Archive for the ‘(05) Assessment:’ Category

Capstone-Standard 05 Meta-Reflection: Assessment

Capstone Standard 05 Meta-Reflection: Assessment

Assesses students’ mastery of curriculum and modifies instruction to maximize learning.

Initial reflection during C & I Orientation:

With regard to assessment, I must ensure that I am monitoring progress toward each student’s IEP goals and make any necessary adjustments required to keep them moving toward the general education curriculum–while also addressing the unique needs presented by their disability. Not only does this include measuring progress in the classroom, but also ensuring access to and administration of any alternative assessments to state testing. Examples include: High School Proficiency Exam—Basic (meeting standard at Level 2 versus Level 3), Developmentally Appropriate Proficiency Exam (DAPE), Locally Determined Assessments (such as the Woodcock-Johnson III). Currently, I am not directly responsible for preparation for and administration of the WAAS-Portfolio administration or Collection of Evidence (COE)/

Reflection following the completion of EDU 6613 Standards-based Assessment

Why is assessment an important part of the teaching and learning equation? What have you learned about assessment that you will likely transport to your teaching career?

As I reflect on my experience during this course, I am delighted to share that as a special education  teacher, I have learned wonderfully new methods and strategies for involving my students in the assessment process. Working together with both special and general education teachers, we collaborate on the designing and implementation of formative assessments defined by Dell’Olio and Donk as: “Assessment integrated with instruction to provide a feedback loop that allows teaching and learning experiences to be modified as needed. In short, they guide instruction as it is occurring” (p. 464). This ongoing process allow us to keep informed of our students’ progress as we help them prepare for “Summative Assessments: An assessment typically used at the end of a unit of instruction; often  and such tools as unit tests, portfolios of student work, final projects and state-mandated assessment instruments”(Dell’Olio, p.417).

 

I have always believed that self-assessment was vital for my students to engage in, however, in recent years—the topic of “standards-based-assessment” has led me to focus primarily on the idea of helping them to reach standard on the state assessments—in the areas of reading, writing, math, and now Biology—and I have felt that the “self” of my individual students has been somewhat diminished. And yet, regardless of the subject matter my students are working within,  my students’ communication skills become an integral factor in their progress, performance, and assessment. For this reason, see great benefit in including the use of Performance Assessments and agree with Stiggins, Arter, & Chappuis as they clarify,

We made the case for reserving performance assessment for those learning targets that really need it: some forms of reasoning, performance skills, and products….but other factors may argue for its use as well: The age of the students (and) reading and writing proficiency. Other assessment methods might not provide accurate information in certain contexts, such as with English Language learners, or students who don’t read or write sufficiently well to answer test questions (p. 195).

 

Assessment has always been a critical part of the teaching equation in my years in education, yet I have gained a far deeper understanding of its importance to the learning process, as well as the “why” behind both. As authors Stiggins, Arter, & Chappuis, have clarified, the distinction between assessment of learning vs. for learning places the emphasis on helping students answer the three questions, “ ‘Where am I going?’; Where am I now?’; and ‘How can I close the gap?’”…and I am most eager to begin using the authors’ “seven strategies for using a scoring guide as a teaching tool (so that I may) watch as (my) students become competent, confident self-assessors and improve their performance in any subject” (2006, p. 231). Unfortunately, my students are well acquainted with “gaps”—so anything that I can do to increase their ability to understand and participate in the process of “closing the gaps” will build their confidence. I have greatly appreciated learning more about the development of rubrics and effective use of portfolios.

Growth portfolios show progress toward competence on one or more learning targets….(and generally include) the student write[ing] a self-reflection to summarize growth: ‘Here’s how far I’ve come and here’s what I know and can do now that I couldn’t do before’ (Stiggins, Arter, & Chappuis, 2006, p.340).

 

I am very inspired to begin the new school year with a strategic plan for helping my students to integrate their Individual Education Program (IEP) with their coursework in such a manner that they become effective self-advocates and life-long learners. Truly, this course has been an encouragement to me—both in validating convictions that I’ve come to hold over the years, as well as to provide fresh insights and strategies for assessment implementation.

 

Artifacts:

Unit Pre-Test Assessment–LaurieUnit Pre-Test Assessment

Unit Test Post Assessment Laurie JamesUnit Test Post Assessment

 

References:

 

Arter, J., Chappuis J. & S., & Stiggins, R. (2006). Classroom Assessment for Students Learning. Doing It Right, Using it Well. Boston, MA. Pearson Education, Inc.

Dell’Olio, J. M., Donk, T. (2007). Models of Teaching. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

 

Advertisements

Capstone–Standard 09 Meta-Reflection: Cultural Sensitivity

Standard 09 Meta-Reflection: Cultural Sensitivity–Capstone

Establishes a culturally inclusive learning climate that facilitates academic engagement and success for all students. 

Initial reflection during C & I Orientation:

Regardless of the range of differences in race, class, gender, religion, ethnicity and exceptionality represented by the students within my care, I must model respect for diversity and promote a learning environment that is free from bias. Specifically within my school setting, I must be especially mindful and responsive to the unique interests of students who belong to one of the two Native American tribal communities represented within our school district.

EDU 6525 Culturally Responsive Teaching

Please note: The requirement for this course was fulfilled via transfer credits earned through another university. I am grateful for SPU’s acceptance of my petition, however, regret not having the opportunity to take EDU 6525 Culturally Responsive Teaching*. I earned an A in the SEI/500 course entitled, Structured English Immersion which focused on the following: ELL Proficiency Standards for Listening and Speaking, Reading and Writing, data analysis and application, formal and informal assessment, learning experiences with SEI strategies, parent/home/school scaffolding, and Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP).

*In the context of taking Survey of Instructional Strategies through Seattle Pacific University, however, I briefly addressed the topic of Culturally Responsive Teaching in a blog, entitled: Cultural Competence—A Work in Progress:

As a special education teacher in a largely inclusive high school where nearly 40% of our students qualify for free or reduced lunch, I am currently working with special education students —ranging from the context of individual student appointments to one or more class periods per day—based on their IEP needs.

Over 10% of our total student population represents families from two local Native American tribes which have teamed together with our district in multiple ways within the past three decades to facilitate significant progress toward many of the goals highlighted within the readings this week.

While I have had the privilege of participating (both as a teacher and a parent) in a wide variety of creative activities designed to bridge the cultural gaps, including parent conferences held at tribal education centers, community dinners, reading celebrations, etc. –I still feel the personal need to improve my ability to connect with and embrace cultural differences within my own school and community (we live right on the boundary of one of the reservations).

Within the Synthesis of the Recommendations for the 2008 Achievement Gap Studies, many suggestions are offered for developing relationships between school districts and tribes. One particular thought that caught my attention was, “Teachers, educators and school administrators need to understand that disengagement from the school or not understanding how to help their children with homework does not mean “a lack of commitment to education” (section III, #2). This helps me to see some of my current students’ challenges in a different light. Perhaps it is like having a goal in mind, but not knowing how–or not having the tools to create realistic steps to reach that goal. For example, just because someone is struggling to create or maintain a workable plan to become physically fit, does not automatically mean that a person does not value or desire a healthy lifestyle.

As a teacher working to help my students to make progress and complete steps toward graduation and beyond, I found the following characteristics noted in the Synthesis of the Recommendations for the 2008 Achievement Gap Studies to be familiar…”(a) provide encouragement, support and respect for their cultural identity; and (b) be flexible and adaptable to help Native students make up for absences and missed assignments due to family issues, losses and cultural opportunities outside the classroom” (p. 12).

I am encouraged to see so many resources highlighted to address the cultural competency need and look forward to gaining new insights.  I so often feel like I’m “just beginning”—despite my status as a veteran teacher. My number one goal is to see my students as individuals in the context of “their world”–and to be willing to try to see “the world of school”, through their eyes.

In another SPU course, EDU 6655: Human Development and Principles of Learning, I responded to an assignment prompt by suggesting a service project through which students might work together with local fisheries personnel and local Native American tribes to assist and monitor the restoration and health of fish-bearing streams of North Kitsap County.In the midst of researching the benefits of organizing a community effort on this nature, I noted that according to Smith (2008):

Service learning presents many opportunities for adult participants to:

  • develop and maintain close relationships with other people,
  • give care to those in need
  • balance one’s needs with a responsibility to care for others
  •  …(possibly) contribute to an “ethic of care” as a consequence of being in a helping, caregiver, or service provider role (Smith, p 10).

I believe a project involving the local Native American tribal community with students in my school could strengthen existing and create new, healthy connections for all involved. I have often observed among the families of my Native American students, a strong emphasis on bonds between generations and sharing traditions with others in our community. Not only would this project reflect cultural sensitivity, but it would also serve to address the psychosocial needs of my students. “A particularly relevant dimension of psychosocial maturity is development of generativity among adults… Generativity concerns the ability to care for and provide for the next generation” (Smith, p. 10).

Artifacts for Standard 09:

I have selected two artifacts for this standard—both from University of Phoenix, however, since digital copies are no longer available, hard copies of these papers have been scanned and uploaded. Please note that in the conversion process, some of the formatting has been distorted.

Artifact 1: Artifact–Assessments for English Language Learners

Artifact 2: Artifact–Make a Difference Proposal

References:

Closing Opportunity Gaps in Washington’s Public Education Systemhttp://www.k12.wa.us/Cisl/pubdocs/AgapLegReport2010.pdf

Cross, T. L. (2001). Gifted children and Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development. Gifted Child Today, 24(1), 54-55,61.

James, L. G. (2011). EDU 6655 Human Development and Principles of Learning, Seattle Pacific University. Service Learning for Gifted Students and Adults  Retrieved from  https://lpettengilljames.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/service-learning-for-gifted-students-and-adults/

James, L. G. (2012). EDU 6526 A Survey  of Instructional Strategies, Seattle Pacific University. Module 1 Reflection: Cultural Competence—A Work in Progress. Retrieved from https://lpettengilljames.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/cultural-competence-a-work-in-progress/

Smith, M. (2008). Does service learning promote adult development? Theoretical perspectives and directions for research. New Directions For Adult And Continuing Education, (118), 5-15.

ISTE NETS for Teachers – Standard 5: Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership—Goalview IEP System–Training to Become a Trainer

EDTC 6433: ISTE Standard 5: Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership—Goalview IEP System–Training to Become a Trainer

Goalview screenshot

Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources.

  1. Participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning.
  2. Exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, participating in shared decision making and community building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others.
  3. Evaluate and reflect on current research and professional practice on a regular basis to make effective use of existing and emerging digital tools and resources in support of student learning.
  4. Contribute to the effectiveness, vitality, and self-renewal of the teaching.

Within the first couple of weeks of this course, EDTC 6433, I noted that our district was in the midst of selecting software for creating and managing online IEPs . I also shared a screen shot of one of the options, Goalview. As of today, I am now in the midst of training to become a trainer for other teachers within our district on how to implement Goalview. Having served on the software adoption committee 15 years ago and teaching others to use the software from then to the present,  I am delighted to have once again been selected to represent the high school team of special education teachers. I am eager to move beyond the “test site” we experienced today. Due in part to what I have learned within this course, today I was able to ask insightful questions during the training, move ahead to see a sneak preview of the benefits of this program, and envision ways that I will provide support to my colleagues as we go “live” within the next month. I definitely see myself actively engaging in part b. of ISTE Standard 5.

In the article, Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology1, authors Collins &Halverson (2009), state:  “The revolution that is occurring in education will alter not just the lives of students, but the entire society”. I am continuing to realize that as a public school educator who has served for over three decades, the changes I have already witnessed may be just the beginning. Thankfully, I am not dismayed by this fact, but rather, encouraged.

Recently a colleague complimented me for being recognized and validated as evidenced by my district selecting me to be trained to become a trainer for the new IEP software being used nationwide. Today, during our second day of training, it was easy to see huge advantages to the new features we discussed. A couple of us laughed as we recalled the “IEP system” we used at the beginning of our teaching careers—5-part NCR forms which I later experimented with feeding into the “cutting edge at-the-time dot matrix printers”! Ironically, I need to remind myself to be patient as we make the transition to the new system and agree with my colleague,  David Spencer, that “It is amazing what we can do and learn from each other as educators when we are given/take the time to discuss topics”.

1  Excerpted from our book Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The

Digital Revolution and Schooling in America. New York: Teachers College Press, 2009.

EDTC6433: ISTE2 Using technology to meet individual needs: Writing as an intervention

EDTC6433: ISTE2 Using technology to meet individual needs: Writing as an intervention

Throughout this week, I have been inspired to consider using some of the technology shared by colleagues in support of the ISTE 2—especially those that focus on encouraging individual students to respond in writing.. One of the resources shared can be found at the following link: http://www.edmodo.com/home#/. From this link, I have since set up a free account and have joined a community of special education teachers. I am eager to continue in my efforts to seek out technologies that will benefit my students. At the beginning of this module, the question I raised was:

Can the use of online student portfolios support transition needs for high school students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs)?

http://www.speedofcreativity.org/2010/04/25/online-student-portfolios/

I shared that I am interested in finding a method to gather student input throughout the year to address key transition interview questions required for discussion during each of my students’ IEP meetings. Ideally, rather than being located in a teacher’s file, this information should be accessible to the student on an ongoing basis so that they can provide updates upon request or as they choose (for example: a new job, experience, career interest, accomplishment, etc.). I see the need for empowering students to understand their strengths and to develop a way of presenting themselves positively to others both now and in the future.

The section of the ISNT 2 Standard I find most applicable to this focus is: c. Customize and personalize learning activities to address students’ diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources.

Although my high school currently has an online portfolio system available to students through a resource called WOIS, it is not free and is only available as the budget allows. I will continue to investigate the various free online portfolio options to determine which format might be most “student friendly”.

This article discusses the pros and cons of various online portfolios and provides a variety of links to examples, reviews, and even the ISTE standards. One major consideration in addition to whether or not students will continue to have access to the portfolio after graduation, is whether the portfolio is functional in the event they move to another school

In the process of working on module 2 in this online course, as well as preparing my students for wrapping up the end of first semester, I learned something about priorities. The following explanation (perhaps a bit lengthy) is intended to show how sometimes in the midst of our quest for one thing, we find ourselves learning quite another.

Within one of the readings this week, Deepening Connections: Teachers Increasingly Rely on Media and Technology, the results of a recent PBS study were cited. One of the specific results that stood out to me was that 81% of teachers rated laptops as a “portable technology with the greatest educational impact”. (p. 7). Based on my experience, I must say that I agree with the thought that access to laptops increase flexibility for both teachers and students. Currently, in my setting, the available laptops are in the form of computers on wheels (COWS) which can be checked out by teachers for a given period. As a special education teacher, my classes are generally comprised of only 15 students, so I choose not to check out a COW with 30 laptops, since the COWs are regularly in high demand. An easier solution for me when I am choosing to focus on word processing only, is to use NEO keyboards. http://www.neo-direct.com/intro.aspx Although a rather antiquated technology, I would like to convey how this week, use of this tool served an especially vital role in addressing an individual student’s needs.

Since October, my students have written self-reflections to guiding questions using the NEO keyboards and I have uploaded these into individual templates I created in Word. Often times, I can easily see the changes in how students view their progress, as well as see the development of their writing skills. Although I had high hopes of switching to an online blog format, I chose instead to use the NEOs for the final exam in my Learning Strategies classes. Each student was required to write a self-reflection, elaborating on their performance throughout the semester. One particular student, who had refused to complete any handwritten responses and was also quite reluctant to type any responses early in the term, has become more open to using the NEO. During the final exam last week, all of my students were readily typing their reflections. Unlike when using laptops, there was no time-consuming set up, logging in, or wait time required. Students simply picked up the NEO with the number that had been assigned to them for the term, clicked the power button, and began to type. Even my previously reluctant student showed evidence of being fully engaged in the writing process. As one of my colleagues and I discussed this week in our Google+ threads, “People who would not normally participate in class are more likely to (express thoughts using technology) because they are not actually speaking aloud”.

What I was not prepared for, however, was the content of this student’s written reflection. As I uploaded his final exam from his NEO keyboard to the word document on my laptop, and watched his extensive and articulate writing spill onto the page, I read very angry, hostile, violent, and extremely disturbing words—including his desire to kill and inflict pain—especially to innocent people. Though not directed at anyone in particular (thankfully) the tone and content gave clear evidence of a very troubled young man. Do I believe he would have shared these thoughts verbally? No. Do I think he would have shared them, given only the opportunity to write by hand? No. Do I believe he would have shared these words in a blog that he knew would be read by other students in his class? Probably not. I do believe, however, that he knew I would read this assignment and that somehow he felt “safe” enough to express himself–using a tool that assisted him with his writing disability. Needless to say, I was able to print his reflection and take it directly to my assistant principal so that this situation could be properly addressed.

Indeed, I do believe that technology can assist me in addressing the needs of my individual students—even if the technology is not the newest and best.

#EDTC 6433 #ISTE2    #intervention   #self-reflection   #writing

London Trip Day 4 031

Resources:

http://www.tonybates.ca/2012/04/03/5-video-case-studies-of-e-portfolio-implementation-an-implementation-toolkit/

https://bbweb-prod.spu.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-826131-dt-content-rid-1271987_1/courses/EDTC6433_27233201232/Deepening%20Connections%20-%20Teachers%20Increasingly%20LLC%281%29.pdf

NEO Keyboards

Reflection on Course of Study, C & I Standards

My goals for continuing my educational experience at Seattle Pacific University are educational, professional and personal in nature.

Educationally, as I progress through each course requirement for obtaining my Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction, I intend to gain new information and further develop my teaching skills and effectiveness with students.

As a professional educator who has been teaching for nearly thirty years, I anticipate gaining fresh insights as I weave together past experiences with new challenges–enabling me to positively impact my classroom, school, district, and community–one person at a time.

On a personal level, I hope to grow both now and in the future–as I continue in my role as a graduate student, a life-long learner, and a veteran teacher seeking to gain new perspectives, skills, and opportunities.

Curriculum and Instruction: Program Standards

Standard 01. Instructional Planning

Designs and monitors long and short-term plans for students’ academic success.

Reflection: In my role as a special education teacher, my primary obligation is to ensure that both long and short-term goals are clearly articulated within each student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) and addressed on a consistent basis. I must also ensure my high school students have a transition plan and course of study which addresses the student’s post-high school goals.

Standard 02. Learning Environment

Creates and maintains school-wide and classroom environments that are safe, stable, and empowering.

Reflection: In my role as the special education curriculum leader in an inclusion setting, I must ensure that a continuum of services is available for consideration by each student’s IEP Team. I must see to it that my students are provided services in the “least restrictive environment” and that they are given the opportunity to access free and appropriate public education.

Standard 03. Curriculum

Provides knowledge and skills that bring academic subjects to life and are aligned with state content standards.

Reflection: As a special education teacher, I must endeavor to provide instruction and skill development opportunities for students that will promote progress toward the reaching of the Washington State Standards. I must ensure that students have access to the general education curriculum to the greatest extent possible. Additionally, I must facilitate the delivery of specially designed instruction as well as any necessary accommodations or modifications.

Standard 04. Pedagogy

Engages students in learning experiences that are meaningful, stimulating, and empirically proven to promote intellectual growth.

Reflection: The learning experiences I provide for my students should be interesting, inspiring, and research-based. Instruction to promote thinking skills should be delivered in the student’s least restrictive environment. Additionally, I must keep up-to-date and aware of methods and techniques to actively involve my students in the learning process.

Standard 05. Assessment

Assesses students’ mastery of curriculum and modifies instruction to maximize learning.

Reflection: With regard to assessment, I must ensure that I am monitoring progress toward each student’s IEP goals and make any necessary adjustments required to keep them moving toward the general education curriculum–while also addressing the unique needs presented by their disability. Not only does this include measuring progress in the classroom, but also ensuring access to and administration of any alternative assessments to state testing. Examples include: High School Proficiency Exam—Basic (meeting standard at Level 2 versus Level 3), Developmentally Appropriate Proficiency Exam (DAPE), Locally Determined Assessments (such as the Woodcock-Johnson III). Currently, I am not directly responsible for preparation for and administration of the WAAS-Portfolio administration or Collection of Evidence (COE); however, will be in the near future.

Standards 06. Communication

Communicates regularly and effectively with colleagues, parents, and students through a variety of mediums.

Reflection: In my role as a special education teacher “Communication” (with a capital C) is as necessary as breathing. In my nearly thirty years of teaching, I would have to say that communication continues to be the number one requirement for my job—and I always strive to keep it my priority. I find that most often, extra attention devoted to maintaining regular and effective communication with students, parents and colleagues—whether in person, by phone, via email, US mail, etc.—is well worth the time and energy.

Standard 07. Collaboration

Cooperates with other professionals to bridge gaps between schools and community and between departments/disciplines within schools.

Reflection: Every IEP meeting is an example of the collaborative process at work. This process in designed to bring together the perspectives of the student, family, special educator, general educator(s) and the district–as well as any necessary outside agencies. In addition to the required annual IEP and triennial evaluation, I must facilitate any coordination and collaboration between any and all of the above noted members of the IEP Team—as needed. Beyond the specific realm of the IEP process, I am required to be an active participant of my special education team, professional learning community, POD team, and leadership team.

 

Standard 08. Exceptionality

Reflection

Addresses the unique learning and behavioral needs of all children, collaborating with other educators and professionals where necessary.

Reflection: The concept of addressing exceptionality is “where I live—day to day and moment by moment” as a special educator. Regardless of the unique needs presented by each of my students who qualify for special education services, I must ensure that they have access to the general education curriculum to the greatest extent possible. In the process, I must serve as an advocate for each student and coordinate the delivery of services required for offering free and appropriate public education on their behalf.

Standard 09. Cultural Sensitivity

Establishes a culturally inclusive learning climate that facilitates academic engagement and success for all students.

Reflection: Regardless of the range of differences in race, class, gender, religion, ethnicity and exceptionality represented by the students within my care, I must model respect for diversity and promote a learning environment that is free from bias. Specifically within my school setting, I must be especially mindful and responsive to the unique interests of students who belong to one of the two Native American tribal communities represented within our school district.

Standard 10. Technology

Integrates current technology into instruction and professional communication/collaboration activities where appropriate.

Reflection: I am responsible for utilizing technological means to ensure that my students have access to materials and resources available to all general education students. Not only does this involve receiving presented information, but students must also be provided instruction and opportunity to use assistive technology to express and effectively convey thoughts and information to others. As a teacher, I must keep up with communication methods used to interact with my parents and colleagues. (Online IEP programs, Skyward Information system, email, etc.)

Standard 11. Inquiry/Research

Competently consumes and produces where necessary empirical data to guide educational practice.

Reflection: It is my responsibility to effectively use data at every level in my job including; selecting research-based curriculum, researching best practices for delivering services to address IEP goals, and collecting data on student performance. Equally important is to research district records and track information to ensure that classroom goals are based on current IEPS which are in turn based on current evaluations.

 

Standard 12. Professional citizenship

Willingly engages in dialogue that transcends the individual classroom, taking informed, coherent positions on important matters of educational policy and practice.

Reflection: I believe that on a continual basis I endeavor to develop my professional citizenship by serving as my school’s special education curriculum leader as well as a member of the building leadership team. Additionally, I am part of a professional learning community (PLC) group which meets weekly and I regularly participate in faculty and district meetings.