curriculum with grades 7 & 8 coming online in the fall of 2019. With this change, how and what we teach in our science classes has changed. Below are five great resources to help you:
Voices From The Field
Science Standards and Resources
You've asked a question. They turned and talked. Now what? Many times we will just ask a volunteer to share what they talked about. When students are responding to teachers - 80% of the time it should be involuntary by letting the students know the method of responding ahead of time. 20% of the time it should be voluntary responses by the students. The following protocols work best after students have had a chance to discuss the answer with a classmate.
Pick a Stick: Teacher has prepared sticks with each student's name on it. Teacher selects a student from the list. You can also use a projected spinner with student names.
Shout Out: Teacher asks a question and students shout out the answer. This works best when the students know that is the expectation.
Somebody Who: After being asked a question with many answer choices, the teachers says, "Anyone who is wearing green (or another attribute) please stand. "All students who fit the description stand. The teacher has all of the students standing share their answer.
Whip Around: Teacher asks a question that requires a short, one word answer. Beginning on one side of the room, each student takes a turn answering the question, moving quickly.
By Jabari Woods
“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one ."
As educators how often do we dream of better days- days absent of racism, institutional discrimination, biases, and no achievement gap? Perhaps the current climate in our world which is reflected through different corners of our community should be viewed through the lens of opportunity. There is an opportunity for every member of the Davenport Community School District to encourage, challenge, and inspire one another to be the best that we can be in our area of expertise. Imagine if you were given the chance to travel back in time to revisit the reasons why we all chose this profession over so many others. What would you see?
Imagine an educational model, student-centered, welcoming, diverse, and full of integrity. Imagine our district celebrating its strengths as often as we identify our weaknesses, and in turn as a united front, aggressively pursuing solutions to our problems in unity.
Imagine the opportunities we could create for our students, our staff, and our community if we make the decision to stay positive, stay resolute, and stay motivated to bring what we imagine for our district to be a reality.
If you have a deep desire to continue to promote and celebrate diversity and help create solutions to the challenges we currently face in our district and our community, please email Jabari Woods, the Associate Director of HR & Equity, to join the Davenport Community Schools Equity Committee.
By Beth Evans
Are you ready to transform student writing from simplistic answers to fully developed text supported answers?
The R.A.C.E. strategy is well known across education. It is not something new or tied to a specific curriculum or product. The R.A.C.E. strategy can become part of classroom instruction from PreK-Post Secondary. There are other acronyms that focus on the same end goal as R.A.C.E., which is to teach students to develop complete and complex answers to text dependent questions. Constructed response questions are something that students will encounter throughout their educational experiences as well as in their future careers. So are you ready to help students race toward success?
So what does R.A.C.E. stand for?
How do I start to R.A.C.E. in my classroom?
Regardless of the grade level, any classroom can begin to use the R.A.C.E. strategy. Depending on the grade level, this strategy can be used differently. Here are some ways to get started in your classroom.
Introduce the students to the acronym R.A.C.E.
Using grade appropriate language, tell them what each letter stands for and give them examples.
Consider making a grade appropriate anchor chart to remind students throughout the learning process.
Model using the R.A.C.E. strategy to answer a question about a text that was recently read in class.
Provide students with an I DO that could include a Think Aloud of how you would: restate the question, answer the question, cite evidence, and explain or provide examples to support your answer.
Take your time and introduce each piece at an appropriate pace for your students.
Provide practice opportunities (We Do & You Do) for each piece, building and adding pieces on as you pull the strategy together fully.
Provide students with the opportunity to practice using the R.A.C.E. strategy at the oral level to build their experience in responding to questions with this response structure.
At the early grades (PreK-K) the students will spend most of the time working at the oral level, as writing is still a developing skill.
Teaching students to orally respond to constructed response questions using the R.A.C.E. strategy will help as they move toward written responses.
What does R.A.C.E. look like in action?
Wonders’ Close Reading Companion provides a scaffold for students that embeds the R and A from R.A.C.E. It also sets the students up to be able to use the text provided to complete the C and E. Take a look at the Close Reading Companion (CRC) to see how these scaffolds are used.
The Close Reading Companion has the restated question stem already provided for students. This scaffold will need to be removed over time. It is important to think about how we support students in removing this scaffold so they restate/reword the question on their own. The Wonders online training and support resources available in the Professional Development section of your online account, model the use of the CRC, as well as examples of collaborative conversations in the ELA classroom. You also have guidelines available to you in the Wonders Instructional Routines Handbook.
In addition to the resources in Wonders, the internet has many different videos that have been created about what R.A.C.E. means and how to begin using the strategy. To see a few examples that take it to action with students, you can use these links:
PowTune Overview (recommended for grades 4-5)
R.A.C.E. Musical Overview/Review (for use after introducing R.A.C.E.)
R.A.C.E. Rap/HipHop Review Song (for use after introduction)
Are you ready to begin using R.A.C.E.?
The new state assessment is approaching, and the students will be presented with constructed response questions. Here are links to the rubrics for the ISASP (new state assessment) constructed response questions:
Are the students prepared to meet the expectations for this question type? Now is the time to begin, and R.A.C.E. can help. Reading Coaches, Classroom Coaches, and the curriculum team are standing by to support you as you implement the strategy in your classroom.
R.A.C.E. Toward Teaching Students to Answer Constructed Response Questions
R stands for "restate the question." We want students to practice “flipping” the question into part of their answer. This avoids students starting with “because” or “yes” and sets them up to actually answer the question given. Often students who don’t or can’t restate the question are going to provide an incomplete or off-base answer.
A stands for "answer the question." Here is where students give the simple or direct answer. R and A are usually contained in the same sentence.
C stands for "cite the source." This is where students find the supporting evidence in the text for their answer.
E stands for "explain" or "examples." Often, the evidence cited needs further explanation to tie back to the answer. Other times, just giving another example or extending the answer will suffice.
Compassion Fatigue & Self-Care
As we move into the time after Spring Break, we must work especially hard during these first few weeks of school to reteach our expectations and acknowledge positive behavior when we see it. In this way, we know we are laying the foundation for a productive and positive day and setting the tone for the rest of our school year.
Keeping a classroom under control is often the biggest challenge and with the return of our students from a long break or even the weekend we need to remember to refresh and renew the research-based recommendations shared below:
Rules: Teachers need to be explicit about what their expectations are for student behavior in the classroom. Rules are met to be a guide for student behavior.
Routines/Procedures: Procedures tell students how to do certain things and let students know how to act during class activities, such as group work or handing in homework. Teach these skills in your daily lessons and they will soon become routines. They may need an increase in teaching and re-teaching in order for students to remember and follow expectations.
Praise: Positive behavior should be reinforced with praise. Praise itself should be specific and sincere and should focus on congratulating behaviors.
Misbehavior: Re-direct and teach to misbehavior just like academics. Be sure to have a continuum of consequences for noncompliance. It is important that we teach the skill and then apply consistent consequences.
Engagement: High-quality instruction should engage students, and the more engaged the student, the less likely they are to act out. Opportunities for student participation will ensure that students spend more time learning and less time misbehaving. Introduce Culturally Responsive Strategies into your classroom for an incredible shift in engagement.
Social/Emotional/Cultural Sensitivity: Teachers who understand students’ social, emotional, and cultural backgrounds are better classroom managers.
Model and re-teach the expected school behaviors. By doing so, we re-establish and maintain a school culture where students can expect to see prosocial behavior from their peers and from adults. Returning to school from breaks and unplanned absences can be a challenging transition for students. The more we teach expected behaviors and acknowledge students for meeting them, the more preventative we are.
After reviewing all of these strategies with your students consider a tour of the classroom with the students. Go over each area of importance in the classroom and ask them for input. For example, one area might be used for students' bags, another is the place to turn in papers and another is the location of the pencil sharpener. It is important to share all the details of how to handle daily life in the classroom as you welcome them back.
Finally, stay consistent. The key to making a classroom management plan work is to keep it in place daily, and if things seem to be going wrong, back up and go back over the plan with the students. It is OK to tweak the plan and make changes and adjustments as you go, but the overall class school wide expectations and rules should be maintained.
Trauma takes a toll on children, families, schools, and communities. Trauma can also take a toll on school professionals. Any educator who works directly with traumatized children and adolescents is vulnerable to the effects of trauma—referred to as compassion fatigue or secondary traumatic stress— being physically, mentally, or emotionally worn out, or feeling overwhelmed by students’ traumas and subsequent behaviors. Compassion fatigue can also contribute to educator burnout; research says up to 40% of teachers leave the field within five years.
TIPS FOR EDUCATORS:
1. Be aware of the signs.
Increased irritability or impatience with students
Difficulty planning classroom activities and lessons
Feeling numb or detached and lacking empathy
Intense feelings, intrusive thoughts about a student’s trauma
Dreams about students’ traumas
2. Don’t go it alone. Anyone who knows about stories of trauma needs to guard against isolation. While respecting the confidentiality of your students, get support by working in teams, talking to others in your school, and asking for support from administrators or colleagues.
3. Recognize compassion fatigue as an occupational hazard. When an educator approaches students with an open heart and a listening ear, compassion fatigue can develop. Compassion fatigue is not a sign of weakness or incompetence; rather, it is the cost of caring.
4. Make Self-Care a Priority. Guard against your work becoming the only activity that defines who you are! Keep perspective by spending time with children, adolescents and adults who are not experiencing traumatic stress. Remove yourself from chaos whenever possible. Take care of yourself by eating well and exercising, engaging in fun activities, taking brain breaks during the workday, finding time to self-reflect and be mindful and by letting go of trying to control everything.
“Teaching is the one profession that creates all other professions.”~ Unknown. If you really stop to think about it, this quote showcases just how selfless teachers are and how big and important the profession is! With that can come a heavy burden, but by recognizing this and practicing self-care, it’s then more possible for you to stay in the teaching seat and share your gift of caring!
By Sarah Harris
Teachers taking a break during a conference
By Farrah Roberts
End Of the Year: It's Time To Reinforce
Presentation of content always includes:
Visuals that establish the purpose of the lesson, preview the organization of the lesson, and include internal summaries of the lessons;
Examples, illustrations, analogies, and labels for new concepts and ideas;
Modeling by the teacher to demonstrate his or her performance expectations;
Logical sequencing and segmentation;
All essential information; and
No irrelevant, confusing, or nonessential information
Standards & Objectives
Presenting Instructional Content
Lesson Structure & Pacing
Activities & Materials
TEacher Content Knowledge
Teacher Knowledge of Students
NIET Rubric Language:
Megan McDonald, Wood Teacher: In this video, Megan clearly demonstrates how to use the counters to model subtracting integers. The students then work together to solve a series of math problems. Click here to see the video.
Kylie Higgins, Fillmore Teacher: In this video, Kylie provides analogies and examples as new vocabulary words are introduced. Click here to view the video.
When teachers collaborate to create engaging learning experiences, students win. Three TAG teachers did just that; working together they planned a Mock Trial scrimmage. Jamie Pratt, Wood TAG teacher, says, “Mock Trial teaches essential skills such as public speaking, critical thinking, and the art of forming a persuasive, cohesive argument.” Students from Wood and Sudlow/CAA collaborated in teams playing roles of witnesses, attorneys, and timekeepers while students from Central presided over the trials. Chris Heisler, Sudlow/CAA TAG teacher, says, “Working across buildings you just have to communicate differently. We did a lot of communication over email and just trust in your fellow professional that they will do their part.” Gail Henninger, Central TAG teacher, adds, “The relationships that are formed through collaboration create a supportive environment that is beneficial to all. If we want to establish life-long learners, collaboration is a key component in showing that our school, community, nation, and world, solves problems best while working together.” Resources that allowed this collaboration to happen include Great Minds Mini-Grant and Iowa State Bar Association.
Featured Videos from the Teach Website:
A Twist on Think-Pair-Share
Presenting Instructional Content
In our classrooms, we often use a Think-Pair-Share to encourage students to generate ideas or collaborate with each other to make meaning of the learning. Another great tool is One-Three-Six. As individuals, students write a response to the open-ended question or prompt. Students then move into groups of three to discuss their responses. Next two groups of three students creating a group of six. Students discuss their responses and elaborate even further. Each group then shares with the whole class.
Aaron Cousins, West High Teacher has used this strategy with his students as they analyze primary sources, especially political cartoons. You can find his example here. Matt Stroupe, Williams Teacher, describes his use this way, " I used this strategy in a sequence of having students individually answer a prompt related to a learning target, they then chose two other people to work with to share their answers, finally each group of three partnered with another group of 3 to share. Students were asked to continue conversations as long as music was playing, when music stopped conversations were to stop so students could receive instructions. After the group of 6 conversations I numbered each group and used interactive dice on my smart board to randomly select groups to share their answers. Students then returned to seats to move onto the next lesson segment."
TAG Teachers Collaborate to Create a Mock Trial Experience
Teaching videos at teach.davenportschools.org are protected since they feature student faces and voices. They are accessible only to DCSD Google accounts.
This indicator focuses on how the teacher teaches the content. This indicator ties directly to learning from Dr. Marcia Tate that we received this year. Many of the twenty strategies that she presented are listed in this section. For example, the second descriptor lists illustrations, analogies, and examples which are listed in her strategies. Looking at the lesson plan that Dr. Marcia Tate shared, it shows the importance of segmenting a lesson which also ties to this indicator. You can read more about Dr. Marcia Tate's strategies here.
Have you visited Google Classroom lately? It has gone through a make over! Never used Classroom? Consider giving it a try to create your mission control for your classroom:
Assign and collect assignments effortlessly
Give and receive feedback
Measure student progress
Curate your class online resources
Embed video and other dynamic content
Visit Classroom.google.com or check out our getting started guide.
Visit our DCSD EdTech Blog for even more ideas, resources, tutorials, event news, and updates!
technology for DCSD teachers
Pear Deck is an add on for Google Slides to turn your presentation from passive to interactive in a few clicks.
In Pear Deck, each student can engage on their own Chromebooks: Add a text response, visit a website, draw/annotate, drag objects on screen, and more!
Pear Deck is a highly recommended alternative to Smart Notebook and is an awesome way to grab formative assessment data!
Visit PearDeck.com or check out this get started guide!
By Jen Van Fleet
FlipGrid is a safe social learning community where students can amplify their voices through short video responses.
Educators are 100% in control with video moderation, access controls, and much more.
FlipGrid allows students to articulate their thinking and engage with each other, and it allows teachers to quickly gain insights on students' authentic learning.
Visit Flipgrid.com or checkout our get started guide!
How is CLR Implementation going in your classroom?
"I had to challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone. Sometimes to help others feel at ease, I must be uncomfortable. It is not easy, but I am at least beginning to see that I need newer strategies to reach a newer age of students."
-Jonell Armetta, West Teacher
"Actually, it sounds bad after teaching over 30 years to have to learn that students need to move more and talk more. I’ve spent about that long working on keeping them still and quiet. That has been one of the biggest take-aways from this CLR for me. And not just talking to talk, but to actually accomplish a task."
-Amelia Reno, Williams Teacher
Supported by a core group of individuals committed to providing high quality options for technology integration in our classrooms, the DCSD Tech Family puts their stamp of approval on the resources below. Each tool we recommend must meet the following criteria:
Works seamlessly on our existing devices and resources.
Is highly engaging for students and/or is highly useful for teachers.
Improves the delivery and access to curriculum.
Is free or funded outside of the general budget.
Has a short learning curve for busy teachers!
Chronic absences can cause students to fall behind in their school work and impacts whether a student graduates high school. Attendance Works states, "Students are more likely to go to school if they know someone cares when they show up!" Below are three ways to you can help make students know that you care:
Take roll regularly showing students that you care when they are absent
Reach out to frequently absent students to find out in a supportive manner why they are missing school and what would help them attend more regularly.
Create a nurturing and engaging classroom that will encourage children to come to school.
In DCSD, we have AmeriCorps attendance workers support students, staff, and families in our elementary buildings to help raise attendance awareness. Within our MTSS system, our AmeriCorps members support Tier 1 attendance initiatives and incentives as well as Tier 2 and Tier 3 supports for our chronically absent students. Good attendance is a habit that can be promoted by all in our school community. For more resources on how you can support attendance at your building, please look at the Attendance Works Toolkit.
PearDeck, flipgrid, and classroom.
Attendance is a Team Effort
AmeriCorps attendance members and their mentors, Elementary Guidance Counselors meet to discuss how they are currently supporting students to help remove barriers and increase attendance in schools at their quarterly attendance meeting.
Every year the state of Iowa appropriates a set amount of money for teachers' professional growth. This money is designed to improve teacher quality. DCSD divides the money into three different categories of use. Click on each pot to see the use and the next steps.
Iowa Stem Teacher Externships
Greg Smith and Lindsey Gosse discuss the benefits of completing an externship.
The Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment have added some additional resources based on the response to Dr. Marcia Tate. Marissa Heneghan, North Teacher has read a few of the books and implemented her strategies in the classroom. Here's what she said about her experience.
"Dr. Marcia Tate’s presentation transformed the atmosphere of my classroom. Dr. Marcia Tate challenged us to implement two of her characteristics for a more brain-compatible classroom in our classrooms for 21 days. I committed to getting my students talking more about content and to chunking the content sections with activities. I was nervous, but chunking the content and getting students up and talking has breathed new life into the classroom.
If you are interested in checking out these books, please contact Emily Rettler.
Building Teaching and Learning Plan
District TQ Request Form
Ideas for District TQ funds
Literacy and Learning Symposium
Green Classroom Professional certificate
Looking for more ways to connect with industry partners and find the answer to "when will I use this?" The Iowa STEM Teacher Externship provides teachers with the opportunity to work in a local industry which helps the teachers answer the question: When will I use this? This program matches teachers with a host that is based on teacher interests, skills, and business needs. The program places teachers within 30 miles of where you live. Teachers selected for the externship will be paid up to $4,800 and receive one graduate credit.
Who: Grade 7-12 teachers
When: 6 weeks in June and July
Application time line: Now-until April (apply early for best placement options)
Placement: End of April
Apply Today: https://iowastem.gov/externships/apply
Additional Information: Contact Jennifer Boyd
Teacher Quality Update
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 its 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 or 563-336-7487.
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