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How to Nail Design Questions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 9- Easy Peasy

Actually, this activity hits all of the elements in Domain 1 of Marzano's Teaching Framework Learning Map. Why, you might ask? Simply because the practices and rituals set forth throughout the implementation build your climate, hence the relationships and standards you have for your students and theirs of you.

Piggybacking off of my prior post, (First Graders Annotate Level 2 Skills), whereas students annotate the skills they are utilizing while they are engaged in an activity- the discovery stage-why not try increasing the rigor for students individually or as a whole group- using the formative data you gain?

SPIN-OFF 1: Scales as Individualized Learning Plans

1. Use the annotations each student discovered about themselves as learners for their Level 2- skills and academic vocabulary.

2. Place the information (or have the students do this) in their own learning goal scale- Level 2.

3. Of course, the standard is Level 3, so that's a given.

4. For Level 4- that OMG-the student has become a rock star at this, conference with the student, individually, about the skills he/she discovered. Discuss whether or not those skills/strategies always work or, if sometimes he/she is still stuck. Ask what other skills he/she could have used and document them as reach goals on your scale.

5. WHAMO! There's your Level 4 for that individual child- something for only that child to reach for. As the children self- monitor, move those skills to Level 2 and new skills to Level 4.

Now that's individualized learning-

differentiation at it's best!

SPIN-OFF 2: Scales as Whole Group Rigor Walks

Similar to my description above, teachers can use the data from the annotated table tops to build whole group scales, placing Level 2 information as per what was notated on the table top.

1. As a group, students evaluate which skills they use most commonly, therefore, place those in the Level 2 section of the scale.

2. Whole group, brainstorm skills that are harder to use and discuss what it looks like when they're using them, making a collective judgment on whether or not they are rigorous enough to reach as a Level 4.

3. Re-evaluate as a class, monitoring if their usage is becoming more commonplace, needing to move to Level 2, etc. (as above).

Yay! Here's to reaching high for all children!

Theresa Staley


"We are all here to make a difference, so let's do just that."

This blog is created to share my ideas and inspiration with fellow educators and our world.

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