Professional Development Plans

Please post links to your Professional Development Plans here.

This work is due no later than Sunday, July 14.

    • Christopher Colella

      By Christopher Colella

      Professional Development Plan

       

      One element I discussed in my first assignment is maintaining student motivation and using more regular formative assessments and exit tickets in order to ensure students are coming to class and staying engaged in the lesson. After this course, I am considering how I can use different methods of in-class assessment and practice to ensure students are staying engaged in the lesson and are completing the assignments correctly and have an opportunity to review. One way I can use exit ticket and classroom observations during student practice in order to inform and develop my lessons for the next day and choose which questions or concepts need to be reviewed in groups or as a full class. From our previous classroom reading in Dixon and Worrell, we learned that formative assessments should regularly be used not as a tool for assigning grades, but as a feedback tool to inform instruction and emphasize skills students need to study and develop to mastery level (2016).

       

      One way I can assess and review based on student need is by using a skills sheet which is used to determine student ability in each lesson and skill specifically. At the end of the week there may be a summative assessment in the form of a project or regents review and a short quiz, depending on the breadth of material covered. Observations of student practice and mastery notes can be taken in the area below during observations of students using a symbol system (check, A for absent, blank for needing improvement). An example of that skill sheet and a basic structural calendar is shown below.

       

      Unit 3 - Week 1 - Parts of the Atom

      Student Name

      Skill # 1

      Monday

      Atomic History

      Skill # 2

      Tuesday

      Parts of the Atom 

      Skill # 3

      Wednesday

      Subatomic Particles Lab

      Skill # 4

      Thursday

      Reading the Reference Table O

      Skill # 5

      Friday

      Practice, Regents Review and Quiz

      Jose

      (check here)

           

      Quiz Score (10/10)

      Javier

             

      (7/10)

      Jasmine

             

      (8/10)

      Jennifer

             

      (6/10)

       

      Hattie and Timperley also emphasize the importance of feedback as well as assessments in student learning, and that effective feedback can drastically improve a students’ learning (Hattie 2007). One way to effectively use feedback if for students to receive a response instantaneously: by using online quiz programs such as google forms and castle learning, our students can get used to regular assessment and receive automatic feedback at the end of the class so they can see their scores, the exact questions they got wrong, and an effective explanation. For correction and improvement, these quiz scores will be able to be corrected and improved by completing a relevant and related assignment after doing a review, or a quiz retake in class so students have motivation and incentive to hone their skills. The check system will allow me as the teacher to cover certain topics or break students into problem groups where topic leaders are able to lead discussion and teach the other students using practice questions for the older topics during practice review on friday or during topic review during our lab days on Wednesday. This way we aren't retreading old ground and focusing on target areas that the students have trouble with.

       

      I can get feedback in implementation of this program from other science teachers. The earth science teacher in our school has acted as a mentor to me daily. I also have a content coach who visits weekly. Using their feedback, I can see whether or not student engagement improves from the previous year.


       

      Dixson, D. D., & Worrell, F. C. (2016). Formative and summative assessment in the classroom. Theory into practice, 55(2), 153-159.

      Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of educational research, 77(1), 81-112.

      • Amanda Spadaro

        By Amanda Spadaro

        At the beginning of this course, I identified that consistency was one of my major weaknesses with using assessment in the classroom. This can have a negative impact on my understanding of my students and on the student’s ability to understand the norms of the classroom. Another weakness I have noticed in my own practice is that my feedback is often minimal and may not be truly helping students learn from what they are doing. Because students need this feedback in order to learn, I am doing them a disservice. In addition to that, when I do give students feedback, I do not give students an opportunity to learn from the feedback. I assume that students are looking at the feedback and using it to improve their own learning, which research tells us is not necessarily the case. I do not give students the opportunity to use the feedback in practice to improve their work and understanding.

        In terms of the research, students often do not have the same perception of feedback as teachers do or use the feedback in the ways an educator might hope. For starters, students often do not refer back to feedback given on exams, unless they are particularly motivated or are high-achieving students (Havnes et al., 2012, p. 25). Despite that, the research shows that students find it beneficial when teachers review exam problems with the class and dissect common mistakes (p. 25); this suggests that test reviews may be a helpful way to present feedback to students. Furthermore, students view feedback and grades differently, with research suggesting that giving feedback with a score or grade is less effective than giving feedback alone (Hattie & Timperley, 2007, p. 92). This may be because it allows students to process the feedback separately from the grade, putting the emphasis on the learning process.

        Research also has shown that students—both with disabilities and general education students—perform better on assessments when they are given a teacher-made study guide, giving them the specific topics and skills that will be covered by an assessment (Horton & Lovitt, 1989, p. 13). Furthermore, students may be more motivated and perform better when they are asked to take part in a self-assessment process (McMillan & Hearn, 2008, p. 45). This self-assessment process asks students to evaluate how well they have met the objective or how confident they feel in the newly-acquired knowledge. Finally, research suggests that students achieve higher learning overall when they are given the chance to correct their work on previous assessments (Henderson & Harper, 2009, p. 584). This gives students an opportunity to reflect on feedback and understand their mistakes.

        For my personal action plan, one of my major changes will be to include consistent warm-ups and exit tickets for my students. Aside from providing this as a behavioral norm and procedure, this could give me information about the different objectives we are learning throughout the week. The exit ticket will provide students to apply the knowledge they learned that day. The warm-ups will ask students to recall concepts from previous days to keep this information fresh in their minds as a review. My mentor, the other Living Environment teacher, uses a specific composition notebook that students keep in the classroom and pick up at the beginning of class daily. This notebook is only for warm-ups and exit tickets; she gives a weekly grade for these. I believe this is a method that would work for my classroom, teaching students routine and giving me a regular system to do check-ins with student progress.

        Furthermore, my exit tickets will have a self-assessment component. In doing this, students will have a better understanding of their own knowledge, and they will have increased buy-in for the course. This self-assessment system will ask students how well they believe they understood the day’s concepts on a one-to-four scale.

        Rating

        Level of Understanding

        1

        I do not understand.

        2

        I understand some but need some help.

        3

        I understand and can do this by myself.

        4

        I understand and can help my friend.

         

        This system will address my issues with consistency and the ability to use data from formative assessments to improve my classroom instruction. Another weakness I identified was that some of my assessments do not fully measure all of the unit’s concepts and skills. One way I can improve this is through the use of teacher-directed study guides. As previously mentioned, research has shown that students perform better through teacher-directed study questions than doing self-study (Horton & Lovitt, p. 13). Thus, these study guides will help my students’ performance, but this will also be a useful tool for myself. By creating a “study guide” without answers (rather, a list of the concepts and skills that will be covered by the test), I will have a quick checklist that will enable me to ensure that my assessments align with my unit and the content I taught. These summative assessments will then be a more accurate measure of what I hope to assess rather than having an assessment that may not be fully aligned.

        Finally, I hope to include time in my course that requires students to use the feedback I have given them. The first way I plan to implement this is through test corrections. After giving students feedback on where they may have erred in their work, I will allow students a two-day window to resubmit the exam with corrections and complete explanations. These explanations should speak to what the student did wrong and why their new answer is correct. This will allow students to use my feedback, especially on short answer questions, to evaluate their own understanding and success. The day that test corrections are due, we will review the exam as a class, encouraging students to look over the feedback I have given them since we know that many students do not do this on their own (Havnes et al., p. 25).

        Finally, aside from test grades, all grades in the course will be given separately from the feedback. As discussed earlier, feedback with grades can be less effective (Hattie & Timperley, p. 92). Because of this, I intend to set up a system—starting at the beginning of the year to make this the classroom “norm”—where students receive only written feedback on homework assignments and practice Regents questions. All scores for this work, including participation scores, will be transmitted virtually after the work is passed back in the class. Students will receive updates through Google Classroom as to when Skedula has been updated with the week’s grades (all of the work they will have already received back in class). This, ideally, will help students distance the grade from the feedback and help them process the feedback rather than focusing on their grade alone. By focusing more on the feedback, students may even see an increase in grades by emphasizing the learning rather than the achievement.

         

        References

        Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of educational research, 77(1), 81-112.

        Havnes, A., Smith, K., Dysthe, O., & Ludvigsen, K. (2012). Formative assessment and feedback: Making learning visible. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 38(1), 21-27.

        Henderson, C. & Harper, K. A. (2009). Quiz Corrections: Improving Learning by Encouraging Students to Reflect on Their Mistakes. The Physics Teacher, 47, 581-586.

        Horton, S. V. & Lovitt, T. C. (1989). Using study guides with three classifications of secondary students. The Journal of Special Education, 22(4), 447-462.

        McMillan, J. H. & Hearn, J. (2008). Student Self-Assessment: The Key to Stronger Student Motivation and Higher Achievement. Educational HORIZONS, 40-49.

        • Yassine Mouaddab

          By Yassine Mouaddab

          For the first assignment, I did not receive the email that provided a video description of the course outline and how to set up Pace Commons profile. I remember panicking to create an account and complete the first assignment the day it was due. I had no clue what the class was about, I assumed that it had to do something with assessments. I thought perhaps that I was going to learn about the theoretical frame work behind various assessments and the process behind how to create them. Finally, after contacting few of my classmates, I was able to set up an account and find the group discussion blog with instruction to the first assignment. Looking back on that experience, it was the best thing that happened me. Not knowing the course outline, I was able to produce an authentic and object evaluation of my current assessment practices as teachers and areas of weakness.

          One area of weakness that I identified in my response was the design of differentiated assessments that gives all my students the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding. I was hoping to learn ways to accomplish this and provide my students with equal opportunities to be successful. The area of weakness that identified was directly influenced by my experience working with students with disabilities, especially students with ASD. I notice that most students with disabilities in my ICT classes consistently underperform on summative assessments such as unit exams. I was in search of ways to address this issue without compromising the rigor of the assessments.

          Now that I had a chance to complete and reflect on the course, I have a different outlook on assessments and areas for improvement. When I initially wrote my week one response, I was thinking of assessments as a way to assess students (summative assessments), instead of another tool disposable to teachers to enhance student learning (formative assessments). The process of learning requires feedback and feedback is not possible without assessments. This core idea was explored in this course as a series of activities, which opened my eyes on the power of feedback and how it can be effectively employed in the classroom to enhance the learning process and improve student outcomes. I am currently focus on how I can help my students develop feedback literacy that would enable them to be active participants in the feedback process and take responsibility of their own learning.

          Research has shown that feedback is one of the most powerful influences on learning and academic achievement. However, the impact of feedback is highly variable, which makes it a difficult to implement and carry out effectively in the classroom (Hattie & Timperley, 2007). The proposed professional development plan has to take into account the challenges that might arise as a result of implementing feedback into the classroom. The big issue with any feedback model is sustainability. Research shows that it is unsustainable and ineffective for one teacher to give feedback to a large number of learners (Carless & Boud, 2018). We teach close to 150 students and it will be intellectually and physically demanding to provide students with high quality feedback on consistent basis. This is not to exempt teachers from the responsibility of providing feedback to students, but the plan has to be realistic and most importantly sustainable throughout the course of the year.

          The other barrier to effective feedback is generally the low levels of student feedback literacy. Student feedback literacy denotes the understandings, capacities and dispositions needed to make sense of information and use it to enhance work or learning strategies (Carless & Boud, 2018).  Student have to be able to internalize feedback, make judgments, and take actions to improve their learning. Low levels of feedback literacy among students can be attributed to lack of tacit knowledge. Students are used to a direct method of instruction, which a passive way of learning. Consequently, students have a hard time making sense of information from feedback and making judgments to improve their own learning. The acquisition of tacit knowledge of feedback can only emerge through observation, imitation, participation and dialogue.

          My plan is to make feedback part of the curriculum and involve students in the process of composing feedback. This allows students to take ownership of their learning as well as help build a model of feedback that can be sustained throughout the course of the year. Peer feedback or peer review involves students evaluating and making judgments about the work of peers. Being exposed to the work of peers helps students self-evaluate their own production more effectively because they are making comparisons between their own work and that of others (Mcconlogue, 2014). Providing comments to peers is often more beneficial than receiving them because it is more cognitively-engaging. Input from peers can also strengthen the social-relational aspects of feedback and reduce the power-differentials and negative emotional reactions which can arise from teacher feedback.

          Now let’s explore how I would carry out this plan and incorporate peer feedback into the classroom culture next year. My curriculum is designed to be students centered, where the students are actively engaged in the learning process. Peer feedback will be framed as learning activity, where students work collaboratively to evaluate classmates work including assessments, labs, and homework assignments. Students also have to provide feedback as well as the rationale behind their feedback. Students can compose feedback in various formats including writing as well as digital such as audio or video. Research shows that digitally-enabled peer feedback carries a number of benefits, including speed of delivery and portability (Nicol et al, 2013). For example, my homework assignments are usually done on google classroom. Multiple choice questions are graded automatically, but short response questions have to be graded manually. I usually don't have time to go through each individual short response, so I leave general feedback. Next year, students will be required to assess their peers’ short responses, make judgments on the quality of their response, and compose feedback.

          The positive impact of peer feedback delineated so far are unlikely to occur because of poor student feedback literacy. Students have to be trained and supported through the process of peer feedback and this is where I come in as an educator. Another component of my plan is analysis of exemplars, where actual student work is used to model different types of feedback, including identifying and explaining problems, and making specific suggestions. Purposeful analysis of exemplars develops students’ feedback literacy by showing them rather than telling them about quality work (Carless & Boud, 2018). Now let's explore how I would use student examples to help model for students what effective feedback looks like. Consider the example from the summative assessment on chemical kinetics.

          image

          Ineffective feedback

          You are right, the reaction is exothermic, but you have to also say that energy (92.05 KJ) on the right side of the equation, which means that the reaction is exothermic. You will mostly get one point on this question.

           

          Effective feedback:

          In this question you accurately identified that the reaction is exothermic. However, you fail to use evidence from the equation to justify your answer. You merely restated the definition of the word exothermic. Consider which part of the equation that indicates that the reaction is exothermic.

           

          Effective feedback provides students with information that they can use to identify gaps in their understanding and improve student outcomes. Ineffective feedback gives away the answer instead of helping students understand their mistakes and act to revise it. Effective feedback raises questions to help students think and make judgments about their own work. Effective feedback also reflects the knowledge and understanding of the person providing the feedback. Thus, effective feedback can serve as a great tool in the learning process for the person giving and receiving feedback. This symbiotic relationship helps students grow as learners and develop better appreciation of feedback processes and narrow gaps between teacher and student perceptions of feedback.

           

          References 

          Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of educational research, 77(1), 81-112.

          Carless, D., & Boud, D. (2018). The development of student feedback literacy: Enabling uptake of feedback. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 43(8), 1315-1325.

          Mcconlogue, T. (2014). Making judgements: Investigating the process of composing and receiving peer feedback. Studies in Higher Education, 40(9), 1495-1506.

          Nicol, D., Thomson, A., & Breslin, C. (2013). Rethinking feedback practices in higher education: A peer review perspective. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 39(1), 102-122.

           

          • Ronald McHenry

            By Ronald McHenry

             

            At the beginning of this course I identified time management as an area of growth when it comes to creating and giving assessments. What I imagine that students should be able to do within a given time frame proved to be quite different than what they were actually able to do within a given time frame. For example, I would give a 15 question quiz and alot 20 minutes of a class period to administer the quiz. What I found was that even my most advanced students had difficulty completing the assessment within 20 minutes. 

             

            After much reflection and trial and error, I realized that I needed to focus on the high leverage questions that would give me the best insight to what my students understood about the content. I realized that I was mistaking quantity for rigor; I thought I could ask my students multiple questions to prove that they really understood the material. As the year progressed, I learned how to ask higher order thinking questions that would tell me whether my students were remembering information or able to synthesize what they were learning. 

             

            In addition, I struggled early on with providing feedback to students during a class period. My lessons would include time for group work and it was challenging for me to check in with each group before the period ended. This class, however, helped me understand that peer-evaluation and feedback is great for student learning and for the teacher’s time management. My school administrators wanted me to personally assess and provide feedback to students frequently, so I was initially hesitant to teach students how to peer-edit and evaluate.  The readings during the course definitely gave me the confidence I needed to be able to not only teach my students how to peer-edit, but to defend my pedagogical decisions when questioned. Next year, I want to establish the practice of peer-feedback early on with my students to not only improve the culture for learning in my class, but so that I can focus more on high leverage moves that I can make to impact student growth.

             

            Volante and Beckett cite a teacher who describes the importance of giving students feedback before an assignment is actually due. They note a secondary teacher who says, “If I give students feedback prior to when it’s due, then I know they’re actually learning.” This resonates with me, because teaching students to give each other feedback will help them receive support along the way, and from more than one source, as they’re working on a project. Students will no longer have to wait for me to give them a grade after they’ve submitted the assignment. They will have multiple opportunities to interact with the rubric in self-assessing and peer-assessing their own work. Students will feel a greater sense of responsibility over their work, and they will see that completing an assignment is more about learning and demonstrating growth than simply checking the assignment off their list as, “done.” 

             

            This year I’ve heard from students over and over again, “But I handed it in, how come I’m not passing?” Students often think that simply completing an assignment is good enough to earn credit for an assignment. Somewhere down the line they’ve unlearned that the work we do is a way to demonstrate what they’ve learned.  It was hard this year to get students to understand that their work needs to meet standards in order to ultimately earn a passing grade in the class. This is another reason that it’s important for me to teach students to self and peer-assess; they’ll be able to deeply understand the rubrics that are used to assess their work, and will no longer feel in the dark about their grades.  Volante and Beckett remind their readers that, “assessment as learning is considered a subset of formative assessment that focuses on student meta-cognition.” What I aim to do is teach my students how to think about their thinking in order to improve their learning, and self and peer-assessments will allow me to facilitate this type of learning for them.

             

            In order to reframe my classroom so that it revolves around cycles of self and peer-assessment, I plan on revising my curriculum over the summer to be sure that I’m explicitly teaching students the skills that they will need in order to self and peer-assess. We will begin the school year spending time deconstructing the rubrics used to assess them so they understand what is expected. I will provide them with samples of what work looks like when it’s meeting expectations, and we will peer assess the work together. As part of this process, I will make myself vulnerable and create the work to be assessed to give students an opportunity to critique me according to the rubric (I will also make the same mistakes that students often make in attempts to destigmatize making mistakes). 

             

            Students will begin to self-assess right away in September. By December, I expect that students should have the preliminary skills and practice they need to begin peer-assessing. From September to December we will engage in rounds of peer-assessing heavily monitored by me. During this time, I will give students their final grade on assessments. By March, with consistent practice and thorough feedback from me on their process, I expect that students will be able to give each other final grades on assignments. My role will shift from grade-giver to feedback-giver. While students are engaged in cycles of peer-assessment, I will be able to conference with 8-10 students to be able to give them feedback on their process as well. Before students submit a final copy of their work, it will have received feedback from their writing/thought partner and from myself. They will have been able to clarify any doubts prior to handing in a final copy during any given unit. 

             

            I will also seek out professional development focused on standards-based grading and peer-assessment to develop my skills in this area. I will begin looking for these opportunities in the summer, and in September during my initial conference with my administrator I will express my desire to learn more about implementing self and peer-assessment as a norm in my classroom. As far as I’m aware, no one in my school  is currently coaching students to self and peer-assess, so it’s going to be important for me to seek out colleagues in other communities that I can learn from throughout the year. I’m looking forward to creating an environment for learning next year where students will be able to engage in robust discussions about their work to enhance their learning experiences. 

             

             

            References

            1. Dixson, D. D., & Worrell, F. C. (2016). Formative and summative assessment in the classroom. Theory into practice, 55(2), 153-159

            2. Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of educational research, 77(1), 81-112

            3. Havnes, A., Smith, K., Dysthe, O., & Ludvigsen, K. (2012). Formative assessment and feedback: Making learning visible. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 38(1), 21-27



             

            • Gabrielle Pasiak

              By Gabrielle Pasiak

              Gabrielle Pasiak 

              Professional Development Plan

              It is important for teachers to not only reflect, but to also create a concrete action plan to become stronger teachers. 

              By reading over the self-assessment assessment, I was able to identify a few weaknesses I needed to work on. I struggle with creating exit tickets that will be meaningful. I teach 4 sections of science, and believe that reading 130 exit tickets might be an ineffective use of my time. I usually end the lesson with wrap up questions that are discussed as a class. Although this is fairly productive and engaging, there are many students that do not participate in the discussion. I believe there is a more effective way of reaching all students. Another weakness of mine is not giving constructive feedback. I have noticed that on projects, I can give a lot of comments, some of which have no direction. I have realized that this can be very confusing to middle school students who are still learning what to do with their feedback. 

              There are many components that must go into developing a plan. Instead of having students write down their exit ticket answers on a sheet of paper, I can incorporate the use of a google survey that students can answer and will provide me automatic results. “Students need information about their accomplishments in order to grow and progress” (Brookhart 163). If I cannot review 130 tickets within the night, and also give feedback to each student, the purpose of the exit ticket is lost. Students should be getting consistent feedback though these exit tickets. In addition to providing these online google survey, I can also incorporate a self-reflection section. This can include a rating of how well the student think they did on the exit ticket. Any “information that a student can use to make himself or herself more competent  is intrinsically motivating” (Brookhart 163). Therefore, the exit ticket would not only serve as feedback for the teacher, but also for the student in the moment. It is also a collective effort to reflect on their progress, which creates a sense of community between teacher and student.

              To improve my feedback skills, it is important to guide students on an individual basis. According to Hattie and Timperley, “feedback needs to provide information specifically relating to the task or process of learning that fills a gap between what is understood and what is aimed to be understood” (82). In other words, feedback needs to be concise and have two components that acknowledge the students efforts and also provides constructive criticism. Communication will improve when students can engage in mutual learning dialogues with the teacher (26 havnes et. al.). It is important to not dictate what needs to be changed, but rather provide feedback in a way that encourages and challenges students to further improve their work. Havnes suggests establishing a “feedback literacy,” which in turn establishes a learning culture (26).

              In order to put my exit ticket assessment into action, I will create a google survey for my class that I can re-use. I will use the exit ticket survey everyday using the school ipads. The google survey will contain letters A,B,C,D and the self reflection question: How confident are you with your response? ( Very confident,confident, not confident). I will have the questions displayed on the board, the students willinput their answers, and then the class can discuss the responses and how they felt about them as a whole. This creates a safe environment where the students will discuss their reasoning for choosing their answer, and also models how students should be reflecting every day at the end of their lesson. 

              In order to improve my feedback skills, I will create a template for feedback that can be used towards any type of assignment. I will use the three questions from Hattie and Temperley (90) reading to help guide my feedback: Where am I going? How am I going? Where to next?




               

              TEACHER

              STUDENT

              Glow:




               

              Grow:



               

              Glow:




               

              Grow:

              What are my next steps?





               

              What are my next steps?

              How am I going to complete these steps?





               

              How am I going to complete these steps?


               

              I have created two separate columns so that both the teacher and the student can self evaluate and compare notes. This opens the line of communication. I included a glow and grow section to be able to write down my first thoughts about the assignment. A “glow” is something the student did well with and a “grow” is something the student can improve on.  I then included the next steps section so that students can have some guidance as to what to do with the feedback provided. Finally, I included the how am I going to complete these steps so that students are able to plan out how they will achieve their goals. This feedback sheet will be especially helpful in the beginning of the year when students are still acquiring feedback skills.

               I will go over both the feedback sheet and exit ticket google survey with my mentor Sara, who is the other 7th grade science teacher at my school. She has helped me develop my teaching throughout this past year and I am sure I can continue to ask for some guidance next school year. 

               

              Works Cited

               

              Brookhart, S. M. (1997). A theoretical Framework For The Role of Classroom Assessment in Motivating Student Effort and Achievement. Applied Measurement in Education, 161-180.

              Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of educational research, 77(1), 81-112. 

              Havnes, A., Smith K., Dysthe, O., & Ludvigsen, K. (2012). Formative assessment and feedback: Making learning visible. Studies in Education Evaluation, 38(1), 21-27.


               

               

              • Selina Zhang

                By Selina Zhang

                We all go through life receiving opinions, suggestions, and advice from others, sometimes welcomed and other times unsolicited. What we do not realize are that these words are, at times, the feedback that we take to shape who we are and who we want to become. This course has taught me it is important not just to provide feedback to our students but to make sure that our students are actively taking the feedback to learn and improve their understanding. This way feedback becomes integrated into our instruction to ensure that our students are developing and eventually mastering the skills they need to succeed (Dixon & Worrell, 2016).

                Reflecting back to our first assignment of this course, there is one major weakness that I would like to identify. In the self-assessment, I had talked about how I provide reviews for formative and summative assessments in the form of Plickers and Quizziz. What I realized that I was lacking and have not provided to my students was reviewing the assessment questions, whether, on a quiz or unit exam, that was answered the most incorrectly. This year, I had focused on allowing students to submit test corrections on assessments where they did not receive full marks on. Test corrections allow students to gain back half the points they lost on an assessment by providing the correct answers and a reason/science behind why that is the correct answer. My sole purpose behind this method was to get students to actively engage in fixing their own misunderstandings of the content. I did not want to review the questions that were answered incorrectly as I did not want to give away the answers. In my mind, giving away the answers would get my students into the mindset of just memorizing the answers rather than understanding the scientific reasoning behind the concepts. Although many students benefited from test corrections, there were still students who struggled with misconceptions even when suggestions/feedback is written on their assessments.

                Through this course and the readings, I have come to realize that sometimes, our academically weak students may not know how to use or respond to feedback (Havnes, p. 25). This has opened up my eyes more into the way I have to approach how I provide feedback for my students. There has been a disconnect between the way I think all of my students will improve with the feedback provided and what they actually do with the feedback. As a teacher, I know that we have to cater to the many different learning abilities and needs of our students in terms of instruction but what I had forgotten was that providing feedback should be approached in the same way. I always noticed that my higher-level/actively engaged students had no problem asking questions about the feedback they receive and are always trying to improve on their understanding. My lower-level students did not seem as eager to tackle the feedback and it took a lot of coaxing and reasoning to even get these students to understand why learning from their mistakes is important. It was not until this course that I have finally connected the missing piece. These students were probably always told why feedback is important but taught how to use it.

                In The Power of Feedback, it is mentioned that feedback needs to provide the information that “fills a gap between what is understood and what is aimed to be understood” (Hattie & Timperley, p. 82). With this information, for the upcoming school year, it is important that I take the time to review assessment questions that are commonly answered incorrectly to walk students through their misconceptions. I would also like to review misconceptions more regularly so students can feel more confident with their understanding and mastery of material before summative assessments. With this course of action, I can help increase effort and engagement in the classroom as “it is more powerful when it [feedback] addresses faulty interpretations, not a total lack of understanding” (Hattie & Timperley, p. 82). Approaching feedback in a way that teachers are adapting to the different learning abilities of our students is important as not all of them process information and feedback in the same way. Providing reviews of assessments and allowing feedback to address misconceptions will allow students to take a more active role in their learning.

                My mentor and I will be switching roles for the upcoming school year. She will be teaching 6th grade while I am taking on her role of teaching 8th grade Living Environment. One assessment review strategy that she has in place is something I would like to continue for next year as part of my action plan. Since the 8th grade will be taking the regents at the end of the school year, she has aligned all assessment questions up with the corresponding standard. She provides them with a worksheet where the assessment questions are categorized by the standard. Students then check their answers by standard so they can become aware of how deep/level of mastery they have on the standards. If they have incorrectly answered multiple questions under one standard, they know that they have a misunderstanding on these set of skills. This assessment review strategy will help me and the students understand where they have misconceptions and may allow me to pinpoint and provide more assistance with students who need guidance while allowing higher-level students to review at their own pace.

                Another part of my action plan is to use popsicle/equity sticks more often during class. I had started using it this past school year but was not consistent with it. As there isn’t always enough time in each period and sometimes I tend to call on students who constantly raise their hand, I want to ensure that I am engaging all students in the classroom. I believe by ensuring all students get to contribute to the conversations and discussions in the classroom will allow them to challenge the thinking of their peers and allow them to give each other on-the-spot feedback. Additionally, I would also like to try to provide ways for students to get automatic feedback on a daily/weekly basis. One way of implementing this can be through the use of Google Forms where I can create short 3-5 question quizzes that are automatically graded on submission so students can see their progress of correctly answered questions, the correct answers, and the correct explanations. This can be used as exit tickets or as homework assignments.

                 

                References:

                Dixson, D. D., & Worrell, F. C. (2016). Formative and summative assessment in the classroom. Theory into practice, 55(2), 153-159.

                Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of educational research, 77(1), 81-112.

                Havnes, A., Smith, K., Dysthe, O., & Ludvigsen, K. (2012). Formative assessment and feedback: Making learning visible. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 38(1), 21-27.

                 

                • Germa Dubois

                  By Germa Dubois

                  Germa Dubois

                   

                  From the first week of the EDG 606 course, I realize that this was going to be an intense and rigorous course. From the first email we were redirected to Pace commons, I was a bit frustrated because it took me out of my comfort zone which was blackboard. Learning a new medium all while going through the motions of this course was indeed a challenge. However, I am glad that professor Ardito exposed me to something new. Assessment was something I struggled with during my first year of teaching and this course has helped me develop in that area extremely. Dr Ardito is a professor who pushes you to your fullest potential. He forces you to go over your work and see where you could have done more or provide more information. I have never met a professor who pushes you this much in order for you to succeed. In a nut shell, you will not turn in mediocrity work and expect Dr. Ardito to cosign it. He treated us like professionals but still students. He took into account of how stressful and under pressure we were, and was always generous in giving extensions. I am grateful and look forward to taking more courses from him in the near future.

                  For this summer course we focused on assessment and feedback. We solely focused on these two critical aspects of teaching and did many assignments in this regard. In week 2, I learned that feedback and assessment is a way to further assist your students in their weak areas. In assessment, you are basically checking how much your students are understanding the content that you are providing them. Whereas in feedback, you use the results from your assessment to correct misconceptions that your students may have, or to further explain and elaborate your content. One does not go without the other and these two parts of your lessons are crucial in the performance of your students. This assignment was very confusing at first. I was mystified as to why he would ask us to color code our work. This was an absurd request. However, after I was done, I realize why this was so important. it aided in the organization of my work.

                  Over the last few weeks, we did many assignments, some more challenging than some. However, my strongest work in my opinion, was when I compared the Ela state scores from two different districts. In the beginning of this assignment I had a clear and unbiased mind. However, I quickly realize how unfair and unjust the NYCDOE is. Below is the assignment.

                  New York City holds the largest Education sector in the United States of America. The city boasts about equality, sending a fake notion that each student is provided with equality in order for them to perform well. This notion is nothing but a big fat lie. Today for my data project, I have decided to analyze the NYC school system and look at the ELA records for seventh graders from two different schools in two different boroughs. The two boroughs or school districts that I chose to analyze was The Clinton School located on the East Side of Manhattan in district two and The JHS 292 School in East New York in district 19. I began this assignment with a clear and unbiased mind. My sole purpose was to make a distinction in the ELA scores between the two schools, amongst any other relevant data that I may find which may or may not contribute to the overall performance of each school.

                  First, I must add that this assignment was by far the worst assignment that I had ever done. I am not very tech savvy. I had never taken an excel course or had any prior reason to use excel. Therefore, comprehending, analyzing, inputting data and executing a graph was beyond me. This was extremely frustrating, and I contemplated many times to not do this assignment. No amount of YouTube videos or the tutorial that was provided by the professor seemed to be helpful. First, I downloaded the relevant data that I needed from the NYSED. The data was a lot. I had a very hard time navigating through the data and understanding it. After calling two of my classmates, I was able to comprehend. However, retracting the data from excel and creating a graph was an extreme struggle. I lost the data many times and had to start all over again. At one point I had many excel windows open and I just got lost in all of them. However, I did the best that I could.

                  Below is a graph and a screenshot of the data that I downloaded through NYSED. This graph shows the demographic makeup of the two schools. When I began to analyze the data, I realize that the Clinton School only consisted of only white students. There was no African American or Latinos or Hispanic students at the school. Whereas the JHS 292 School Consist of only African American Students and Hispanics. My first thought was, are we still in the 1950s when we lived in the Jim crow era where blacks and whites were segregated? It is beyond me that in 2019 we have schools that are not integrated, meanwhile the NYC board of education boast that equity is provided amongst all students. These students at The Clinton school obviously perform much better than the students of the JHS 292 school because a lot of factors come into play like low budget funding and a difference between the resources that are provided to each school. For example, at the JHS 292, for the students to perform a lab or any hands on activity, teachers need to come out of pocket to pay for supplies. This is a direct result why Blacks and Latino, continue to perform at a lower rate than the their white counterparts which results in significant social and economic consequences on the blacks and Latinos. The powers that be need to integrate schools where all students are given an equal opportunity. Integrating schools will close the test gap and promote racial equality not only in the state but the entire country.

                  The second thing that I noticed is that, The Clinton school also have no Latino and Hispanics, therefore, resulting with no English Language learners at the school. Whereas East New York have a high rate of English Language Learners. This puts the Clinton school in a much better position to perform much better than the JHS 292. English Language learners have a very hard time learning a new language, it takes them at least a few years to fully understand and able to read and write the English Language. When an ELL student take the ELA state test, they struggle, especially when there is no differentiating on the state test that they are use to all school year in the classroom.

                  image

                  Upon further analyzation, I realized while analyzing the data is the economic background of these two schools. The JHS 292 school had a recorded data of only 12% of students not being economical disadvantaged whereas The Clinton School had a whopping 84% of students not being economically disadvantage. The economic background of a student plays a major role in the way a student will perform in school and also on states test. The students at JHS 292 in East New York, come from an impoverished neighborhood. They are not afforded the luxury of having tutors or extra classes in ELA that can help them perform better on ELA state test. The class sizes in East New York are large and for a student to get the one on one that they need can sometimes be difficult. Class Sizes in the Clinton school are smaller, and students are able to get the one on one attention to address any struggles they may have. With majority of the students in the Clinton School coming from an High economic background, their parents can afford the luxury of getting them tutors thus, resulting in them performing much better than students in East New York.

                  image

                  I honestly think that state test should be abolished. Equality does not exist within the NYC department of education and blacks and Latinos are not given the same quality of education that their white counterparts are privileged too. One of the reasons I decided to become a teacher was to help close the gap between the two. However, now that I am in the profession, it seems futile. The odds are against them.

                  Reflecting on this assignment brought back the same emotions that it did when I was reading through the data. There is a lot of things wrong with the education system in NYC and though we focused on assessment and feedback for this course, this last assignment ignited the fire in me all over again on why I became a teacher. It is no secret that blacks are treated unfairly in all areas in this nation, but when we have an education system that boast of equity for all yet that does not reign true is mind boggling.

                  While I agree that feedback and assessment are crucial for the academic growth of our students, this cannot be the only factor that contribute to their success. We need to do a lot more for black kids. Hire more Black teachers, eliminate zoning of schools and create an equitable system.  

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  • Mika Khaytin

                    By Mika Khaytin

                    In the beginning of the course, the weakness/area of improvement I discussed concerned in-class formative assessments. I wrote, “Though I am able to ask students to justify their answers when I call on them, I don’t hear from 75% of the class on average unless they are working independently and I am circulating. I usually see the same handful of students answering in-class questions and would like to expand the discussion to the rest of the classroom.” The more participation I receive from my students, the more information I can gather about their understanding of the content or the instructional expectations. If they are silent, I can’t tell if they’re confused or bored, which doesn’t help as I try to get them all towards mastery of the Regents standards.

                                According to Brookhart, “The amount of effort a student will expend to do the task or understand the message should vary as a function of how difficult the task or message is perceived to be” (168). When I ask for students to raise their hands to answer a question, my delivery of the question may affect how many students actually raise their hands. If they believe I am trying to trick them or am providing an exceedingly difficult questions, students are more hesitant to respond even if they actually know the answer. That is the first goal I need to tackle: framing of questions or the work I am providing to students. Another finding according to Brookhart is, “students’ views of the importance of the task influences mental effort” (169). If students believe that answering a question or completing a task will impact their grade or understanding, they are more likely to try harder (in typical cases).

                                My action plan must tackle two obstacles. The first is framing in-class questions so that students are challenged, but are able to see what steps of thinking to follow towards the answer. The second is convincing students that answering questions in-class is important to the development of their understanding of the content. The first step of my action plan is developing a rubric/table for participation. This will be done within the first week of the school year and presented to the students. This table will track how often the student participated in class, and in what form. The forms can vary between raising their hand in class to completing the Do Now questions, and so on. This is to accommodate for students who struggle with speaking out loud in class, but who I still want to hear from throughout the lesson.

                                After a few weeks of students adjusting to this set up, I will conduct a quick survey for students to complete, perhaps as an exit ticket. I will ask them whether they feel that the participation rubric is fair, or what other feedback they have for me. They may also offer suggestions for how I should be providing feedback to them as well.

                                Another step to tackle the issue of question framing is providing students with guiding questions. In the beginning of the year, I can provide these guiding questions orally or through visuals to help students think step-by-step towards the answer. Throughout the year, I will shift the onus of scaffolding from myself towards peer groups, where students must discuss with each other to arrive at the correct answer. Differentiation for struggling students or groups will be provided by myself on an as needed basis.

                     

                    References:

                    1. Brookhart, S. M. (1997). A theoretical Framework For The Role of Classroom Assessment in Motivating Student Effort and Achievement. Applied Measurement in Education, 161-180.
                    • Daniela Salazar

                      By Daniela Salazar

                      Professional Development Plan

                                  When beginning this course, I identified my weakness to be creativity within my forms of assessment. When listing what types of assessments I use within my classroom, I realized I could not list anything other than the usual quiz, unit exam, and exit ticket. At this time, I did not know that there is much more to understanding assessments than I had realized. I still believe that creativity is important due to the fact that it promotes student motivation, but there were more foundational areas that I must strengthen before I focus on creativity. How I interpret and organize the data received from the different types of assessments is where I hope to improve. According to Dixson and Worrell (2016), When used properly, both forms of assessment complement each other as formative assessments help students learn information through an initial process, while summative assessments indicate how much content students gained and retained (p. 157). Now that I understand how formative and summative assessments work to complement each other, I look forward to learning how to use them properly in order to not only help me learn where to improve, but the students as well.

                                  An area of weakness that I have identified also includes giving feedback. From this coursework, I have learned that the way feedback is given and received plays a vital role in having an efficient classroom. Experiencing how feedback was given to me and how my perception affected my understanding of the coursework has inspired me to work on improving this area. Research by Hattie & Timperley (2007) explains that “the climate of the classroom is critical, particularly if disconfirmation and corrective feedback at any level is to be welcomed and used by the students (and teachers)” (p. 100). Feedback will be a procedure that I will welcome into the classroom at the beginning of the year. By creating an environment where feedback is insightful and welcomed, students, as well as myself, will not only receive feedback, but put it to use through corrections, and be able to respond back!

                                  With the proper research as support, my action plan will focus on my two areas of weakness. I will be creating a tracker in order to be able to observe the data received by summative assessments used during class:

                       

                      Student Name:

                      Date:

                      Lesson: Identifying Covalent Bonds Between Atoms

                      Objective(s):

                      • Distinguish between nonpolar and polar covalent
                      • Predict bond type based on electronegativity difference

                      Student Progress:

                      EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS

                      NOTES:                        

                      MEETING EXPECTATIONS

                      NOTES:                        

                      BELOW EXPECTATIONS

                      NOTES:                        

                      Moving forward, improvements will be made by….

                       

                             

                       

                      This action plan allows me to visualize what data from a summative assessment tells me about the information gained and retained by students. This tracker allows me to organize data and create further action plans to help the students succeed. This would also help any students looking for feedback on certain lessons to visualize the progress I am observing. The “Moving forward…” section is something I can fill out with the student, so that they can come up with their own action plan themselves!

                      In terms of feedback, my action plan includes following a “glow and grow” format:

                      Dear Amanda,

                      I appreciate your passion for saving the environment and solving the issues faced with nuclear wastes. Your expression is resilient as well as inspiring.

                      I find myself looking to hear examples of how we can help the issue at hand. What are some changes we can make daily that will help make big changes in the long run?

                      Please revise and resubmit your work by Friday!

                                                                                                                      Great work!

                                                                                                                      Ms. Salazar

                       

                      Receiving feedback is vital for academic growth. I have not made feedback a priority in the past, but with this action plan, I hope to improve by giving more than just a number for projects. This is an example of how I will improve my feedback within the classroom. It is heavily influenced by what I have experienced within this course. Not only will this promote the use and receiving of feedback, but it will also promote corrections in order to aid understanding!

                       

                       

                      References:

                      Dixson, D. D., & Worrell, F. C. (2016). Formative and summative assessment in the classroom. Theory into practice, 55(2), 153-159.

                       

                      Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of educational research, 77(1), 81-112.

                      • Amanda Spain-Perales

                        By Amanda Spain-Perales

                        In my self-assessment of using assessment, I stated that I wanted to incorporate feedback, which has been solidified after learning more about assessments. In addition to honing my craft, this will be beneficial in meeting my school’s goal for the 2019-20 school year. During our last PD, it was announced that the school would focus on the Danielson Framework “Using Assessment in Instruction”. This course has taught me the importance of using feedback to make learning and growth more meaningful and successful.

                        As mentioned in my Final Portfolio, I would like to give feedback in the moment to allow my students to understand where they currently are and where they need to be. Giving them something tangible to use as they are learning the skill or concept will propel their learning into more meaningful knowledge. I will follow the model of asking what are the goals, what progress is being made toward the goal, and what activities need to be undertaken to make better progress by Hattie and Timperley (Hattie, p. 86).

                        I will use my skills tracker in a more collaborative way with my students. Instead of using the data only for my own information (i.e., pacing, pulling small groups), I will use it to give instant feedback to so to steer their thinking in the right direction. There were times when I gave a student feedback when it was too late. It was nice to let them know; however, it could not be used to further their understanding.

                        Instant feedback will also help students engage in deeper discussions when the right open-ended questions are asked. I will continue to focus on inquiry-based learning so that my students can develop rich analyzing and communication skills. This will take form in turn and talks, and group share-outs. As Havnes et al. mentions, some students learn more from their peers than from their teacher (p.26).

                        Over all, I want my students to have more agency over their own learning. During my first year, I felt like I was using assessment for my own gains, not for my students’. In order for them to be more proactive in their education, I need to provide them with strategic and useful feedback. In turn, I hope they will acquire the necessary skills to critically think and become motivated to advance their own knowledge.  

                         

                        Works Cited

                        Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of educational research, 77(1), 81-112.

                        Havnes, A., Smith, K., Dysthe, O., & Ludvigsen, K. (2012). Formative assessment and feedback: Making learning visible. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 38(1), 21-27.

                         

                      EDG 605 Summer 2019

                      EDG 605 Summer 2019

                      This is the online home for EDG 605 Summer 2019