Once Upon a Training ....in a cyberspace not so far away the Intel Teach Elements Courses were born. They were new young online courses who needed to spread their digital resources to teachers all across the globe. They were created to inspire, enrich and give educators the opportunity to boldly go where no educator has gone before. But... they were missing certain ELEMENTS that would make their world complete. They turned to Teachers Engage Community to network ideas and tips to help the Elements Courses reach their full potential of providing deeper exploration of 21st century learning concepts.
Currently, there are 5 Elements courses living in the Kingdom of 21st Century Classroom Cyberspace (Project Based Approaches, Collaboration in the Digital Classroom, Assessments in 21st Century Classrooms, Thinking Critically with Data and Leadership in the 21st Century). Each course has a special magical power to enhance classrooms and professional development environments, but each needs a round-table discussion to explore the benefits of this anytime, anywhere learning kingdom.
Queen 21st Century has summoned two of her loyal subjects, The Dynamic Duo, to help expand facilitation strategies and resources with each of these courses. Our heroines need your assistance, as well. They need you to share questions, strategies, ideas and resources.
The Dynamic Duo has decided to focus on one Element course at a time. Their second quest will be to explore the online-world of Assessments in 21st Century Classrooms. What resources, ideas, and strategies do you have to enrich the integration and implementation of the Assessments Course?
All noble subjects willing to share ideas will be granted entry into a royal drawing for a piece of the 21st Century’s treasure - a Camtasia Pen/Notebook
Share your thoughts between August 21 and October 20 to have your name entered into a drawing for the Camtasia Pen/Notebook. A drawing will occur on October 20, if there are over 10 participants in this discussion thread. The thread and its resources will remain active after the drawing. It’s a wonderful opportunity for all of us to better facilitate the Elements courses.
Unfortunately, for legal reasons, we can only ship prizes within the U.S., but the contents of this discussion are applicable to every Intel Teach educator worldwide, so please help build a solid set of tips and resources for everyone. We look forward to your contributions.
Well. . . .I had to dig deep to retrieve this information from the depths of my brain! While escaping and eluding the dragons of "sleepy time" and "early teacher's onset Alzheimer" here is the information I was able to "pull from the stone"!
At the end of Technoscientists 3 I believe one of our assignments for the month was to research/explore and use some of the assessment tools from the engage site. I logged back in and looked at 3 of the assessments I saved in my "personal library". I saved the "Interpretation Checklist - Elementary", the "Interpretation Rubric - Elementary", and the "Math Checklist - Elementary". I do remember looking at lots of assessments and being a teacher of First grade at that time, and now a Kindergarten teacher at this time, thinking. . . 'hmmm there's not a lot here for me to use'. I would love to see more options of assessments, checklists, etc. to help lower elementary teachers. For Pre-K, Kinder, and even First grade, the student self assessments don't seem feasible. Maybe I should say I would need more training on how I could direct/instruct a first grader or kindergartner to fill out one of those "self assessment" checklists and or rubrics that are currently offered in the "assessments" section of the engage site.
Could we maybe have some rubrics and checklists with pictures and no words for the little guys to use? I'm not doubting their ability to work independently and even assess independently (if given clear instructions with modeling and lots of practice), but my 5 year olds are just barely learning to read. They can't work with these kinds of documents yet. As a teacher I value the ease of creating my own checklists and rubrics to print out and use to help organize my thoughts, observations and anecdotal notes! That's wonderful. However, I'm searching for a way to give students some freedom to test/assess themselves without me guiding them though it every time. So, I guess I would value some routines for implementing self assessing tools in the classroom for Pre-K - 2nd grade.
I'm not sure if it's appropriate to share this, but I found something while "googling" (I used to say "researching") an answer to my dilemma of being a damsel in distress for assessing. This was on a Saskatchewan educational website. I found it very enlightening in the observational checklists for Kindergarten teachers. I think some of these kinds of things could be added, improved, and collaborated on for the engage site.
**Technology idea: I'm trying to forge some ideas for mixing anecdotal notes with my livescribe pen which has a connect feature that will automatically upload the info I record with it to a google doc, facebook, email, twitter, evernote, etc. Anyone can print one of the checklists and rubrics from the engage site onto livescribe dot paper, but to be able to actually have the systems talk with one another would be amazing. That way you can create a dot paper template that will show up online as well in your hands! If you just run a piece of dot paper through the printer and print a template on it, it does not show up when you connect the pen to your computer. You have to draw the lines with the stylus, or the ink cartridge to have it appear on your computer upload from the pen. It would be helpful and very neat to have the two tools work together so that you create the engage templates, rubrics, and checklists online to not only appear on the dot paper, but also in your livescribe desktop without have to trace it with the pen.
With that I'm out of ramblings. I must join the mistrals sojourning to the next 21st century kingdom and see what new treasures we can find there! I hope that some of my wonderings, and ideas have sparked some interest into creating useful pre-k - 2nd assessments that are both teacher and student friendly.
*One last thought, I did look up what the Camtasia pen and notebook were because I had not heard about them. They seem like amazing tools that again could benefit from being able to have a connection to the engage site so teachers could download/upload engage checklists, rubrics and assessment games to use on early elementary students. Then when that info is uploaded to the engage site if it could be manipulated like copied, have anecdotal notes added by the teacher, imported or exported to other websites that would be very cool. Then I could see students assessing themselves without even knowing what they were doing which I could imagine would minimize cheating and make it more authentic. Often cheating is the one thing I am really worried about skewing my true assessments. If I didn't feel like I have to control or monitor that aspect I could find it more comfortable to allow children to self assess. Plus with ipads, ipods, and lots of new tablets now - surely there are assessing games that teachers can use and then access data later on to progress monitor students.
*the real last thought......for the intel engage site to be so technologically encouraging and involved, isn't it kind of funny that all the assessments in the "assessments" section are paper and pencil? "things that make you go, hmmmmmm" or "One of these things is not like the other. One of these things just doesn't belong."
As I travel this journey following in your footsteps, I also wonder when the online assessments will appear. The assessments are so close being accessible and editable online. Having graphic infused assessments magically appear for young students as well as more mid level for middle school apprentices would be great. Having given my thoughts, the library is phenomenal as is - fit for a king or queen.
Many teachers actually go pale these days when they hear the word, assessment. Test, test, test for data, data, data. But they haven't been given the opportunity to distinguish between assessment OF learning to assessment FOR learning. The Assessments course provides that practical and insightful focus. Assessment should drive instruction in the classroom, not drive teachers and students to distraction.
One of the ways I try to enhance the Assessments course is through video components that support each of the modules. I pull most of them from Edutopia or Schoolsworld.tv. They really do make a dramatic difference when the teachers can "see" what each concept looks like in a classroom setting, and I've found they are more apt to implement these new strategies into the classroom.