Friday, March 27, 2015

The Nine Key Criteria that make a Common Core-Aligned Performance Task Effective

The Nine Key Criteria that make a Common Core-Aligned Performance Task Effective.
In our last blog post, we wrote about author and education expert Jay McTighe’s advice for designing rich performance tasks that can prepare students more effectively for the rigor of Common Core assessments.
In this post, we’ll share his list of nine criteria for judging whether a Common Core-aligned performance task you’ve created is of high quality.
McTighe suggests rating your tasks on a scale of 1-3 for each of the following characteristics, with 1 meaning “not yet,” 2 meaning “somewhat,” and 3 meaning “extensively”:
  1. Addresses and assesses targeted standards or outcomes.
  1. Calls for understanding and transfer of knowledge.
Requires extended thinking—not just a simple answer (levels 3 or 4 in Webb’s Depth of Knowledge framework).
  1. Is set in an “authentic” context.
  1. Includes criteria or rubrics targeting distinct traits of understanding and successful performance—that is, these criteria don’t simply focus on the surface features of a product or performance.
  1. The task directions for students are clear.
These three additional criteria are optional, he says:
  1. Allows students to demonstrate their understanding or proficiency with some appropriate choice or variety.
  1. Effectively integrates two or more subject areas.
  1. Incorporates appropriate use of technology.
McTighe’s book, Core Learning: Assessing What Matters Most, was published using School Improvement Network’sLumiBook platform, a robust eBook platform that includes weblinks, video clips, and opportunities for discussion with the author and with other readers.
In McTighe’s LumiBook, you can find dozens of templates and examples of rich performance tasks that are Common Core-aligned. There is also a free webinar in which he explains some of the core concepts from his LumiBook.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Five Key Strategies for Developing High-Growth Schools - Free Webinar

Watch the Recorded Webinar Presented by Bobby Moore and School Improvement Network

To help schools achieve high student academic growth, it helps to examine not only what teachers do in the classroom, but also what schools and districts do system wide.

In this webinar, Dr. Bobby Moore, Senior Director of Battelle for Kids, will examine the five key strategies that Ohio school districts participating in the SOAR School Improvement Collaborative are using to become highly effective systems that produce significant student gains.

The five key strategies are:

  • Limiting goals and/or initiatives to focus on student learning
  • Establishing important structures and routines
  • Developing a balanced assessment system
  • Using multiple measures to inform improvement and accountability
  • Empowering teachers and developing leaders system-wide
Learn from school leaders in districts across the country about their experiences in adopting these strategies for student success.


Suggested audience: Central office staff, principals, and teachers

The PowerPoint and a Certificate of completion for PD credit is available.

To watch the webinar click here

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Real Value of Teachers and How to Support Them

Last week, our CEO and President, Chet Linton, was a guest on KSL Studio 5 explaining new research about the economic value of an effective teacher and five ways parents can better support their students’ teachers.

Here are some highlights of the research and insights he shared:

The Economic Impact of a Teacher – An effective teacher who teaches for 30 years with an average class size of 25 students whose students all go on to earn college degrees or technical certificates has a $930 million positive impact.

The Social Impact of a Teacher – These same teachers also contribute to a:
  • 19% drop in welfare dependence
  • 22% drop in divorce
  • 19% drop in smoking
  • 12% drop in obesity
  • 28% drop in incarceration
How to Support Effective Teachers – Here are five ways parents can better support teachers to help their students get the most out of their education and training:
  1. Prep your student – Help your students arrive at school on time, well rested and fed, and prepared for a full day of learning. Help them understand the value of an education and the impact it will have on their life.
  2. Volunteer – Be a classroom aide or offer other help that your students’ teachers might need.
  3. Be the bridge – Help students understand what the teacher wants them to learn in a specific assignment and why they need to do it. Put it into context and help make their homework relevant to them.
  4. Show school spirit – Get involved in the PTA, go to parent-teacher conferences, and go to school functions and events.
  5. Support quality training – Vote for and support ballot measures and candidates that support quality training for teachers and education funding.
Watch the complete interview on how you can support teachers.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

National Bullying Prevention and Awareness Month: 10 Strategies to Stop Bullying

School Improvement Network Releases Infographic Showing Prevalence and Impact of Bullying, 10 Strategies to Prevent It

Check out our new infographic on bullying prevention in honor of Bullying Prevention and Awareness Month showing the prevalence and effects of bullying in schools, and 10 strategies to stop bullying in any school or classroom. The infographic, accompanying resources, and additional tools are available to all educators on the company’s main site.

“Bullying, in all its manifestations, is a very real and serious problem for thousands of students nationwide, preventing them from learning effectively and thriving at school,” said Chet D. Linton, CEO and president of School Improvement Network. “These resources, compiled from our decades of researching and documenting best educational practices, can help educators everywhere combat bullying, so every student can learn, grow, and master the skills they need to graduate ready for college, a career and life.”

The infographic provides educators an overview of bullying forms, effects, prevalence, and prevention strategies. Highlights include:

  • One in every four students is bullied
  • One in every 10 students drops out of school due to bullying
  • Children who are bullied are more likely to have migraines, depression, anxiety, and consider or attempt suicide

Despite these grim statistics, research shows there are 10 strategies educators can use to stop bullying, including:

  • Change the school environment
  • Organize an anti-bullying committee
  • Train staff in prevention
  • Devote class time to prevention
  • Increase adult supervision in “hot spots”

In addition to a full explanation of the strategies, the infographic points educators to a free trial of Edivation, where they can access more anti-bullying resources.

Click here to see the infographic on the effects of bullying and 10 strategies to prevent it.

Monday, October 27, 2014

New Classroom Management Strategy Increases Student Engagement

School Improvement Network Video Segment Shows How to Use Nonverbal Praise Routines to Increase Student Engagement

new video segment showing a classroom management strategy to increase student engagement using nonverbal praise routines. The video segment is available to all educators as part of the weekly publication, “Strategy of the Week.”

“As part of our cause of helping 100 percent of educators become effective so that 100 percent of students can become college and career ready, we’ve dedicated the last two decades to creating the resources educators need to become as effective as possible in everything from classroom management to standard-specific instruction,” said Chet D. Linton, CEO and president of School Improvement Network. “When fully implemented and integrated, these resources can boost teacher effectiveness, increase student engagement, and even raise student achievement.”

In the new classroom management video segment, educators will learn how to use nonverbal praise routines to increase student engagement and involvement, and contribute to a greater sense of classroom community.

Click here to see the new classroom management video segment and how to increase student engagement with nonverbal praise routines.

Click here to see other teaching strategies in “Strategy of the Week.”

Click here to gain access to more classroom management video segments with a free trial of Edivation.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Lesson for Common Core Math Standard 6

New School Improvement Network Video Shows a Master Teacher’s Lesson for Common Core Math Standard 6

View the Strategy of the Week segment showing a master teacher’s lesson for the Common Core Math Standards. The video segment is available to all educators as part of the weekly publication “Strategy of the Week.”
“After decades of research documenting the best practices in education in classrooms around the world, we’ve captured master teachers in action demonstrating everything from how to teach the skills in the Common Core Math Standards or any state-specific standards to effective classroom management,” said Chet D. Linton, CEO and president of School Improvement Network. “With these resources, educators have access to what they need to be continually improving their practice to be as effective as possible.”
In this video, educators will see a master teacher’s lesson for Common Core Math Standard 6 to help students know how to calculate accurately and efficiently and communicate precisely to others. The video aligns to Common Core Standard MP.6.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Eighth Grade Common Core Math Lesson

Eighth Grade Common Core Math Lesson to Analyze and Solve Linear Equations

 view our new blog post featuring an eighth grade Common Core math lesson to analyze and solve linear equations available to all educators on the Common Core Blog. The Common Core Blog is written by present and former educators to provide resources for implementing the Common Core math and ELA standards.
“The Common Core State Standards are designed to progressively lead students to master the 21st century skills they need to succeed in college and a career when they graduate from high school,” said Chet D. Linton, CEO and president of School Improvement Network. “Through resources like Edivation and the Common Core Blog, we strive to provide all educators with the tools and resources they need to implement the Common Core with fidelity, including Common Core math and ELA lessons, real video examples of master teachers teaching to the Common Core Standards, and the Learning Progressions tool to help educators see the skills students need to master for each grade and subject.”
In this Common Core Blog post, educators will see a master teacher’s Common Core math lesson for teaching how to analyze and solve linear equations, including how to help students set up the equations, work in groups, and explain their work.