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

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

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Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119596721
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 10/08/2019
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 545,037
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 10.70(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Ron Berger is chief academic officer for EL Education and teaches at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Anne Vilen is senior writer and project manager for EL Education. Libby Woodfin is director of publications for EL Education.

Table of Contents

About the Authors xxi

About EL Education xxiii

Acknowledgments xxv

Foreword xxvii

Preface xxxi

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Learning Targets 5

Pre-Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 1 8

Learning Target 1: I can craft high-quality learning targets 9

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 9

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 14

Learning Target 2: I can use learning targets throughout a lesson to build students’ understanding and ownership of their learning 19

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 19

Challenge #4: I teach young children. Learning targets are really abstract for them. How can I help my students understand and own them? 24

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 26

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? 27

Challenge #7: I post my learning targets on the board or on chart paper, but as soon as students leave the room or move on to the next learning target, they forget what work relates to what learning target 31

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 33

Learning Target 3: I can create sets of learning targets that ensure my students are aiming for grade-level standards 36

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? 36

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) 40

Lessons for Leaders: Chapter 1 42

Post-Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 1 44

Chapter 2 Checking for Understanding during Daily Lessons 45

Pre-Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 2 49

Learning Target 1: I can build a culture of trust, growth, and collaboration in my classroom so that students can honestly assess their progress 50

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 50

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 53

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 60

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) 60

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 62

Challenge #5: I struggle to efficiently track student progress while I’m observing them at work or engaged in discussions 67

Learning Target 3: I can use questions effectively to check for understanding 71

Challenge #6: I ask lots of questions, but they don’t elicit rich or engaging classroom discourse 71

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 73

Learning Target 4: I can plan effective debriefs 79

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 79

Challenge #9: 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 80

Lessons for Leaders: Chapter 2 82

Post-Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 2 84

Chapter 3 Using Data with Students 85

Pre-Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 3 88

Learning Target 1: I can create a data-informed culture in my classroom 89

Challenge #1: My students and their families have a rigid idea of what data is. How do I help them see the bigger picture? 89

Challenge #2: My students don’t get excited about academic data. They don’t see it as useful or meaningful 91

Challenge #3: Looking at the data feels like another thing to do. How do I make time? 95

Learning Target 2: I can teach students to use data to evaluate their progress in relation to a learning target 97

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? 97

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? 103

Learning Target 3: I can support students to set meaningful and effective goals 107

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? 107

Lessons for Leaders: Chapter 3 113

Post-Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 3 115

Chapter 4 Models, Critique, and Descriptive Feedback 117

Pre-Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 4 120

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 121

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 121

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? 122

Learning Target 2: I can choose engaging and effective models to help students understand what “good” looks like in that genre of work 126

Challenge #3: I’m not sure what good work looks like 126

Challenge #4: I don’t know where to find good models for my students. Where do I look? What do I look for? 128

Learning Target 3: I can conduct a critique lesson that motivates students and gives them concrete takeaways they can use in their work 136

Challenge #5: I am not sure where to begin with a critique lesson 136

Challenge #6: My students do their work for the most part, but they don’t take much ownership of it 137

Learning Target 4: I can structure descriptive feedback so that it helps students see their strengths and how to improve their work 140

Challenge # 7: Giving students feedback takes too much time 140

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 141

Challenge #9: Peer conferencing feels like a waste of time. How do I help my students give and get high-quality feedback? 143

Lessons for Leaders: Chapter 4 152

Post-Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 4 154

Chapter 5 Student-Led Conferences 155

Pre-Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 5 158

Learning Target 1: I can collaborate with my colleagues to build a schoolwide system for effective student-led conferences 159

Challenge #1: Just scheduling all those conferences is a challenge! 159

Challenge # 2: Our families can’t come to conferences during the school day and many don’t speak English 163

Learning Target 2: I can structure portfolios and conference agendas so that families get the information they need and want 165

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 165

Challenge #4: My students have trouble finding, organizing, and reflecting meaningfully on their work 169

Learning Target 3: I can ensure that students are prepared to lead a conference with a high-quality presentation 172

Challenge #5: My students have good portfolios, but their presentations are weak 172

Challenge #6: Students are too focused on what they did and not on what they learned 179

Learning Target 4: I can prepare families to engage meaningfully in their student’s conference 181

Challenge #7: This is new for families. How do I help them let go of old assumptions about conferences? 181

Challenge #8: Families don’t understand their role in the conference. They take over instead of letting the student lead the dialogue 182

Challenge #9: Families feel frustrated when they don’t get a full picture of their child’s learning 186

Lessons for Leaders: Chapter 5 189

Post-Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 5 191

Chapter 6 Celebrations of Learning 193

Pre-Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 6 196

Learning Target 1: I can choreograph the details of a celebration of learning 197

Challenge #1: There are so many details! How do I get it all done while I’m teaching? 197

Challenge #2: We are disappointed with the level of family and community attendance 200

Learning Target 2: I can support students to produce original, high-quality work for an authentic audience 203

Challenge #3: My students’ work is too similar; if you’ve seen one example, you’ve seen them all 203

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 204

Learning Target 3: I can display student work with power and purpose 206

Challenge #5: Students’ individual work is high quality, but our display doesn’t do it justice 206

Learning Target 4: I can prepare students to tell the story of their learning in a way that informs, enlightens, and moves the audience 215

Challenge #6: Students talk about what the work is, rather than what they learned from doing it 215

Challenge #7: Students don’t have enough to do during the celebration 218

Learning Target 5: I can structure celebrations of learning so that families and community members can participate meaningfully 223

Challenge #8: Family members and guests show up to look, but don’t know what else to do 223

Challenge #9: I’m not sure how to include the community members and experts who don’t have children at the school 225

Lessons for Leaders: Chapter 6 227

Post-Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 6 229

Chapter 7 Passage Presentations with Portfolios 231

Pre-Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 7 234

Learning Target 1: I can communicate the purpose and audience for passage presentations 235

Challenge #1: I am not clear on the purpose and value of passage presentations 235

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 237

Learning Target 2: I can support students to create multi-year portfolios with reflections 243

Challenge #3: I have student work everywhere! I need clear systems for saving, storing, and managing students’ portfolios over multiple years 243

Challenge #4: I’m not sure what students should include in the passage portfolio 245

Challenge #5: My students can’t find or don’t have academic work from multiple years 246

Challenge #6: My students are focused on what they can do now. They have difficulty seeing their growth over multiple years 248

Learning Target 3: I can ensure that students are prepared to lead passage presentations with professionalism 254

Challenge #7: My Students have strong portfolios, but their presentation skills are weak 254

Challenge #8: My students falter when they have to think on their feet 259

Learning Target 4: I can prepare families and community members for the important roles they play in passage presentations 262

Challenge #9: I am not sure how to build the panels for passages and what the role of panelists should be 262

Challenge #10: Family and community members don’t understand their roles in passage presentations 264

Challenge #11: Panelists listen to students but don’t give meaningful feedback 264

Lessons for Leaders: Chapter 7 268

Post-Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 7 270

Chapter 8 Standards-Based Grading 271

Pre-Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 8 274

Learning Target 1: I can help families and students understand the “why” behind standards-based grading 275

Challenge #1: How will I explain standards-based grading to students and families if I don’t fully understand it myself? 275

Challenge #2: Students and families are used to traditional grading. How do I help them understand how standards-based grading supports students? 279

Learning Target 2: I can effectively implement standards-based grading in my classroom, school, or district 286

Challenge #3: I have so many standards and learning targets. Which ones should count toward grades? 286

Challenge #4: I’m still not sure how to set up my grade book or how to calculate grades 287

Challenge #5: How do I empower ALL students to track their progress toward standards-based grades? 289

Learning Target 3: I can assess my students’ work habits 297

Challenge #6: How do I measure learning behaviors that develop slowly over time? 297

Challenge #7: I don’t have time to assess work habits regularly and consistently 297

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? 302

Challenge #9: Our required report card format doesn’t include work habits. What are other ways I can use to communicate a work habits grade to students and families? 303

Challenge #10: Families and students discount work habit grades because they don’t “count” on official transcripts 304

Lessons for Leaders: Chapter 8 307

Post-Assessment: Track Your Progress: Chapter 8 309

Appendix: What’s in the Online Toolbox? 311

References 315

Index 317

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