This is the sixth in a series of posts (1: What They’ll Know 2: Product Choice & Grading, 3: Content Expectations & Grading, 4: Process & Grading, 5: Scaffolds)about creating powerful product assignments at the end of a unit of study. Now it is time to differentiate.
Differentiation is modifying the assignment to meet each student at their individual learning level based on their readiness, interest, learning style and profile.
For students with a 504 Plan or IEP (Individual Education Plan) these modifications will meet the requirements of those plans. ELL (English Language Learners), depending on their proficiency level and the task may require individualized adjustments or additional scaffolds. High achievers may require an extension activity that challenges their ability level. Low achievers may require extra time or simplification. Truthfully, this list could go on and on and still not list every possible modification. This step is truly based on your students and their needs.
This is the fifth in a series of posts (1: What They’ll Know 2: Product Choice & Grading, 3: Content Expectations & Grading, 4: Process & Grading)about creating powerful product assignments at the end of a unit of study. Now it is time to scaffold for success.
What kind of scaffolds do you need to gather for your students to be successful? For me, rubrics are always the first on this list. I think having the grading guidelines listed clearly from the beginning in very clear and specific language really helps guide students to be successful. Additional ideas could be a variety of brainstorming graphic organizers, timelines, goal sheets, progress monitoring calendars, revising and editing schedules, etc. These will vary based on what your final product is and what your class has used. You don’t always have to build these from scratch, there are lots of free options online. Find what works for you and your students and run with it.
This is the fourth in a series of posts (1: What They’ll Know 2: Product Choice & Grading , 3: Content Expectations & Grading)about creating powerful product assignments at the end of a unit of study. Now it is time to establish your expectations for the process.
First off, will students be graded on the process to create the product in addition to the product itself or only the finished product?
For group projects, I always include a process grade as it is where I cover teamwork. However, I would argue that the process grade is important even for individual projects as it rewards those who create and stick to a plan over those who procrastinate. The goal is to help the students build good work habits.
If you are going to grade the process some things to consider including teamwork, planning, research, editing, communication, ability to stay on the projected timeline, etc.
This is the third in a series of posts (1: What They’ll Know 2: Product Choice & Grading )about creating powerful product assignments at the end of a unit of study. Now you are going to figure out the content expectations.
First up, the students are showing what they know from the unit of study. So what are the requirements that they must meet for content and how will the inclusion of that content be scored?
I personally like using a rubric to grade as it keeps the grading streamlined and transparent. For example, in a biography project, second-grade students must include a date of birth & death, full name, two details about their personal life and three details about why they are famous. That is all 8 required components for a score of 4 out of 4. A score of 3 out of 4 would be granted for 6-7 required components. A score of 2 out of 4 would be granted for 4-5 required components. A score of 1 out of 4 would be granted for 2-3 required components. A score of 0 out of 4 would be granted for 0-1 required components.
This is the second in a series of posts about creating powerful product assignments at the end of a unit of study. In part 1 you figured out what the students must understand, know and/or be able to do after the unit of study. Next up you get to decide how the students are going to present their knowledge or the type of product, the guidelines for that product and how you plan to grade it.
- Are you going to set a required product style such as a travel brochure, Haiku or wiki?
- Are you going to provide students with a short list of options and let them select their product style from the list using an academic choice board?
- Are you going to let students embrace their talents and passions, selecting their product style on their own and then seeking approval from you on their choice?
If you are going with #1 or #2, what are the requirements for the product? How big should it be if it is a physical product? What level of craftsmanship? How many parts will it have? How long should it be (pages, time, number of slides, etc.) if a digital product?
For example, for a fifth-grade slide presentation using the slide medium of their choice students are required to have a minimum of 12 slides in their presentation and every slide should have some sort of visual (graph, chart, image, video, etc.) to earn full credit on this rubric item, 4 points. Students earn 3 out of 4 points for at least 9 slides. Students earn 2 out of 4 points for at least 6 slides. Students earn 1 out of 4 points for at least 3 slides. Students earn 0 out of 4 points for at less than 3 slides.
This is the first in a series of posts about creating powerful product assignments at the end of a unit of study. Before you can really dive into the product itself you need to figure out what the foundation of the product is by looking to the core of the unit of study. Here are three questions to guide you:
UNDERSTAND: What concepts do you expect your students to know at the end of the unit?
KNOW: What facts do you expect your students to know at the end of the unit?
DO: What skills do you expect your students to be able to demonstrate at the end of the unit?
I took a month off of my Master’s courses and even updating my site to focus on getting my TPA #2 put together and submitted. I admit working in Taskstream is tedious to me with all the pop-ups, timeouts and other annoyances. So I worked on writing my answers out on a google document. I copied my answers onto the Taskstream form and then I realized my mistake. I did not copy the directions. Somewhere along the way, I forgot that each question had a maximum limit of 10k characters and started thinking 10k words. So about 75% of my answers were within that 10k character limit, about 10% of my answers were easily editable down to the 10k limit but the remaining 15% of my answers were way-way too long. It was a long and super frustrating process of editing my responses down to the 10k character limit. So if you hate working in Taskstream and opt to write in a word document, make sure to note the 10k limit for each question so you don’t end up frustrated like me. I completed the work, turned it in on 11/25/2017 at 4:19pm and began to wait anxiously for the scoring.
Edutopia has been a go-to stop for education resources. I think one of my favorite parts is the video archive which lets me view other people’s projects in action to get a better understanding of what it might look like in my own classroom. Seeing a positive example of a success in the classroom will help me be better prepared to design similar curriculum for my own class. Edutopia has great articles and videos on a wide array of topics including but not limited to technology integration in the classroom, differentiated instruction, assessments, cooperative learning, project-based learning, curriculum development, etc. The list goes on and on, certainly worth bit of time to explore.
I visited Kahoot and played a few Kahoots that were on the site to get a feel for it. I can see how this would be awesome if you had a 1 to 1 device classroom. It would be great to use during instruction to check for understanding and poll students. I can see this as at any point during the unit. Probe for prior knowledge as we begin a unit, checking for understanding as we progress through the unit or even as a review for a chapter test. My professors have used Kahoots in my classes, I found them fun and engaging.
Straw Poll is a site that lets you write your own polls. It took me to a page where I could type my Poll question and answer options in right away. I created a poll: Do you like apples or oranges more? I selected No Duplication Checking since my students might be completing the poll from a limited number of computers in our classroom. This was so quick and easy. It is not fancy but for a quick poll, this gets the job done! I have used Google Forms before but this is so much faster to get a poll live. While I imagine I would still prefer Google Forms when I create items in advance, I have wanted to Poll students on the fly and this is a perfect resource for that task. I can see using this as a check for understanding during units, especially if we are a 1 to 1 device classroom. However, for data collection purposes Google Forms is still probably still my go to.