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The Leaders of Their Own Learning Companion: New Tools and Tips for Tackling the Common Challenges of Student-Engaged Assessment

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The Leaders of Their Own Learning Companion: New Tools and Tips for Tackling the Common Challenges of Student-Engaged Assessment

Ron Berger, Anne Vilen, Libby Woodfin

ISBN: 978-1-119-59672-1 November 2019 Jossey-Bass 416 Pages

Paperback
Pre-order
€28.20

Description

A New Companion to Leaders of Their Own Learning Puts Students in Charge of Their Learning and Growth

Five years after the publication of Leaders of Their Own Learning, EL Education is back with a new companion guide to help you tackle the common challenges of student-engaged assessment. This unique, student-centered approach to assessment equips and compels students to understand goals for their learning and growth, track their progress toward those goals, and take responsibility for reaching them.

EL Education has more than 25 years of experience supporting school transformation through student-engaged assessment. With their new book, The Leaders of Their Own Learning Companion, they have harvested the best tools and wisdom from schools across the country to help you hone student-led assessment practices in your classroom and school.

  • Identifies the common challenges of implementing each of the eight interrelated student-engaged assessment practices from Leaders of Their Own Learning, and provides strategies and tools for tackling them
  • Offers practical tips for school leaders
  • Deepens your learning with 46 videos and an online toolbox 

The Leaders of Their Own Learning Companion is designed for teachers and leaders of all grade levels and no prior knowledge of the original Leaders of Their Own Learning is necessary to make the most of this book.

About the Authors

About EL Education

Acknowledgments

Foreword

Preface

Introduction

Chapter 1: Learning Targets

Pre-Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 1

Learning Target 1: I can craft high-quality learning targets.

Challenge #1: My students are working hard and generally doing what I’ve asked them to do, but they aren’t always learning what they need to learn.

Challenge #2: I’m in a rut with my learning targets. I need help varying them more and making them more interesting for my students.

Learning Target 2: I can use learning targets throughout a lesson to build students’ understanding and ownership of their learning.

Challenge #3: I feel okay about writing learning targets, but I’m in a rut about how to use them. I always introduce them and unpack them in the same way.

Challenge #4: I teach young children. Learning targets are really abstract for them. How can I help my students understand and own them?

Challenge #5: I have a high percentage of English language learners in my class. I’m never sure how much the learning targets help them stay focused on their learning because of language barriers.

Challenge #6: I’m good at introducing the learning targets for every lesson, but I’m not so sure what I should do after that. How do I return to them throughout the course of a lesson?

Challenge #7: I post my learning targets on the board or on chart paper, but as soon as students leave the room or move onto the next learning target, they forget what work relates to what learning target.

Challenge #8: I know that learning targets for character are a good idea, but I don’t take them as seriously as academic learning targets, and, therefore, I don’t take the time to really focus on them with my students.

Learning Target 3: I can create sets of learning targets that ensure my students are aiming for grade-level standards.

Challenge #9: I’m struggling to translate standards into learning targets. I have so many standards to cover. Should there be a learning target for every standard? Is it a one-to-one relationship?

Challenge #10: I’m pretty good at writing learning targets, but I struggle to choose or craft assessments that clearly demonstrate that my students have met a target (and are therefore on their way to meeting required standards).

Lessons For Leaders: Chapter 1

Post Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 1

Chapter 2: Checking for Understanding

Pre-Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 2

Learning Target 1: I can build a culture of trust, growth, and collaboration in my classroom so that students can honestly assess their progress.

Challenge #1: I haven’t developed enough of a positive culture in my classroom and, as a result, my students are afraid to accurately assess their understanding in front of other students.

Challenge #2: My students don’t view learning as a collaborative effort. They don’t want to share their work or talk with other students about what they know.

Learning Target 2: I can use checking-for-understanding techniques that help students assess their progress toward learning targets and allow me to monitor their progress.

Challenge #3: I’m having a hard time finding checking-for-understanding techniques that give me the information I need (and I don’t want to spend a lot of time teaching new techniques to my students).

Challenge #4: I’m never sure when to use which technique during the course of a lesson. I want to be judicious and efficient and not wear my students out checking for understanding too frequently.

Challenge #5: I struggle to efficiently track student progress while I’m observing them at work or engaged in discussions.

Learning Target 3: I can use questions effectively to check for understanding.

Challenge #6: I ask lots of questions, but they don’t elicit rich or engaging classroom discourse.

Challenge #7: It’s one thing to check for understanding on low-level questions, but I need new strategies for asking questions with a higher cognitive demand so that I can check for a deeper level of understanding.

Learning Target 4: I can plan effective debriefs.

Challenge #8: I always run out of time for the debrief at the end of my lessons. I struggle to prioritize it even though I know it’s important.

Challenge #10: When debriefing a lesson, I’ll have students turn and talk or reflect with a peer, but I’m not capturing what they’ve learned.

Lessons For Leaders: Chapter 2

Post Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 2

Chapter 3: Using Data with Students

Pre-Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 3

Learning Target 1: I can create a data-informed culture in my classroom.

Challenge #1: My students and their families have a rigid idea of what data is. How do I help them see the bigger picture?

Challenge #2: My students don’t get excited about academic data. They don’t see it as useful or meaningful.

Challenge #3: Looking at the data feels like another thing to do. How do I make time?

Learning Target 2: I can teach students to use data to evaluate their progress in relation to a learning target.

Challenge #4: With so many students, it’s impossible for me to keep track of each student’s data on a daily basis. How can I enlist students in organizing, tracking, and storing their own data effectively?

Challenge #5: My students don’t see illuminating trends that can motivate them to persist in their learning. How do I get them to analyze data more effectively?

Learning Target 3: I can support students to set meaningful and effective goals.

Challenge #6: My students learn “in the moment.” How do I help them see the big picture and use today’s learning to set goals for tomorrow?

Lessons For Leaders: Chapter 3

Post Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 3

Chapter 4: Models, Critique, and Descriptive Feedback

Pre-Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 4

Learning Target 1: I can distinguish between assignments that should be revised and polished into quality final drafts and those that can be just practice and reflection.

Challenge #1: There’s so much to do in my curriculum. I don’t have time for my students to critique and revise their work.

Challenge #2: It’s hard to predict how long it will take for students to refine their work. How do I create a plan that supports students to do quality work?

Learning Target 2: I can choose engaging and effective models to help students understand what “good” looks like in that genre of work.

Challenge #3: I’m not sure what good work looks like.

Challenge #4: I don’t know where to find good models for my students. Where do I look? What do I look for?

Learning Target 3: I can conduct a critique lesson that motivates students and gives them concrete takeaways they can use in their work.

Challenge #5: I am not sure where to begin with a critique lesson.

Challenge #6: My students do their work for the most part, but they don’t take much ownership of it.

Learning Target 4: I can structure descriptive feedback so that it helps students see their strengths and how to improve their work.

Challenge #7: Giving students feedback takes too much time.

Challenge #8: I give verbal and written feedback to students all the time, and they don’t seem to learn from it. They continue to have the same weaknesses in their work.

Challenge #9: Peer conferencing feels like a waste of time. How do I help my students give and get high-quality feedback?

Lessons For Leaders: Chapter 4

Post Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 4

Chapter 5: Student-Led Conferences

Pre-Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 5

Learning Target 1: I can collaborate with my colleagues to build a schoolwide system for effective student-led conferences.

Challenge #1: Just scheduling all those conferences is a challenge!

Challenge #2: Our families can’t come to conferences during the school day and many don’t speak English.

Learning Target 2: I can structure portfolios and conference agendas so that families get the information they need and want.

Challenge #3: Students want to share their best and favorite work, but families want and need to know the full story of how their children are doing, even if they are struggling.

Challenge #4: My students have trouble finding, organizing, and reflecting meaningfully on their work.

Learning Target 3: I can ensure that students are prepared to lead a conference with a high-quality presentation.

Challenge #5: My students have good portfolios, but their presentations are weak.

Challenge #6: Students are too focused on what they did and not on what they learned.

Learning Target 4: I can prepare families to engage meaningfully in their student’s conference.

Challenge #7: This is new for families. How do I help them let go of old assumptions about conferences?

Challenge #8: Families don’t understand their role in the conference. They take over instead of letting the student lead the dialogue.

Challenge #9: Families feel frustrated when they don’t get a full picture of their child’s learning.

Lessons For Leaders: Chapter 5

Post Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 5

Chapter 6: Celebrations of Learning

Pre-Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 6

Learning Target 1: I can choreograph the details of a celebration of learning.

Challenge #1: There are so many details! How do I get it all done while I’m teaching?

Challenge #2: We are disappointed with the level of family and community attendance.

Learning Target 2: I can support students to produce original, high-quality work for an authentic audience.

Challenge #3: My students’ work is too similar; if you’ve seen one example, you’ve seen them all.

Challenge #4: Students and community members are excited about the celebration, but the quality of student work is not as strong as it could be.

Learning Target 3: I can display student work with power and purpose.

Challenge #5: Students’ individual work is high quality, but our display doesn’t do it justice

Learning Target 4: I can prepare students to tell the story of their learning in a way that informs, enlightens, and moves the audience.

Challenge #6: Students talk about what the work is, rather than what they learned from doing it.

Challenge #7: Students don’t have enough to do during the celebration.

Learning Target 5: I can structure celebrations of learning so that families and community members can participate meaningfully.

Challenge #8: Family members and guests show up to look, but don’t know what else to do.

Challenge #9: I’m not sure how to include community members and experts who don’t have children at the school.

Lessons For Leaders: Chapter 6

Post Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 6

Chapter 7: Passage Presentations with Portfolios

Pre-Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 7

Learning Target 1: I can communicate the purpose and audience for passage presentations.

Challenge #1: I am not clear on the purpose and value of passage presentations.

Challenge #2: I haven’t yet figured out how to turn passage presentations into a tradition that really matters to students and families, rather than just another event.

Learning Target 2: I can support students to create multi-year portfolios with reflections.

Challenge #3: I have student work everywhere! I need clear systems for saving, storing, and managing students’ portfolios over multiple years.

Challenge #4: I’m not sure what students should include in the passage portfolio.

Challenge #5: My students can’t find or don’t have academic work from multiple years.

Challenge #6: My students are focused on what they can do now. They have difficulty seeing their growth over multiple years.

Learning Target 3: I can ensure that students are prepared to lead passage presentations with professionalism.

Challenge #7: My Students have strong portfolios, but their presentation skills are weak.

Challenge #8: My students falter when they have to think on their feet.

Learning Target 4: I can prepare families and community members for the important roles they play in passage presentations.

Challenge #9: I am not sure how to build the panels for passages and what the role of panelists should be.

Challenge #10: Family and community members don’t understand their roles in passage presentations.

Challenge #11: Panelists are confused about what to expect or cancel at the last minute.

Challenge #12: Panelists listen to students, but don’t give meaningful feedback

Lessons For Leaders: Chapter 7

Post Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 7

Chapter 8: Standards-Based Grading

Pre-Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 8

Learning Target 1: I can communicate the purpose and audience for passage presentations.

Challenge #1:

Learning Target 1: I can help families and students understand the “why” behind standards-based grading.

Challenge #1: How will I explain standards-based grading to students and families if I don’t fully understand it myself?

Challenge #2: Students and families are used to traditional grading. How do I help them understand how standards-based grading supports students?

Learning Target 2: I can effectively implement standards-based grading in my classroom, school, or district.

Challenge #3: I have so many standards and learning targets. Which ones should count toward grades?

Challenge #4: I’m still not sure how to set up my grade book or how to calculate grades.

Challenge #5: How do I empower ALL students to track their progress toward standards-based grades?

Learning Target 3: I can assess my students’ work habits.

Challenge #6: How do I measure learning behaviors that develop slowly over time?

Challenge #7: I don’t have time to assess work habits regularly and consistently.

Challenge #8: What are my options for communicating grades for work habits on a report card so that they mean something and don’t make the report card too long?