The AUSL DL Professional Development Series is still going strong. Session topics this year have included Behavior Management, IEP Development, and Universal Design for Learning. In February, educators from 18 AUSL schools explored the 5 W’s of Progress Monitoring. Progress monitoring is a standardized method of formative assessment that tells us how well students are responding to instruction. The data collected allows practitioners to estimate rates of improvement over time, compare the efficacy of different forms of instruction, and determine when an instructional change is needed. At this session, participants learned how to establish a baseline, set goals, and create a plan to monitor individual student progress. Additionally, several useful sites to guide this process were shared, including the following:
To the average student, science class feels like a series of disjointed learning activities. They don’t really know why they are learning what they are learning, nor how what they’re learning connects to the real world.
There are two things teachers can do to address this lack of coherence:
- Plan each instructional unit around a specific science phenomenon (read more about how to plan science units around intriguing phenomena here).
- Use a summary chart to help students keep track of what they learn from their lesson activities and then use their learning to help them explain how and why that phenomenon occurs.
In this blog, I focus on summary charts as a high-leverage tool in science classrooms.
What is a summary chart?
The AUSL Diverse Learning Professional Development Series is up and running! The October session, Understanding + Developing High Quality IEPs, was held on October 15 at Phillips High School. Participants attended one of three sessions focused on different aspects of the IEP. Click on the sessions below to access the presentation deck and related materials shared at each session.
- The IEP: Reading it, Understanding it, Implementing it
- Developing Strengths-Based IEPs: Unpacking Section
- Aligning IEP Goals to Grade Level Common Core Standards
The next DL PD, Changing Challenging Behaviors: Conducting FBAs, will be offered on both November 19 and December 3 from 4:30-6:30pm at Phillips Academy High School. Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) is based on the understanding that all behavior is a form of communication and serves a function. Conducting an FBA is the process of collecting and analyzing data on unwanted behaviors to determine the purpose or function of the behavior. This is the first step toward developing interventions to teach and reinforce more positive behaviors.
We are pleased to announce our 5th annual STEAM Fair!
Today’s job market is tough. Applicants significantly outnumber the available jobs. However, companies in the fields of science, technology, and engineering are actually struggling to find skilled workers and are looking abroad to recruit the expertise they need.
It is crucial that students develop the foundational knowledge and skills necessary to pursue whatever career path they desire. The school schedule must reflect the importance of science, engineering, and technology or we will limit our students’ options for their future. Moreover, we need to do a better job of developing an informed citizenry that can make responsible decisions about the products they purchase, the food they consume, and the politicians for whom they vote. It follows that building our students’ scientific literacy can help to ensure their personal well being, as well as the welfare of their families, communities, and the interconnected world in which we live.
The projects students complete for the STEAM fair should not feel like “an extra thing to do.” The STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art as design, and mathematics) fair is a natural setting to promote learning of important academic content (i.e., CCSS and NGSS) and to support student development of 21st century skills, such as critical thinking a
nd problem solving—skills that are in high demand in today’s workforce!
To assist you with preparing your students for this year’s STEAM fair competition, I present you with…
Last week, I shared a short clip showing you the Google Expeditions Pioneer Program. This international program brings immersive and engaging experiences to schools via virtual reality technology that you can try at home. Google is sending ambassadors with class sets of VR headsets throughout the Chicagoland area from now through November 11th. Hey! That’s just FOUR WEEKS away!
For that reason I am reaching out to YOU, 2nd through 12th grade science or social studies teacher, to tell you more about Google Expeditions so you’ll bring them to your school. To push you along, here are five reasons why you should take the time to recruit five other teachers for this amazing field trip in your classroom. Read more
All teachers need ongoing opportunities to learn, collaborate, and access resources to most effectively support students. That’s why AUSL is offering a Diverse Learning Professional Development Series during the 2015-2016 school year! These sessions are open to ALL teachers, paraprofessionals, coaches, residents, administrators, and directors in the AUSL network. Registration is required in advance and attendees will receive CPDUs for participating.
If we keep doing the same thing we will continue to get the same results.
The time is NOW to transition to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Our students can’t wait! The Chicago Public Schools transition plan below has us at FULL implementation of NGSS next year:
Two of the key shifts with NGSS are the following:
- Phenomena: K-12 students should be using science ideas to explain HOW and WHY science phenomena occur.
- Science and Engineering Practices: K-12 students should be engaging in the 8 science and engineering practices (e.g., developing and using models, engaging in argument from evidence) in order to learn the content and explore the crosscutting concepts. The days of teaching an isolated unit about the scientific method are over (note: the scientific method does NOT provide an accurate vision of the work of scientists–read more here).
Model-Based Inquiry (MBI) is one way to address these two NGSS shifts:
The following MBI “How To” Guides were developed by AUSL teachers for AUSL teachers. Over the last two years, the teachers that make up the AUSL Science Teacher Network Team have been studying NGSS and best practices for science teaching. They’ve tried out and refined these strategies in their own classrooms and through Lesson Study, and synthesized their learning in these guides and Tch AUSL videos.
- MBI Guide #1: How to Come Up With an Engaging Phenomenon to Anchor a Unit (TchAUSL VIDEO)
- MBI Guide #2: How to Engage Students in Developing and Using Explanatory Models (TchAUSL VIDEO)
- MBI Guide #3: How to Use Summary Charts in the Classroom (TchAUSL VIDEO)
- MBI Guide #4: How to Enhance Discourse in the Science Classroom (TchAUSL VIDEO)
Special thanks to the following staff for creating these resources:
- Darrin Collins (Phillips Academy High School)
- Deanna Digitale-Grider (Solorio Academy High School)
- Kristel Hsiao (formerly at Solorio Academy High School)
- Kat Lucido (Phillips Academy High School)
- Nicole Lum (Orr Academy High School)
- Sarah Rogers (formerly at Howe School of Excellence)
- Alexa Young (Marquette School of Excellence)
- Chris Bruggeman (AUSL Technology Coordinator)
Post your questions and the examples of MBI from your classroom below.
Last month marked the start of TchAUSL’s third year in providing a space for our members to share with and learn from the most amazing teachers in Chicago. I am excited and proud to host this space again for this school year and I hope that you consider TchAUSL an indispensable resource for inspiration and collaboration.
Our incredible partnership with Teaching Channel has brought on some terrific changes to the site for this school year. Here are four improvements that we hope will improve your experience. Read more
Like you, I didn’t become a teacher to get summers off. I taught summer school for my first six years stopping only once I realized that there are a lot of benefits to the Restful Summer. Chief among those perks is the ability to get better at teaching at my own pace (and my own place!) Each summer I choose a new skill or two to learn and practice. When I was in the classroom, I read a lot about mathematics methods and lesson design and recently I have used the down time to work on my video editing. It’s completely unlike PD during the year when you’re too preoccupied with deadlines and lesson planning.
Now that summer is within reach, here are five ways that our site can help you become a better teacher, coach or administrator. Read more
Every May, I find myself in need of a kickstart….a little shot of something to help me finish the school year strong and to carry the momentum of the mistakes I’ve made and the successes I’ve had into the fall. Finally, after over a decade of working in schools, I’ve figured out what that kickstart needs to be or least what it should involve.
It needs to involve collaboration, reflection, and a changes in practice that are both quick wins that will affect students before school lets out in June and long term understandings that will affect students to come. Analyzing student work with a really smart group of peers is the perfect combination of all those things.
And since none of us wants to reinvent the wheel (especially in May) here’s everything you need to know to replicate my favorite student work analysis protocol. While I most recently used this protocol with network 9th and 10th grade history teachers to look at common DBQ essays, the beauty of it is that with a few tweaks it can be used across grade levels and disciplines. Read more