Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Depth of Knowledge, Assessments and Power Standards

Our quarter 4 focus for curriculum meetings focused on Webb's Depth of Knowledge, power standards and tying both into appropriate assessments.  I found several fabulous graphics and a Vimeo to get our staff started.  Click below for the traditional Depth of Knowledge chart.

I really like Karen Hess's Depth of Knowledge explanation. Click the link below to view.

Here is a fabulous DOK English Language Arts video that covers ALL Depth of Knowledge levels.

In our math team meetings, we used the following Ted Talk to discuss the importance of digging deeper utilizing real life activities to approach Levels 3 & 4 Depth of Knowledge.

Jen at Hello Literacy has a fabulous activity with Depth of Knowledge and a ready to go classroom bulletin board focusing on DOK.  Teachers K-12 will each be bringing in a final product or assessment that they use with their students. Instead of using the DOK circle graph, we used the words as a sort and springboard for dialogue.

It was fantastic to modify the activity and not use the circle because the dialogue consensus was that many of these verbs fall into different "Depths" of Knowledge depending on what is written after the verb. Teachers decided that the circle graph needs dotted lines for fluidity.

To tie Depth of Knowledge in with projects, the following {LINK} will guide you to a document that takes DOK and gives you project suggestions.  It is a fabulous springboard!

I am super excited about how the slide below turned out.  Our goal is to tie curriculum, power standards, instruction, summative and formative assessments together so they are interrelated and ongoing toward mastery of crucial concepts at each grade level. 

 The CCSS have been a little overwhelming.  Teachers make the mistake of  wanting to focus on ALL standards for mastery, and that is not possible.  If we develop power standards~ the most crucial to revisit often and always that will staircase to the next  grade level~we can streamline and plant roots of literacy that will grow.

A nice resource to help focus on power standards is Achieve the Core.
It has a nice outline of focus areas for English Language Arts and Math.

The dialogue was amazing and teachers determined that they needed time to dig deeper and rewrite formative and summative assessments to target DOK levels.

Teachers asked for time to establish their power standards and work within grade levels to ensure there are no gaps.  They also asked for time to write common rubrics!

Our school district is truly comprised of teachers who continually work to better their instruction.  Professional Development opportunities for collaboration have supported continuity.  Yahoo!

Monday, April 14, 2014

It's Earth Day by Mercer Mayer ~ Freebie!

My week to plan Kindergarten's ELA unit is fast approaching and it is all about Earth Day.  Our anchor text chosen is, It's Earth Day by Mercer Mayer.  This is darling book reminding us that each person is responsible for helping keep our Earth a safe place.

There are so many fabulous activities on teacher blogs.  My favorite is from The First Grade Parade.  I LOVE her art project so much that I made the headers for our Kindergarten teachers to use for this. You can use the freebie below to make her adorable project or one of your own.

Many thanks to Cara Carroll for this inspiration! 

Click {HERE} to download your freebie.

I will be linking this up with Manic Monday freebies and Teaching Blog Addict's Freebie Friday this week.

Classroom Freebies Manic MondayFreebie Fridays


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Anchor Charts and Annotating With Math

Our teachers have tried many new methods for teaching this year.  The one universal method for delivering instruction has been  through anchor charts.  

The additional use of anchor charts has been an opportunity to verbally talk through processes and annotate with students.  The benefit of anchor charts is that the STAY on the wall for reference so specific skills are reviewed again and again.  This is just best practices and our teachers are really getting the hang of these strategies!  Check out the math anchor charts and annotating below.  They cover elementary school through high school!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Fossil Fuels Freebie

Freebie Fridays

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Our fourth grade team is learning about fossil fuels and their effects on the environment.  To kick-start this unit of study, they are reading What's So Bad About Gasoline?  Fossil Fuels and What they do by Anne Rockwell.

I found a fabulous idea on Pinterest, and decided to use it as inspiration for an anchor chart along with a cause and effect text structure organizer to keep kids on track.

This is a freebie for you to use in your classroom.  As we have teams of teachers in our buildings, sharing is caring, so you have permission to share with your grade level team at your school.

I am super excited with the results!  Let me how you use this in your classroom.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Freebie Friday ~ Space-Themed Writing Paper

To celebrate my new Solar System flap-book, I have created a freebie writing sheet that you can use with ANY space-themed writing prompt for your classroom.

I am linking up with Teaching Blog Addict's Freebie Friday to share this with you!  Happy Friday!

Freebie Fridays

This writing paper is the companion to my Solar System Flap Book.  You can find it by clicking the picture below.

Solar System ~ Favorite Books and Interactive Flap Book

Solar System, here we come!

Our third grade team is orbiting the solar system and have incorporated the most fabulous books into their curriculum.  Here are my recommendations.  We have an anchor text that is revisited daily and additional instructional texts to read to students for additional ideas and discussion.

For Studying the Earth, Day and Night~
Our anchor text  for week 1 is Planet Earth.

Moving on to the Moon~
The anchor text for week 2 is If You Decide to Go to the Moon.

Spectacular Solar System Selections~
The anchor text for week 2 is Discover  More:  Planets.

It is time for students to firm up the difference between fact and opinion so this is the main focus for these three weeks.  We use an anchor chart to point out key differences in fact and opinion statements.  In addition, students are making flip-flap books focusing on their opinion of each planet and facts to support their opinions.  This is interactive and open-ended for students to practice these skills!

 Below are 2 anchor charts that our third grade teachers made.  

Here is an amazing bulletin board that one of our teachers made utilizing the power standards from this unit, the Solar System Vocabulary header and a few cute graphics.  (Word cards on the red sheet are not in this unit.)

I have put the anchor chart headers, I can statements and labels for the solar system flap book on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Click the link below to  check it out!

Preview Below:

Happy Teaching!