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Matt Townsley

Iowa review team recommends new science standards | Iowa Department of Education - 1 views

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    "The review team's recommendation proposes modifying the Next Generation Science Standards for Iowa so that only the performance expectations section is used, rather than the entire standards document. Members said the performance expectations are easier to understand, especially for teachers in subject areas other than science, and allow for more local control because they are broader than other parts of the standards document.

    The team's recommendation also proposes modifying the Next Generation Science Standards for Iowa by separating them by grade level for kindergarten through 8th grade and organizing the high school standards into a span of grades."
Matt Townsley

Iowa Core: Iowa Core & Alignment - 1 views

  • In 2010, legislation defined full implementation of the Iowa Core as "accomplished when the school or district is able to provide evidence that an ongoing process is in place to ensure that each and every student is learning the Iowa Core standards for ELA and Mathematics and the Essential Concepts and Skills of Science, Social Studies and 21st Century Skills. 
  • "If district leaders (administrators, teachers, and the school board) and other educators monitor and increase the degree of alignment among the intended, enacted, and assessed curriculum, then the quality of instruction will improve and student learning and performance will increase."  
Matt Townsley

On the CCSS Debate - No Cambridge Lady - 1 views

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    Bridgette's thoughts on common core in Iowa.
Matt Townsley

'Common Core' fears seem overblown | TheGazette - 0 views

  • There are no federal funds tied to the Common Core, so no money is at stake for Iowa.
  • Core also includes requirements to teach such skills as finance and technology literacy.
  • The Iowa Core is similar to the Common Core, with higher standards in some areas. The Iowa
Denise Krefting

Home | Iowa Core Curriculum 21st Century Scenarios - 8 views

  • This scenario database is to be used by educators seeking to find or contributing new ideas to stimulate and offer a variety of Curricula options while infusing 21st century skills within the Iowa Core Curriculum. It is a collaborative project between the AEAs with the goal of providing this database tool as a support for Iowa educators
    • Christine Scott
       
      Denise, as you know the SCEP program has been diligently trying to get Iowa Core and 21st Century infused in all our subjects. A big job, but I have learned so much!
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    21st century skills scenarios from ICC
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    21st century skills scenarios for ICC
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    Great idea for ICC. There is no reason for all teachers to reinvent the wheel for each lesson. Great form of collaboration!
Colleen Olson

Best content in Iowa Core Discussion | Diigo - Groups - 11 views

    • Give students a list of the learning targets they are responsible for mastering, written in student-friendly language.
    • Show students anonymous strong and weak examples of the kind of product or performance they are expected to create and have them use a scoring guide to determine which one is better and why.
    • Administer a nongraded quiz part-way through the learning, to help both teacher and students understand who needs to work on what.
    • Highlight phrases on a scoring guide reflecting specific strengths and areas for improvement and staple it to student work.
    • Have students identify their own strengths and areas for improvement using a scoring guide.
    • Have students keep a list of learning targets for the course and periodically check off the ones they have mastered.
    • Give students feedback and have them use it to set goals.
    • Have students graph or describe their progress on specific learning targets.
    • Ask students to comment on their progress: What changes have they noticed? What is easy that used to be hard? What insights into themselves as learners have they discovered?
    • Julie Collison
       
      I agree that identifying their owns strengths and areas of improvement can be a useful tool
    • Kevin Kleis
       
      Student self assessment is becoming both more important and more difficult in classrooms. It seems as though students sometimes aren't ready to admit their faults or concerns when it may help the teacher conduct formative assessment tasks. Sadly, teachers often rely heavily on that very self-assessment, which may or may not be entirely accurate.
    • Kris Ward
       
      I have actually found that those students who take their education seriously (and there are more than I think) are almost fault finding rather than confidence building. That is when I take the opportunity to build them up and point out their successes.
    • Jenna Stevens
       
      I agree with Kevin's comment that students do not want to admit fault. They are also timid about asking for help. We recently had a student who did not hand in an assignment that was a substantial part of his grade for the term. We asked several times if he wanted/needed help. His response was always no. Finally, after about 3 weeks the teacher made him come into her room during study hall and work on the assignment. He failed to understand one of the key steps and after it was explained, he finished the essay. It was a failure on both our parts. The student should have asked for help, but if we had a better system in place to check for understanding at key points, it would have been less stressful for both parties. We need to consider doing more of these things at my school.
    • Christine Scott
       
      I really like the last question, especially with students I work with. It is most important that the student see their progress, for the sole reason they don't believe anyone. Also, the fact they are to see themselves as learners and what they have discovered. Love it!!!
    • kassi Nelson
       
      I think if students are given their expectations a head of time, you will see progress in their work. Their are special cases where this is untrue, but we all like expectations that are obtainable.
    • Patricia Westin
       
      I agree with Chrisine. Students are quite honest and critical of themselves and it gives them the oportunity to see growth within themselves.
    • Cassandra Savage
       
      I agree that if we let the students know from the beginning what the expectaions for the class are, they can follow their progress in the class and see their improvment. Also, giving a norgraded quiz is also a good idea but I'm wondering if they would do their best knowing it isn't graded at the beginning.
    • Emily Hoffert
       
      'student friendly language' is key... great ideas!
    • Carrie Olson
       
      These are all excellent components to learning and helping students move forward with learning. Could there also be a parent component which would allow for more communication opportunities?
    • Steph Groathouse
       
      I use non-graded quizzes regularly -- the word "quiz" helps them take it seriously -- to assess where students are. I think I will try adding the self assessment of where they are on the learning targets to the end of the quiz. Rather than collecting and going through myself, I will let them assess what they know and what still needs to be worked on. When I collect them, we will both be on track to fill the gaps.
    • sarah block
       
      I like having students identify their own strengths and goals...gives them ownership and accountability.
    • Michelle Holt
       
      I like the idea of "student-friendly" language and for students to look at their own progress would be very helpful. Using rubrics would be similar but adding it into technology would make it more engaging for students plus it would be paperless.
    • Lowell Young
       
      A big part of DuFour (Solution Tree, PLC) is non-graded formative assessment. The claim is that, once a student sees a grade, the learning stops. No matter what amount of feedback you give, all they are concerned about is the grade.
    • Dan Kuchera
       
      As a high school teacher, I have found that students generally don't take seriously non-graded assessment. I do though strongly agree that incremental formative assessment is key to developing desirable levels of skill and understanding. Over the years I've developed two different schemes for addressing the need for incremental formative assessment, while avoiding the barriers that "grades" can impose. For Junior and Senior students, it has been useful for the students to allow them retakes, so they may retake any incremental formative assessment whose score is not what they would like it to be. I take the most recent score for better or worse. If they wish to retake a third, forth, or umpteenth time then they may do so (with the same better or worse consequence). Though this scheme is helpful for them, allowing them to see how the prep work leads to assessment items, and thus focusing their instruction to make them more efficient test-takers, it is somewhat burdensome in paperwork (as every incremental formative assessment has multiple versions -- many tailor-made to suit specific learning preferences). As the Freshmen student class sizes are so much greater and as Freshmen are less mature in the ways of the grades, the aforementioned retake scheme has not proven useful with them. Many Freshman consider that a nongraded assignment is "busy work" and don't give it their best effort. More importantly, the results of such nongraded assignments are considered to be unimportant primarily because the students knew they didn't utilize their best effort. The scheme that has proven to be most successful with them is "risk ratcheting". Students are given prep work which is designed to help them with note-taking skills. the answer to all the prep-work material is reviewed in class with the understanding that if the prep work was done poorly, then it is a sign that your notes need to be fixed (corrected, culled, or added to). The next assessment item is small and each ind
    • Laura Clausen
       
      I agree with Todd here. We have done it both ways and we went to teach another school about PLC's where they would be assigning groups. I do not think they would find as much joy and success that way as DuFour says in his book having a choice is key! 
    • Rick Roberts
       
      Van Meter has given teacher flexibility when doing PLC. Meeting at Early but allowed to leave early of whatever the group works out.
    • Kathy Etringer
       
      Gladbrook-Reinbeck Elem teachers have been having their PLC's on Wednesday mornings before school. Unfortunately, we didn't have much focus or direction. Some of our teachers are going to a training this summer, so hopefully next year will be better.
    • Deb Sykes
       
      In the article, one district had late starts on Mondays. Our district is having teachers meet for 30 minutes once a month. I'd like to hear how other schools are setting up planning time for their PLCs.
    • rick gabel
       
      At Charles CIty we are have late starts on MOnday. Teachers will have 80-85 minutes to work in PLC's that are being 'dictated' this year with the idea that they will 'breakout' next year.
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    • Kimberly Fix Schmidt
       
      Educating using social network is important both for the teachers and the students.  However there is a lot to learn.
    • Kimberly Fix Schmidt
       
      Teaching Paperless sounds like a good idea and I can see it having appeal to quite a few students.  I am wondering though if there are students out there like me that are tactile and if they respond as well to learning by technology which I do not find as engaging as paper and pen.
    • Gwen Wrich
       
      time for PLC is important!
    • vickiroberts
       
      Discussion and ideas contributed by the group members as to activities, use of technoogy and curriculum changes adn modifications are all great to hear from others, especially when I am a 1 person curricular area teacher in our small school
    • Robin Krueger
       
      Charles City has set a late start on Wednesday for PLC. This is are first year and groups were asigned. I think being able to choose you own team would make descussion and topics more useful.
    • Ben Walters
       
      I'm in my first year in a district that uses PLCs for professional development.  I find it to be a great way to share ideas and learn from colleagues from a variety of curricular areas; very worthwhile professional development.
    • Ben Walters
       
      With the research that shows the importance of building student creativity, it is concerning to see so many districts eliminating or de-funding arts programs.  
  • This is an interesting read - ebook is Titles - Becoming a Core Ninja
    • Tina Wahlert
       
      The author uses the word CORE as an acronym - C. - Current, O. - Obtainable, R - Rigorous, E. - Exemplar-based. Interesting. 
    • Tina Wahlert
       
      I agree with using student-friendly language. Many of the standards are even hard for teacher to understand the exact meaning and expectation.
    • Susie Peterson
       
      The author makes a valid argument:  It is great that persuasive writing is being required across the board (all areas) -- take a stance and justify it.  And yes, this will lend authenticity to the students' work, which is what we want anyway.  Good for Common Core and writing and persuasion.
      Susie P
    • Colleen Olson
       
      I commend Jenna in recognizing that a student's failing to complete an assignment was a failure on both parts. I see too many teachers put it all on the student and don't see that they, as educators, as responsibilities too. I hope that student seeks help the next time before it gets so late.
shawna poppen

Blogging About The Web 2.0 Connected Classroom: Twitter In Schools-A Getting Started Guide - 12 views

  • Twitter is beginning to catch on with many educators, schools are
    • Clint Balsar
       
      Thanks for sharing this article. I have used Twitter for some time, but on a personal level. I have a side business as a portrait photographer and have used it to stay connected and for some marketing. I was interested in how the article described the use of Twitter for a school community.
    • Doree Cronan
       
      Great ideas! Our school just launched a Twitter and Facebook account this school year. We are still in the beginning phase and this will help push it!
    • Gwen Wrich
       
      I too liked this...helping my learning curve rise much faster as I develop my PLN using Twitter and Diigo etc..
    • kassi Nelson
       
      This article has really made me think about how I can use Twitter in the Art room... my brain is overflowing with ideas!
    • Matt Winter
       
      I used to be against twitter but now I am starting to see the possible benefits of using twitter for the classroom.
  • Wednesday, June 15, 2011

    Twitter In Schools-A Getting Started Guide

    Listen to this article. Powered by Odiogo.com
    The end of the school year is upon us however many are looking forward to next year. You may be thinking what can you do differently next year? How can you stand out above the crowd? How can your school become a larger part of the school community?

    While
     
    Twitter is beginning to catch on with many educators, schools are lagging in their adoption of the platform. But let's think about it. Twitter is a quick and easy
    • Carrie Olson
       
      I see the increasing interest in the use of twitter, but I am having a difficult time convincing other colleagues to use it. It seems to take fire only when twitter is an 'all in' tool for a staff of teachers. As much as I like twitter and see the usefulness so this as a tool of education, it has a significant amount of growth to do in order to be the mainstream tool within a school.
    • Dan Kuchera
       
      I see a use for Twitter by our school's Administration to push out notifications for: meeting reminders, congratulatory messages, weather related school closings, and sports scores. However, I believe schools and teachers need to be conscious of how much we push out -- having multiple posts a week by each of the seven or eight teachers that a high school student has in a day could be obtrusive. Our system uses PowerSchool and individual teacher websites to post: assignments, scores, and additional course specific information. Parents and students should be able to look up what they need when it is convenient for them as opposed to being messaged when it may not be.
  • along.

    • Lisa Yoder
       
      This link "listen now" isn't working....
    • Lisa Yoder
       
      Oh my! I am not a current Twitter user, so I am not familiar with exactly how it works, but I think I have an idea. This is probably a good examply of the "line" that separates those who are used to this technology and those who are good at technology but at the point of trying to figure out how and when to apply it. WHen I read the "Think First" section, I just kept picturing in my head classes/students/teachers being bombarded and interrupted all day long if they possibly hoped to keep up with Twitter posts. But as I read farther and saw it might be more intended to tweet to the public, I thought "ok", but ...... So, while I'm not turning my reception off to Twitter, I am interested to know how, when and for what purposes Twitter can be used in education. Interesting notion! I look forward to hearing more about its application.
  • ...3 more annotations...
  • While
     
    Twitter is beginning to catch on with many educators, schools are lagging in their adoption of the platform. But let's think about it. Twitter is a quick and easy tool
    • lgarza
       
      web 2.0 connected classroom
    • What do you want to do with this account? What do you hope to accomplish? What do you want to communicate? So, you are going to have a Twitter account. Great! Why? What do you want to tell people? The possibilities here are really endless. But think beyond the basic stuff like picture day and what's for lunch. Consider taking pictures of kids doing collaborative projects or highlighting staff of the month. It can really go beyond all the regular communication and show the community what your school (or district) is all about.
    • Who will be in charge of the account? Will there be just one person who will post or will you have multiple people who post? This is all situation dependent. I would say more than one person is great but too many and things can get out of hand and duplicate information could easily be posted. Keep it simple and experiment to find what works for your group.
    • shawna poppen
       
      Pertaining to the use of Twitter in the classroom and as part of the curriculum, I believe these questions to be paramount. Too often, with technology, especially networking sites we seem to jump in without much thought or planning as to how this will affect us and what kind of effect it will have on our intended users/viewers/public.
    • Cathy Wolf
       
      This is a great introduction to using twitter in the classroom and answers many questions I wouldn't even have thought to ask. It would make using to it more focused.
    • Jenna Stevens
       
      I think using Twitter in the classroom would be a great addition. Our school is planning on going to 1-on-1's next year, making it easier for everyone to access. I agree with the idea of being able to share some of the cool things the kids are doing with the rest of the community. Kid's get a bum wrap sometimes, when in fact they are doing a lot of really great things both in and out of the classroom that deserves recognition from the community. It would also be a nice way to update people about events going on at the school. For example, our softball team did a soup supper to raise money for the year. While they advertised in the more traditional sense, posters, e-mail's to the faculty, etc., many community members had no idea that this was happening. It would have been nice for them to be a part of the activity, if they would have had more information.
    • Brad Hames
       
      I never thought Twitter would be used in the classroom, but the more I use it and more I read about it, I am beginning to see the benefits of it
    • Christine Scott
       
      I can see where this would be good in the regular public schools. However, I teach at a detention facility and technology is a hard thing to incorporate with students, but think it could be a perfect communication tool for teachers involved with these students.
    • Patricia Westin
       
      I am not apposed to using Twitter in the classroom but am failing to see the benefit of having it in the classroom. We seem to have other tools that have a wide variety of uses. Twitter seems limited in comparison.
    • boothl b
       
      I am excited by the possibilities of this. But my problem is getting staff and families on board. We have a population where many families don't have internet. And many staff don't get their emails read so how do we add more things for them to look for? I would like more information on getting people on board. I don't want it to be a two-tiered system, where a small click in in the know and the rest are out.
    • Kathy Etringer
       
      We have a school wide Twitter account but I am not sure how I would use it in a kindergarten classroom. Any suggestions?
    • sarah block
       
      Parents in your class could follow your twitter account to see what you are doing on a daily basis!
    • Michelle Holt
       
      We have a district twitter account and have the possibility of a school account. I'm trying to picture my principal and lead teacher with time to tweet with everything else going on around them. I can see teems communicating this way which would help them to get input from other sources.
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    Blogging in the classroom. Using Twitter in the classroom.
  • ...1 more comment...
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    I like to read about how Twitter is used in the classroom.
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    Communication is always the complaint that is registered by parents and students when it comes to schools. Having a school update come to you via your phone would be awesome. As always, decisions have to be made on what is the most effective way to communicate. Twitter could really bridge the gap in some cases.
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    Great way to utilize the tool/resource instead of trying to block kids off of it at school. Will be sharing!
Mary Neumayer

Iowa - 21st century curricula | Dangerously Irrelevant - 7 views

    • Brenda McKone
       
      The ICC is definitely working hard to get us where we need to go. We need to get our staff, school board, and community to understand that doing nothing is not an option.
    • S Adair
       
      We also need to be very supportive of each other during this process. It will definitely be a change for many (most?) teachers. We need to celebrate our successes and build upon them. We also need to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it when things do not turn out how we hoped/planned.
    • John Olson
       
      The change can be the toughest part, sometimes it is just a different way of doing things can make the biggest impact.
    • Brad Hames
       
      I know I should be more positive, but I am still not sold on it. I don't have the answer,and agree we need to do something, but I don't know if this is it. Time will tell.
    • Susie Peterson
       
      The Core 21st century standards are imperative skills that students need to experience and practice.  Every teacher is responsible for making the changes necessary so that we can meet the needs of workers/society/families/businesses currently in place and in the future.
    • Mary Neumayer
       
      We have to work harder on these skills to remain competitive.
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    With the research that shows the importance of building student creativity, it is concerning to see so many districts eliminating or de-funding arts programs.
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    While watching the video, I had kind of an a-ha moment (many of you have probably reached this point years ago). I imagined the schools of long ago -- think one room prairie school houses. For many kids this was the only place they would see books or be exposed to anything beyond merely existing. At some point, school and home began switching places. As stated in the video, without allowing the new available technology into the classroom and teaching them how to manage it, school will become a one room schoolhouse and home will be the place they can explore the world and expand their intellect. What we need to work for is a seamless meshing of the two. They come to school to get inspired and motivated to continue learning on their own time.
Mary Neumayer

Education Update:Taking the Fear Out of the First Year:Professional Learning Communitie... - 4 views

  • What do we want each student to learn? How will we know when each student has learned it? How will we respond when a student experiences difficulty in learning?
    • Abby Hendershot
       
      My school system has been doing PLC groups for 2 years but I think we need to think about these questions while decided what we want to do in them. I think we jump from one thing to the next and do not think about the students.
    • Tara Liston
       
      I believe that thiese are important questions you must think about when deciding what you are going to discuss. My PLC group really tried to think about what we wanted the students to learn and how we were going to help them!
    • Rick Roberts
       
      My school is also in the second year. Getting better at working together rather then just complaining. Will take commitment from everyone.
    • Alison Bixby
       
      We are in the first year of our PLC groups, and these are the questions that our groups are focusing on. Our goal is to help every student, no matter if they are in our class or not. I think these are great questions to help us help all of our students!
    • Lowell Young
       
      PLC groups (as defined by DuFour) seem to be easier to implement in a larger school with more than one teacher teaching a specific class. Developing a true PLC will not be an immediate process. After hearing speakers at the PLC conference in St. Louis, it is amazing what some districts have done with these.
    • Colleen Olson
       
      These are questions that our administrator has had us ask ourselves for two years now. It keeps us focused on our students and what we need to do for each of them.
    • Mary Neumayer
       
      I'm hoping that my school will consider a real PLC within the next year or two.  These questions would be a good jump point.
  • So what is the true definition of a PLC? On its Web site, the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory explains that the term describes "a collegial group of administrators and staff who are united in their commitment to student learning." Administrators and staff work collaboratively to create shared goals, assess student understanding and learning, and improve their own teaching practices.
    • shawna poppen
       
      These PLC groups will become ever more important as the dynamic of a teacher's responsibility continues to change. As in, not only are we teaching these children together, but in some cases playing father, mother, role model, confidant, etc.
    • Joanna Seymour
       
      Julie Crotty from AEA267 explained that there are essentially two terms we are confusing. There are plc's (lower case) that are the more informal learning communities where the community can explore any goals. Then there is the PLC (upper case) which represents the definition you describe. As I understand it, in a PLC, a group of educators would be analyzing student data, determining goals, and deciding how to attain measurable student achievement.
  • Because of teachers' busy schedules, it is important for administrators to allot specific time for teachers to meet as groups. "It's absolutely immoral to tell teachers they need to collaborate and not give them the time to collaborate,"
    • Matt Winter
       
      I think one of the most valuable ways we spend in-service time is by teachers bouncing ideas off each other. I know each time we go this I come away with a good idea or two of what I can do in my own classroom.
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    • Colleen Olson
       
      This is so important. I agree with Mike Mattos comment about being immoral, but more importantly, it does nothing but bring down staff morale.
    • Mary Neumayer
       
      Very important point - additionally this must be a priority for all teachers in the district.  Too often non-required classes (music, PE, vocational, special education) are skipped or seen as a low priority for collaboration time.
  • when teachers participate in a learning community, students benefit as well, as indicated by improved achievement scores over time
  •  
    Learning as a group with interactive members has been proven to be beneficial. I haven't been involved with a PLC, but I know when I start teaching, I will want that support group. I think a lot depends on what is set as an objective for the lesson and if it is easily measurable.
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