Today I experimented. I do this often, but today was a success.
I am enthralled with learning about Standards Based Assessment and Reporting (SBAR). Recently, I was inspired by a tweet from a former colleague who visited Shawn Cornally in his SBAR higher-level math and science courses. I love Shawn’s blog Think, Thank, Thunk and I’ve been reading of his challenges and successes with SBAR. Today I gave my history students a copy of just five pages of the social studies Iowa Core standards for grades 6-8.
First, I apologized because we only have 4.5 weeks left of school, and I have not taught them all these things.
Second, we began to look through them, and when we hit one that we all slightly understood, I said, “OK, that’s the one. We’ll stop right on this one.” Here it is:
Understand the role of individuals and groups within a society as promoters of change or the status quo.
- Understand that specific individuals and the values those individuals held had an impact on history.
- Understand significant events and people, including women and minorities, in the major eras of history.
We talked about it for a while. The Civil Rights Movement came up. Connections were made. The Ku Klux Klan and Martin Luther King, Jr., were mentioned. Students were discussing. I didn’t have an assignment or worksheets. Status quo was a needed vocab word for many of the students, and Jaci saved the day by breaking into song, “Stick to the Status Quo”:
No, no, no, nooooooooooo
No, no, no
Stick to the stuff you know
If you wanna be cool
Follow one simple rule
Don’t mess with the flow, no no
Stick to the status quoooooooo
She explained how students in High School Musical wanted to bake, make the perfect cremé brulee, do hip hop and more, but they kept being put down and told:
No, no, no
stick to the stuff you know
It is better by far
To keep things as they are
Don’t mess with the flow, no no
Stick to the status quo
OK, this is a fun way to talk about vocabulary during history class, I thought.
That was yesterday. For today’s class, I sent this “assignment” in an email:
Work hard today! We have much to learn and do! Much to create and experience! You are a genius and the world demands your contribution! For instance, check out how many people have been enjoying your book spine poems:
Today, we are doing this…
Essential Concept and/or Skill: Understand the role of individuals and groups within a society as promoters of change or the status quo.
• Understand that specific individuals and the values those individuals held had an impact on history.
• Understand significant events and people, including women and minorities, in the major eras of history.
How will you show that you UNDERSTAND this? First, choose an individual or group that you are passionate about, someone who was a promoter of change or the status quo. Then go crazy! How can you show your understanding? Be creative. Be genius.
Love you all! I really do!
Thoughts were flying. Women’s suffrage movement, the Holocaust, Civil Rights, the Civil War, and Kenneth James Weishuhn.
Hmmm. Maybe we CAN all be working on different projects at the same time as my colleague said he saw in Shawn’s classroom.
We’re trying it this week. Unlike Shawn’s class, we’re on the same standard today, but students are working on their own plan for understanding it.
I didn’t really create an assignment. There is no rubric. It’s student-centered. As the teacher, I was running around suggesting websites, finding books, answering questions, and trying to help them narrow their topics. Students were all energized and engaged in learning. It was fun, and the period when by fast. Mostly students were doing research today, but there was talk of blog posts, presentations, and videos. We’re sharing on Friday. I’ll publish their products later.
But, for today, I am satisfied. My students and I are being promoters of change.
Part 2 Day 2 – Promoters of Change or the Status Quo
Part 3 Agents of Change vs. Status Quo
7 thoughts on “SBAR and Making the Perfect Cremé Brulee”
Well Denise, you did it again! THIS is what teaching is all about. The students are in charge of their learning – you provided the “standard” and guiding them to find the answers on their own. What could be more powerful than this? I am sure the students are thrilled with this type of learning environment as well.
I am totally in awe! Thank you for sharing and can’t wait to see what your students think about this assignment.
Nancy, thanks for your support. There are so many more questions than answers! That’s why I like Shawn’s blog. He’s clearly a respected expert in his field, yet he is not afraid to admit that there are no easy answers to a great education. I love learning with my students; that’s about all I know for sure.
Thanks again for the comment and the tweet!
Just read this and L.O.V.E. it! I love how you put the standard out there for the kids to OWN. This truly could only happen in a classroom where you have made it safe for kids to be creative and take risks! Well done, Denise!
Now, HOW are you going to grade these projects? 😉 I’m looking forward to reading your follow-up posts!
In this post from Shawn’s blog he talks about binary assessment: yes or no (or not yet, as I prefer). If I knew what an appropriate number of standards I could expect them to learn, I could grade according to how many standards they mastered. For now, I’m sure however we decide to grade will probably be better than my too few random assignments and the occasional large project or test in the grade book, which do not necessarily show mastery of the standards.
By the way, do you have a standards-based report card/checklist? I know the younger grades have individual assessments on a variety of skills, but do you still do it in fifth grade?
Thanks for reading, tweeting, and commenting, friend!
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