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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Deconstructing Content Standards: Take 2

Tuesday, I got my feet wet with deconstructing a content standard after a presentation over the information. Today, I am studying this section of Classroom Assessment for Student Learning, and I quickly learned that although I was on the right path the other day, I was not quite where I needed to be. So now am I teaching myself how to do this the correct way. 

To begin with, I am using Kentucky's Deconstructing Standards Flowchart to guide my thinking. 

This week, I am going to be working on the following standard to wrap up "Flowers for Algernon":
  • TEK 8.6 B analyze how the central characters’ qualities influence the theme of a fictional work and resolution of the central conflict 
When I played with this process a few days ago, I had not used one of the TEKS but had instead focused on my classroom objective regarding a TEK. That is not what the deconstruction process is for. It is designed to help break down the complexity of the standard itself. 

With my analysis of 8.6B, I realized that there are only two targets: knowledge and reasoning. 

  • Knowledge Targets: What does a student need to know and understand to attain mastery of this standard? (p 61)
    • I have broken this down into as many pieces as possible. To attain mastery, each student needs to have a basic knowledge of analysis, central characters, character traits, the elements of plot, theme, and the meaning of influence.

  • Reasoning Targets: What patterns of reasoning, if any, are required to attain mastery of this standard?
    • With all of those knowledge pieces, each student needs to be able to us thought processes to:
      • infer character traits
      • create a theme
      • figure out how the character traits connect to that theme
      • identity both the conflict and the resolution
      • make a connection between the conflict and resolution
      • determine how that information connects to the theme
      • put it all together
For one standard, that's a lot of understanding and thinking!

Now I need to synthesize all of this to figure out how to put everything into student friendly terms.
  • I can explain how Charlie's characteristics influenced how the story ended. 
  • I can explain the message of the story. 
What do I do with this after the breakdown? Prior to this deconstruction, I would have gone through a series of questions and then told my kids to write a response. At least that is how I was putting everything together a few days ago. Now, I am going to start with a formative pre-assessment to make sure my students actually know the knowledge pieces. I have created a presentation that I am uploading into Nearpod. This will allow me to instantly see who knows what and determine if I need to go into more detail with any of the knowledge components. 

Example of Nearpod poll

Once we have gone through this process and discussed/reviewed any information that kids need, we will move on to the reasoning stage. I have a set of prepared questions (I did not make this) that guide them from point A to B based on the TEK. I think I will have the kids working on these in small groups to bring back to a large group discussion. 
In the end, I want them to put together a paragraph that synthesizes all of this information. But, I am now realizing that assigning this is not teaching it, and if I am not teaching it, I should not be using it as a summative assessment. Instead, I think we may end up writing the paragraph together. 
So if I do all of this formative assessment, how do I do a summative assessment? My curriculum instruction specialist put together a list of extension questions based on some of our TEKS. I believe if I use the following question, my students should be able to go back through the analysis process and create a unique writing product. At least I hope so!

I am about to test my own teaching and my patience. Let the games begin!

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