July 16, 2013

Nothing New Under the Sun

     Nothing, really, is new, ever.  As I continue to look at what needs to be done to assess conceptual standards, I’ve investigating “new” and old resources.  The first idea formed when I began to, really, assess my students toward the end of the year.  The class was really hitting written response hard.  Most things were done through short or extended response.  Now, if you are an oldie like me, you have already inferred where I am going with those two terms.  Way back in the day, FCAT actually assessed students through written response and the two levels of this form-short and extended response.  While Lisa and I discussed the idea of conceptual standards and how best to assess them, we came upon this:

If you click on Bonsai, which is the first downloadable pdf, you will find the explanation of how the two rubrics work in scoring!  Well, to say the least, they are still pretty good at scoring a conceptual standard!  That will be the starting location, the formula to follow, as I grow in understanding what and how to do this. 

     Many of you are probably wondering, “Why all this work when it’s the last year of FCAT!”  Well, I haven’t left that off my list either.  You see, all of this is the up and coming testing of Common Core State Standards.  Take a look at this:

From the PARCC Website not my own design

That is the chart from PARCC that shares what the general flow of expectations is for 4th grade.  There is one for every grade, along with your grade info, on their page as well.   Scary, isn’t it.  Yet, REALLY, examine it-closely!  Do you see it???  Do you see that the old is becoming “new” again!  That’s right, we are bringing back written response!  The expectations are so similar, and there is a “sample” rubric.  To be honest, I don’t like the rubric.  It is vague and not developed enough to really cover the depth and complexity of written response.  So, for this year, I’m sticking with the FCAT “oldie” rubric! 

     Yes, this is beginning to tie together nicely, new with old, and old with new.  As I continue to look at this information, I will be looking more into PARCC and trying out things with Common Core all year. I will be working to tie new with old, and concept standards evaluation will be an ongoing quest.  And, just to be clear on my stand with Common Core-I LOVE the Language Arts standards and feel this is really a step in the right direction.  As you can tell, math has not been as easy to share as reading.  I’ve gone through them and they hold some very enlightening finds as well.  I’m just really stuck on how to lay them out, even for my own understanding.  They will come, in time.  And when they do, I’ll share-I promise!

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