The CIA Review
Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
Edition 7 December 18, 2015
Spotlight on Strategies
Snowball Fight is a teaching strategy that uses a lively game to encourage students to determine and communicate the big ideas from a selected digital resource. Students write the big ideas on paper and, in a most fun and engaging way, trade ideas and add more of their own.
Download the directions or view the strategy below.
Asking the Right Questions in PLCs
In this article in Educational Leadership, Jason Brasel, Brette Garner, Britnie Kane, and Ilana Horn (Vanderbilt University) say that ideally, teacher teams analyzing interim assessment results should answer four questions:
- What do we need to re-teach?
- To whom do we need to re-teach it?
- Why did students struggle with this?
- How do we re-teach it?
The problem, say the authors, is that many PLCs focus only on the first two and don’t think carefully about why students did poorly in certain areas, what went wrong instructionally, problems with the assessment itself, and what strategies will improve results. Here are some of questions that effective lead teachers and instructional coaches ask to get their colleagues thinking deeply about assessment data:
- What do you think made some items difficult for students?
- What are some possible sources of confusion?
- What do students’ wrong answer choices tell us about their errors and misconceptions?
- How did we originally teach this concept? What worked? What didn’t work?
- What are the best strategies for addressing the misconceptions?
- What are the best curriculum resources?
- How do you think students will respond to an alternative instructional approach?
Brasel, Jason, Britnie Kane, and Ilana Horn. "Getting to the Why and How." Educational Leadership 1 Nov. 2015. Print.
Problem Solvers or Problem Finders?
What if we took it to the next level and asked the students to find their own problems to solve? Instead of problem solvers, we now have problem finders.
Watch Ewan McIntosh's TED Talk on Problem Finders below. If you are looking for ways to guide students to find problems, visit The Lab.
H&R Block Budget Challenge
It's fun. It's free. And students love it. Participants encounter real-world personal budgeting situations, problem-solving, and decision-making through an online simulation and accompanying lessons that meet national standards.
Visit this site for more information.