Rose Ferrero Bulletin
May 9-20, 2022
This week, Kudos go out to our Employees of the Month. Pictured on the right is our Certificated Employee of the Month is Sixth Grade Teacher, Amanda Bassetti. Mrs. Bassetti is in her thirty-second year of teaching, and all of it here in Soledad. She began her career teaching 5th Grade at Main Street Middle School, then spent time at San Vicente and Gabilan, before coming over to Rose Ferrero the year in opened; she has been here ever since. Mrs. Bassetti’s strength is the way in which she is able to get her students to understand the writing process – and writing is such an important skill for students to master. Pictured on the left is our Classified Employee of the Month is Lourdes Aguilar, one of our Cafeteria Aides. Working in the cafeteria might sound like it is easy, but it definitely is not. Getting students from TK through 6th grade into the cafeteria, seated, ensuring they have everything they need – an extra napkin, a spoon, for example – then dismissing them in a timely and orderly fashion, and cleaning off their table for the next group of students that are about to arrive is much more difficult than it sounds, but Ms. Aguilar makes it all seem easy and effortless. Congratulations Amanda and Lourdes for this overdue recognition … Rose Ferrero is way better off with you on our team!
MEET THE NEWEST MEMBER OF THE ROSE FERREO FAMILY
We wanted to take the opportunity to introduce you to our new Student Intervention Technician, Grace Cortez. This is Grace’s second week at Rose Ferrero, and we already know we have a winner in her. Grace was born in San Diego, but she was raised in Riverside. After attending Riverside City College, Grace ran the office of a Solar Company as well as owned and operated her own Boutique before moving to Monterey County in 2018. Grace’s son attends Kindergarten at Rose Ferrero, and after spending the last few years as a “stay-at-home-mom”, Grace said she felt like it was time for her to return to work. Therefore, if you see Grace around the campus, please say “Hello,” as she is now one of the family.
QUOTES OF THE WEEK WE SHARED WITH OUR STUDENTS
LCAP GOAL 2: PROFICIENCY FOR ALL – Formative Assessment & Checks for Understanding
On Tuesday, April 12th through Thursday, April 14th, I had the pleasure of attending the Formative Assessment International Conference put on by the Dylan Wiliam Center. One of the guest speakers was Jay McTighe, the former director of the Maryland Assessment Consortium, as well as a former employee of the Maryland State Department of Education, where he helped lead Maryland’s standards-based reforms, including the development of performance-based statewide assessments. McTighe is also an accomplished author, having co-authored 17 books, including the award-winning and best-selling Understanding by Design series with Grant Wiggins.
At the conference, McTighe told his audience that using formative assessments designed to check for understanding and provide students with feedback and support is one of the most effective ways to improve and enhance student learning. Yet because of the need to cover large amounts of information and develop many skills, teachers may not take time checking to make sure students understand a concept or can effectively apply a skill, and, if they don’t, figuring out ways to improve their learning. Thankfully, there are practical, proven formative assessment techniques that teachers can use as a quick “pulse check” to gauge students’ understanding. The eight techniques McTighe discussed, and the examples he gave, can be applied across all grades and subject areas. Keep in mind that the results of these checks should not be graded since the purpose of formative assessment techniques is to obtain feedback to use in improving teaching and learning, not to evaluate learning. Furthermore, it’s important that students understand the purposes of these techniques, that mistakes are okay—and even expected—and that they will not be graded on their responses.
1. Signal It
Ask students to display a designated hand signal to indicate their degree of confidence in their understanding of a concept, principle, or process. For example: Thumbs up: I understand _____ and can explain it in my own words. Wave hand: I’m not completely sure about _____ and doubt I could explain it. Thumbs down: I don’t yet understand _____ and cannot explain it. Self-assessment and self-reporting can be unreliable, so use a random calling technique to periodically select students with their thumbs up (e.g., pull names out of a bowl) and ask them to explain.
2. Choose It
Present students with a few binary-choice statements or questions containing an understanding or a common misconception and have them select a response and share it via a whiteboard or a hand signal (e.g., thumbs up or down). This technique is particularly effective to use in checking students’ prior knowledge or potential misconceptions before beginning new instruction. Here are a couple of “choosing” formats with examples:
True/False: When dropped from the same height, a bowling ball will land before a marble.
Agree/Disagree: Is this an example of alliteration?
3. Picture It
Visual representations, such as graphic organizers and concept maps, are widely used to enhance learning, and can also be used as formative assessments. Have students create a visual or symbolic representation (i.e., a graphic organizer, web, or concept map) of information and abstract concepts and then be prepared to explain their graphic. Picturing techniques are especially useful to see if students understand how various concepts or elements of a process are related. Examples would include:
1) Draw a visual web of factors affecting plant growth.
2) Develop a concept map to illustrate how a bill becomes a law.
3) Create a story map or sequence diagram showing the major events in the story.
4. Troubleshoot It
One of the most efficient and effective quick checks for understanding involves troubleshooting. Present students with a common misconception or a frequent procedural
error. See if they can:
a). Identify the flaw or error, and (even better)
b). Correct it.
Their responses will provide a quick check of the depth of their understanding. Examples:
1) Present a rough draft of writing and ask students to serve as an editor to mark compositional and grammatical errors.Have students review work on a multistep word problem to identify computational mistakes and reasoning errors and correct them.
5. Summarize It
Having students regularly summarize what they are learning is not only an effective means of helping them increase comprehension and retention of new material, it can also provide teachers with insight into whether students are really grasping important ideas. Here are a few examples of this technique:
1) Compose a tweet in 280 characters or less answering the question: What is the big idea that you have learned about _____?
2) Record a one-minute podcast or vodcast using an app on a smartphone or tablet to summarize the key concepts from one or more lessons.
3) Prepare a weekly letter to your teacher (or parents) summarizing something that you now understand as a result of your learning during the past week.
Khan Academy has helpful videos on summarizing nonfiction texts and fiction texts.
6. Apply It
Understanding is revealed when students can transfer their learning to new situations. Accordingly, one of the best checks for understanding is to see if students can apply material in a somewhat novel context. This technique includes asking students to find or create new and novel examples to illustrate a newly learned concept. Here are some examples:
1) Create a “real life” word problem to see if other students understand how to calculate surface area.
2) Locate a news article or blog post that presents an example of the tension between individual rights and the common good.
3) Find examples of symmetry somewhere in our school or on the playground.
7. Teach It
This is a more involved, but valuable, formative assessment technique. Ask students to teach a new concept or skill to someone else—a new student, a student who has just returned from absence, or a younger child. You’ll be able to gauge their degree of understanding as you review or observe their lesson. Here are two examples:
1) Develop a five-minute lesson to teach a younger student about how supply and demand can affect the price of things. Use one or more specific examples that we have not discussed.
2) Your friend has been absent and missed the last two lessons where you learned about community helpers. Draw a picture of at least five helpers in our community to help them understand the concept of a community helper.
8. Analogize It
A more sophisticated technique invites students to develop an analogy or metaphor to illustrate a newly learned concept or skill. The effectiveness of their explanatory analogy or metaphor can give one insight into their understanding. However, be cautious when interpreting student responses to this technique—a student may very well understand a concept but be unable to generate an appropriate analogy. Asking students to explain their
analogies will give you further insight into their understanding.
Here’s a prompt for students: A _____ is like a _____ because _____. Examples:
1) A fraction is a part of a whole like a wheel is a part of a bicycle.
2) Formative assessment is like tasting a meal while you’re cooking because it provides feedback that a cook can use to make adjustments to improve the meal.
Students can also create visual analogies (combining techniques 3 and 8). Note: Several of these techniques (especially 1, 2, 5, and 8) can be naturally used in conjunction with another popular formative assessment technique—an exit card—given to students at the end of a class period or end of the school day.
While these techniques can provide valuable information about the effectiveness of teaching and the quality of students’ learning, they’re not ends in themselves. Instead, they should be seen as the first step in a “feedback cycle.” The next step is to act on that feedback—reteaching something that many students failed to learn; correcting misconceptions that may be revealed; and/or providing scaffolded support to students who need it. Moreover, when
students are given feedback, they must also be given opportunities to use it, such as revising their work, practicing the skill, or correcting errors. Then, the formative assessment cycle reboots as revisions can be assessed again, with progress noted and new learning goals set.
Rose Ferrero’s Rebecca Siguenza is Honored as Soledad’s Teacher of the Year at the Monterey Office of Education’s 2022 Teacher of the Year Celebration
On Tuesday Night, May 3, 2022, educators from all over Monterey County met at the Embassy Suites in Seaside for the Monterey Office of Education’s 2022 Classified Employee of the Year and 2022 Teacher of the Year Celebration. Mrs. Siguenza was Soledad’s nominee for the County’s Teacher of the Year. Though she was not the county’s nominee, I hope she knows that at Rose Ferrero, she will always be our teacher of the (insert any date or time-period you like here)! Congrats, once again, Rebecca, for this long overdue recognition. Your hard work and dedication to be the very best you can be for your students is one of the reasons why you are being recognized. Keep up the hard work!
1). Teachers: Please make sure to pick up your students on time from the cafeteria after lunch.
2). Teachers: Please make sure that students do not miss recess for academic reasons (do not turn “an opportunity” into “an obligation.”)
3). Teachers: Please remember to be outside on the yard for the 10 minutes of Yard Duty you share with your Grade-level Team. Sometimes we are short Pupil Supervisors, and we are counting on your presence out on the yard to keep our students safe. Thanks.