Back-to-School Backpack: Support All Year Long

2105 Back-To-School Backpack

Over the past four weeks, we’ve been working hard to help you fill up your back-to-school backpacks. Last week we dove into assessment resources and were inspired by the great ideas that were added by the community to our shared Google Doc. Here are a couple of my favorite suggestions:

Give Effective Feedback

The best assessments give useful information to both teachers and students. Sean McCombs shares how he makes sure he’s giving helpful feedback by having students turn in their writing with a “submission sheet,” where students self-assess on a rubric and highlight particular areas where they would like feedback.

Share Success Criteria

Marion Ivey shared Assessment for Learning, an Australian site with lots of helpful information on creating and using rubrics. Marion says, “As much as possible, I give my students criteria for success so that they have a clear outline of the task expectations. At the start of the year, I create these lists. As the year progresses, the students can assist in developing these expectations.” When students are clear on exactly what is expected of them, they’re set up for success.

Keep Filling Your Backpacks

Though your backpacks are full, that doesn’t mean we’re going to leave you hanging. We have tons of new content planned that will support you and help you to have an amazing school year.

Here’s a sneak peek into what you can expect in the coming months:

Science & Innovation: Videos & Curriculum
In this new series created in partnership with The Boeing Company, students solve simulations of real world problems through the application of science while using the engineering design process. The videos are all based on curriculum co-designed by Boeing engineers and teachers, which will also be shared on Teaching Channel. Check out the first unit on polymers.

Meet Our New Teacher Laureates
We look forward to introducing you to our ten new teacher laureates, each with a wide variety of expertise to share. The laureates will be examining their own problems of practice and sharing them, along with their efforts to improve over the course of the year. This is part of our Getting Better Together campaign, so stay tuned!

New Videos
We’ll be releasing a number of new videos, including more from Sarah Brown Wessling’s professional learning experiment in Tulare, California; science videos from teachers implementing the NGSS; and a series of lesson and strategy videos specifically for middle school educators.

What are you going to fill your backpack with this year? Comment below to share what you’ll be working on. Let’s support each other as we get better together!

Lily Jones taught K/1 for seven years in Northern California. She has experience as a curriculum developer, instructional coach, teacher trainer, and is also a contributing writer for Teaching Channel.

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