Standards-Based Teaching and Learning: Grades 4 and 5
Standards-based report cards communicate to the parent(s) and the student not only the exact skill the student is working to master, but also their specific progress at that time towards that goal. Traditional letter grades next to a subject area simply do not provide that type of specific information.
Grades 6 through 12 will remain letter graded as in the past. This approach represents what most districts are doing regarding grading and reporting progress to students. As you may have heard at the open house, in 6th - 8th grade many assignments that are considered important practice will be scored but not graded. We refer to these as formative assessments. These assessments will guide teachers’ instruction as they are able to see what students have mastered and what they have not mastered. As students are practicing a new skill, they will not be penalized in their grade if they make a mistake. It is important that students complete their practice in class or at home so teachers are able to monitor student learning. Summative assessments will take place after students have completed the study of a topic and we are assessing formally what they have learned. An example of this could be a unit test. These will be graded and count toward the final grade.
You will see Power-School looks a bit different for 5 – 8th grade. If you do not see a grade in the quarter one column, simply click on the two small dashes in the box. This should reveal any assignments that your child has been assigned. You will also note that practice, or formative assessments, will be scored with the following scale:
S= Secure in this area
N= Needs Assistance
If the square is left completely blank, this would indicate that your child did not complete their assignment. This is a new system for our students, teachers and you as parents. Thank you for your patience as we transition through this new process. We want to be able to give you the best representation of what your child knows and has learned.
Currently, student in grades K4-5 are assessed through a standards-based system; reporting student progress on specific learning targets aligned to the Common Core. Grades 6-8 will continue to be letter grade based with formative assessments scored and not graded and summative assessments counting toward the final grade. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 482-8410.
Plan, Do, Study, Act
Teachers will utilize the Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) model for continuous improvement in their classrooms. A PDSA cycle includes the following components:
PLAN: What is our Learning Goal or Learning Objective for a specific timeframe.
DO: What teachers, Parents, and Students will do to achieve the Learning Goals. These include high-yield strategies and supporting activities that will help us reach our Learning Goals. Students take ownership and responsibility for their learning by setting individual goals and then track their own performance to determine their individual progress toward the Class Learning Goals. Students will actively track their progress towards their Learning Goals in both Reading & Math.
STUDY: A plus/delta evaluation of previous learning objectives-What we did well and where we can improve will be completed as we strive to reach our Learning Goals for the year. A data chart of learning results to show the current level of performance toward the learning Goals. Our DRA Reading Levels will be posted on a data chart on our PDSA (Plan, Do, Study, Act) bulletin board. We will be working everyday to improve our reading levels and fluency. Students who reach their goals can go on to reach higher individual goals and be Goal Buddies-Kids who help others reach their goals.
ACT: What we will do differently (DO's-How we learn best!) next time for our next Learning Goal. Develop a new action plan for the next learning objective.