Monday, May 11, 2015

90% Poverty, 90% English Language Learners & 90% Proficiency

90% Poverty, 90% English Language Learners & 90% Proficiency
How do they do it? Here is what I found:
  1. A Focus on Achievement
    1. laser-like focus on student achievement
    2. students chart data/growth
    3. charts/graphs/tables were displayed in hallways
    4. trophy cases full of exemplary student work
    5. more than three hours a day spent in literacy
    6. intervention time was scheduled
  2. Clear Curriculum Goals
    1. students, parents and staff all knew school vision, mission and goals
    2. every lesson/every day was a new skill or strategy for learning
    3. core time was scheduled for reading, writing and math (other subjects were part of math and literacy)
    1. students tracked their own data
  1. Frequent Common Formative Assessments
    1. students were assessed frequently with common formative assessments
    2. students knew their proficiency goal and were held accountable for reaching that goal (however long it took)
    3. students are given feedback after each common formative assessment
    4. students were never left behind (multiple opportunities to improve performance and didn’t affect grade) **Kids of poverty are unmotivated by D’s and F’ doesn’t bother them!

  1. Heavy Emphasis on Nonfiction Writing
    1. did not accept oral responses as sign of understanding (Students were required to write at the end of every lesson to prove they learned!!)
    2. demanded a written response in every assignment
    3. one rubric - proved that good writing is good writing no matter what genre

  1. Collaborative Scoring of Student Work
    1. Teachers worked together to score written responses (on CFA)

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