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Posts from the ‘evaluation’ Category

9 Social Studies Resources for the End of School

For many of you, the count may already be down to single digits. May and June aren’t the easiest months of the year and I know that you’re hacking your way through the next few weeks, trying to stay on top of stuff. But it doesn’t have to be painful. These resources can help.

Start with this End of the Year Top 10 from @gingerlewman:

Highlights?

  • Breathe
  • Highlight your wins and wishes
  • Thank others
  • Don’t worry so much about grading

Then browse through this quick list of lessons and activities that might make your life a little easier:

And don’t forget the seriously important evaluations from students asking about our teaching practice. You probably already have an instrument that you use to get student feedback but in case you need something, bounce over to this earlier History Tech post for some suggestions.

Have fun the last few weeks – you can do this!

Likes, wonders, and powerful student presentations

I’ve always liked the idea of Likes & Wonders. Asking kids to think about art, for instance. Or during gallery walks of student products.

But I haven’t really thought much about the idea of using the same sort of thinking process during live presentations by students. So yesterday was a new learning experience for me when I got the chance to play a part in PBL guru Ginger Lewman’s two day Passion-Based Learning session.

Ginger was working with a small group of high school teachers, walking through some PBL steps and asking teacher groups to do sample presentations. Along with a few other ESSDACK folks, I sat in on one of the presentations as a “student” listening to the presentation.

And it was cool to see the Likes and Wonders idea applied to student presentations.

We’ve all seen it. A kid or group of kids get up. They do three or four or 15 minutes of a presentation. Chances are, the preso isn’t that good. And the classroom audience is completely disengaged. Kids in the audience have either already presented and don’t care anymore or they’re presenting next and are freaking out.

The whole point here is get kids to think historically and practice literacy skills. So what to do when presentations aren’t that good and the audience is nowhere to be found? Read more

3 things you need to do before July

Seriously? It’s the middle of May? Already? There was snow just a few weeks ago and today kids all over are in final countdown mode. But before you close the door on 2016-2017, there are three things you need to do.

So in no particular order: Read more

Personal professional growth and student evals

Billy Landes was probably the best teacher I ever had. Encouraging. Supportive. Tough. Demanding. Helpful. She let our study group leave to do “research” in the library when I’m pretty sure she knew that we usually headed to the donut shop instead. A learner. Smart. Knowledgable.

And someone who always asked our feedback about how she could get better. It was the weirdest thing. A teacher asking her students about her teaching practice? Seriously?

Teacher evaluation is always one of the hot topics here in the Sunflower state. It’s a hot topic pretty much everywhere. How do we best measure whether a teacher is effective or not? What questions do we ask? What data do we look at?

Teacher quality is important. I get that. But I personally have issues with politicians and others not directly involved on the front lines claiming to know best when it comes to measuring teacher quality. Common sense and research suggests that kids are successful or not for lots of reasons.

And while the political mess of teacher evaluation by schools and districts will continue, I still believe that as professionals we have an obligation to reflect on a personal level about our own best practice. Constant improvement is a good thing. And I also believe that there is a lot of value in asking our kids, our customers, to be a part of that evaluation process.

We’re not talking here about formal teacher evaluations here – this is personal professional development.Asking questions about what we do and how it impacts our students. No one else sees the results. Just us. Read more

Tip of the Week: Student evaluations. Of you.

Apparently we’ve been on some sort of double secret probation since last fall. The state of Kansas was in danger of losing its exemption from NCLB because we weren’t tying teacher evaluations more closely to student growth and state assessments. The state may have gotten off the hook by encouraging local districts to link “significant” student growth and teacher evals.

And, yes, teacher quality is incredibly important. But I personally have issues with politicians and others not directly involved on the front lines claiming to know best when it comes to measuring teacher quality. Common sense and research suggests that kids are successful or not for lots of reasons.

But while the political issues of teacher evaluation by schools and districts will continue, I still believe that as professionals we have an obligation to reflect on a personal level about our own best practice. Constant improvement is a good thing. And I also believe that there is a lot of value in asking our kids, our customers, to be a part of that evaluation process. Read more

Does your lesson suck? Find out with this rubric

I’ve been having some interesting conversations over the last few weeks with my buddy Steve. Basically, the conversation has focused on a simple question:

How do teachers know whether they’re good at what they do?

We’ve been trying to figure out what types of data could provide information to help us understand what good teaching actually looks like. Part of that discussion involves asking students to provide part of the data.

Yeah.

But browse through an article, Why Kids Should Grade Teachers, from The Atlantic that discusses the power of student feedback. And you may not agree with all of it. I get that. But the idea still makes sense to me. Kids spent months in our classrooms – their perspective is important in helping us understand the impact we’re having on them, good and bad.

I’ve attached a couple of quick sample surveys. Feel free to adapt them for content and age levels.

But there is other information that can also be useful to answering the original question. We can use all sorts of data to get feedback about quality instruction.

One of the most useful is Read more