The Interrater Reliability Protocol: A Must-Have for Writing Assessment

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) require writing across the content areas, which places a renewed focus on the meaningful assessment of writing. Although rubrics are valuable for both teachers and students, there are two potential errors that can lead to very different assessments using the same rubric. Becoming familiar with these sources of error, and following a protocol to minimize them, will enhance the capacity of all teachers to reliably assess student work and provide mastery-oriented feedback. What are common sources of error? Interactions between students and raters: Because teachers know students so well, they sometimes predict how students

Close Reading and Shared Reading: What’s the Difference?

Adoption of the Common Core in ELA has become synonymous with close reading. Many teachers are left to wonder, Does close reading replace shared reading? Is it the same thing? Can you do both? To answer those questions, I read the book, “Reading Essentials: The Specifics You Need to Teach Reading Well,” by Regie Routman, and “Closing in on Close Reading” by Nancy Boyles to solidify my understanding of both concepts. After reading, I came to the following conclusions. Hopefully they help you to wrap your head around the concepts a little better. Shared Reading Shared reading is an instructional

How to Balance Common Core Shifts and ELA Instruction

Having the Common Core Standards led me to modify instruction in a number of ways. I’ll discuss the major changes based on the instructional shifts outlined for the Common Core ELA standards: Shift 1: Balancing (how cute is that elephant?) Informational & Literary Text Shift 2: Knowledge in the Disciplines These requires students to learn about the world through many different varieties of text, rather than through teachers and literature. They are encouraged to explore the world through a rich combination of fiction and non-fiction. To accomplish this, I recommend constructing text sets that allow students to examine a different

Education and the Employment Gap

I just read the newest data from the National Center for Educational Statistics and the stats are alarming. Among 25-34 year olds with a bachelor’s degree or higher, 95.1% are currently employed.  Compare that to only 57.7% of 2012 high school graduates (who did not attend college) who are currently employed. The most recent data is from 2012. BCC. Before Common Core. What’s the message? Our students need preparation for college or a specific career to be employable. After reading the statistics, I did a little research on the employment gap and discovered an awesome video produced by McKinsey &Company.