Two Days of Professional Development

I spent the past two days in PD at my school.  The topic was formative assessment and the task was to build 5 formative assessments that can be used this semester in our classes.  We were broken out into our subject matter groups, which will also be our Professional Learning Communities for the year.

Our pacing guide for Algebra 1 [need link] seems reasonable, so we started with the 9 standards that we intend to cover before our first benchmark exam.  The general approach we are taking is that our formative assessments will be shared questions that we all ask for each standard.  We will record the results of these formative assessments and then discuss (in our PLCs) how our delivery of the content or the assessments for understanding could be improved based on the results.

Just how much process here should be shared was a topic of discussion.  Some people will do pre-test vs post-test comparisons, or exit tickets, or red-yellow-green paddles.

Naturally, if we are staying close to the standards, the question also comes up if we shouldn’t just do standards-based grading as well.  I have to say it makes a lot of sense to me, but overall the team is relatively new already to formative assessment, so adding another layer of complexity to the year—which starts very soon—was deemed to *not* be ideal.  There was also some hesitation since administration will need to be informed of what we are thinking.

GREAT WORK:  results from the EOC tests are back and it looks like overall Wapato students improved math scores from 20% to 51% [outstanding!]

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