- Transitioning curriculum and instruction
The Common Core State Standards require students to achieve high levels of performance that may require significant adjustments in instruction. Teachers need to be able to assess student learning and immediately adapt teaching to focus on critical skills needed to bridge this gap. We will describe a CCSSO-sponsored project, part of the CCSSO State-led Innovation Lab Program, which is developing ways to help teachers scaffold skills critical for the Common Core Standards by combining learning progressions, formative assessment practices, and classroom tasks designed to identify student needs. In particular, we will focus on the development of argumentation skills in participating elementary and middle schools in New York City.
The first presenter will explain the project rationale and describe its development, including identification of partners to provide expertise in ELA learning progressions and the selection of participating schools.
The second and third presenters will describe resources and support made available to the New York City schools. Two groups are collaborating to provide argument learning progressions in reading and writing: the Reading and Writing Project at Teacher’s College, and the CBAL (Cognitively Based Assessments of, for and as Learning) project at Educational Testing Service. Both groups have prior work on learning progressions and argumentation, which they have mapped onto classroom tasks to elicit evidence of student thinking, place student performance on the learning progressions, and to suggest instructional interventions. The two groups are collaborating to deliver professional development, develop classroom tasks and tools aligned to the learning progressions in collaboration with ETS and TC researchers, and support teacher learning communities.Staff of the Reading and Writing Project at Teachers College will share classroom research on how teachers are particularly working with talk protocols and performance assessments to accelerate students skills in close reading and argument writing. They will also share classroom research on teachers and students adapting learning progressions as tools for self-assessment so that students can have more agency and independence as they work towards targeted goals. CBAL staff will present ETS’ research on developing learning progressions and identifying a paradigmatic set of classroom tasks that support formative assessment and instruction designed to bring students up to grade level CCSS expectations for argumentation in both reading and writing. Both presentations will provide preliminary data about teacher implementation of learning progressions in the classroom and their effects on classroom instruction and performance.
Our discussant will sum up the progress attained, evaluate implications and lessons for scale-up, and discuss challenges that must be overcome.
This session addresses the concerns of the CCSSO audience given the high priority and short timeframe that attach to the transition to the CCSS, the urgent need to raise student achievement, and the need teachers will have for effective classroom tools, protocols, and models as they prepare students to take assessments keyed to the CCSS. There is also interest in the way learning progressions can function to support the CCSS, as such work is still in its early stages. Understanding how to support learning progressions at scale will be relevant to attendees, whether they represent state or district interests.