Thursday, October 4, 2012

Edutopia Video Reflection: No Rigor Mortis at SOF

"What if we...?"

With the new school year barely a month old, assessments and goals have been in the foreground of my educational schema:  beginning the year with multiple days of diagnostic assessments and trying to figure out how to authentically assess my students and manage the use of technology, I'm constantly thinking about where are we headed and how will we get there. I've started off the year with Edmodo and using a flipped process from day one (ok, really day 4 after mandatory diagnostic testing).  I have a general game plan in mind that I am constantly tweaking. I will say it is invigorating to explore the technological landscape and figuring out how to do what we've done in past years in a new tech-y and paperless way (just read my "soon" to be written post about The Most Wonderful First 1:1 Week).

Thinking about assessments, I came across this video on Edutopia.

The video, "Strategic Goals: Formative Plus Summative Assessment Equals Rigor," highlights NY's School of the Future use of thought-provoking authentic assessments to promote student performance. The students work on drafting and revising projects and papers to create an 8-10 page (minimum) Exhibition at the end of the school year. Teachers assess students on the formative process throughout the year, culminating in the final summative Exhibition. Some 9th grade students even wrote 15-20 page papers on controversial topics-- that is simply  astounding.

What I like about SOF's Exhibition:

  • Goal oriented
  • Personalized
  • Strategic
  • Authentic use of higher level thinking
  • Process oriented
  • Cross-curricular
I also like that the Exhibition is not a standardized test and that it is a project that pushes the students to achieve lofty academic goals.

While I do not use the Habits of the Mind on such a grand summative project as the teachers and students at SOF, I do constantly promote the use of critical thinking skills everyday in my classroom.

"But what if we....?"

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