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Learning for Deep Understanding)
This year, the focus of our PD retreat is on the collection and analysis of student learning as
evidenced in samples of their work. This process will provide time for teachers, working in
subject partners, to collect artifacts of student work, and then to reflect and critique the design of
the learning task, the effectiveness of the assessment, and the connection between the desired
learning outcomes and the evidence of student learning.
Teachers should have four things gathered and ready (in a folder or a word document or a PPT)
for the Retreat:
(1) have the outcomes for the project stated (Content, skills, attitudes, etc) This might be
direct curriculum outcomes, or your own goals for the project, or a mix of both.
(2) have the steps for the project stated (brief, not in depth explanations)
(3) have assessment practices (rubrics, quizzes, tests, etc) gathered and ready
(4) have three student examples (high, medium, low)
3 Elements of the Reflection:
After teachers collect student exemplars they will work through a process examining three
different elements of the project/assignment: a critical examination of (1) the task, (2) the
assessment practices and (3) the student work.
Part 1: Reflecting on the Task
The goal of part 1 is to examine the task that students were asked to complete in the
project/inquiry. The goal is to have a critical look at the intended learning outcomes of the project.
1. Stating and Analyzing the key learning objectives
• What did you want students to understand and/or be able to do through this
o I want students to understand ..... (Content)
o I want students to be able to do.....(Skills and Attitudes, ways of thinking)
• To what extent do these learning objectives mirror the understandings from within a
discipline or field in the real world? Are the objectives authentic? Worthwhile?
2. Critiquing the task
• What did students have to do or produce/perform to demonstrate their understanding?
• What did you collect and/or observe as evidence of student understanding?
• To what extent was student understanding built through sequenced activities and guided
As part of "Critiquing the task" teachers should also assess the design of the project using the
AUTHENTICITY and ACADEMIC RIGOUR categories from the Inquiry Rubric.
Part 2: Reflecting on the Assessments
The goal of part 2 is to examine the assessment practices that were used in the
project/assignment. The focus for this section of the process is on: How will we know what
students understand? What will we accept as evidence of understanding? After gathering the
assessment rubrics used, reflect on the following:
• Are there clear and direct connections between the intended understandings and the
• Are there places where the rubrics might be improved to get a closer connection to the
big understandings of the project?
• What scaffolds have been put in place to assist students in identifying areas for
improvement and next learning steps?
• How does the design of the study intervene to increase student understanding
(assessment for learning, feedback loops, etc)?
As part of "Reflecting on the Assessments" teachers should also assess the design of the project
using the ASSESSMENT category from the Inquiry Rubric.
Part 3: Collecting and Examining Student Work
Teachers should gather and analyze a number of examples of student work. The purpose of this
final stage is to gather evidence of and examine the degree to which the intended learning
outcomes of the project were met by students. Teachers should gather work samples
representing beginning, novice and mastery responses.
When examining student work samples, consider the following:
• What evidence of understanding can be gleaned from each of these work samples?
• What are the strengths of the each exemplar? What are the missing components of the
beginning and novice?
• How satisfied are you with the level of understanding that students demonstrated? To
what degree do you believe the investment of time and resources was worthwhile in
relation to the learning results that were achieved?
• What was the range of student performance? How many students demonstrated
acceptable or higher on the project? (averagemarks of 3 or 4) Please provide the number
of students at the different grade levels.
• Are there places in the design of the project that you think could be improved to increase
One additional idea (admittedly a vulnerable one) is to interview a few students, or have students
record a short podcast about the project. You might ask them: what they thought the intended
outcomes of the project were, what level of understanding they felt they developed, and how their
piece of work demonstrates that understanding.
• All these reflections, rubrics and exemplars should be pulled together into a short 10
minute presentation. Teachers can decide how they wish to share the material, and will
present their responses to their subject partner and facilitator on February 11th.
As pait of the "Examining Stuuent Woik" fiamewoik, it's impoitant that we have an oppoitunity
to shaie the !"#$"%&'()*+ (,&%(-"*, anu )".&/*&"0* that emeigeu fiom the Febiuaiy ietieat
uiscussions. Pait II of this piocess pioviues time foi shaiing anu feeuback on the uiscussions that
The puipose foi pait II of the piocess is to continue 'making oui piactice public.' The analysis of
stuuent woik anu the public shaiing of oui piofessional leaining is cuiiently wiitten thiough oui
chaitei goals, AISI goals anu Euucation Plan uocuments. Shaiing oui own
finuings¡ieflections¡challenges with each othei allows oui peisonal ieflections to benefit othei
teacheis within the school, anu pioviues an oppoitunity foi feeuback anu continueu
uevelopment. It also allows foi uiscussions about scope anu sequences, anu giaue level
expectations to occui.
The facilitateu uiscussions uuiing the ietieat weie iich, anu this pait II piocess pioviues an
oppoitunity foi teacheis to shaie the outcomes anu ieflections fiom pait I with the iest of the
staff. The "Examining Stuuent Woik" fiamewoik is uesigneu to be the piocess thiough which we
aie collectively inquiiing into effective teaching anu leaining, so the uiscussions in this seconu
pait aie intenueu to pioviue an oppoitunity foi the insights anu ieflections (as well as inuiviuual
pioject iueas) to be shaieu acioss giaue levels.
We want to extenu the scope of the ietieat uiscussions, by focusing these seconu sets of
piesentations on 123&/1(!4"5/1"$$ anu 6(,! )".&/*&"0* fiom pait 1. It's impoitant to note that
teacheis uon't neeu to feel they have iesolveu any insights gaineu fiom pait I, but shoulu see
these seconu uiscussions as an oppoitunity to shaie thoughts anu ieflections anu ieceive some
feeuback anu assistance fiom the othei gioup membeis.
Pait II will occui in "veitical Shaiing" gioups. We have split those who paiticipateu in the
uiscussions into thiee gioups. Each team will have one half-uay of ielease time to move thiough a
biief piesentation anu feeuback session fiom each gioup membei.
The gioups aie:
(1) the Bumanities point 2's (4.2, S.2, etc) anu Anuiew
(2) the Bumanities point 4's (4.4, S.4, etc) anu Loiiie
(S) the Nath¡Science 4's anu S's anu Phys Eu anu Amy
Baseu on these gioups, teacheis fiom the fiist uiscussion will be split up anu piesent to otheis
fiom acioss the giaue level spectium. The hope is to allow foi emeiging themes to be uiscusseu
anu to pioviue assistance anu feeuback on next steps.
Each teachei has alieauy gatheieu anu piesenteu mateiial (the outcomes, assessments anu
stuuent woik foi a paiticulai pioject) foi pait 1 of the ieflection. Pait II will make use of youi
pait I piesentation. Similai to the fiist set of uiscussions, pait II will stait with a biief shaiing of
the outcomes¡assessments¡anu stuuent woik fiom the pioject.
This seconu piesentation auus two sliues oi elements to the fiist piesentation:
(1) What weie the ieflections¡insights¡outcomes that you took fiom the pait I facilitateu
uiscussion uuiing the ietieat.
(2) What questions anu¡oi iueas uo you have foi moving foiwaiu¡making changes baseu on
the uiscussions uuiing the ietieat. What assistance oi feeuback woulu you like fiom the
iest of the gioup.
Again, teacheis shoulun't feel like they have iesolveu oi answeieu all the outcomes fiom pait 1.
Rathei, we hope that teacheis see this as an oppoitunity to shaie theii thoughts, anu ieceive
feeuback anu iueas, in a cioss giaueu enviionment.
Auuitionally, if theie aie paiticulai elements of the inquiiy iubiic (technology, use of expeits, etc)
that a teachei wants feeuback on, this can be anothei way to gainei feeuback fiom the iest of the
The piesentations neeu to be quite concise (1u mins) to allow foi 1u-1S mins of uiscussion foi
each of the membei of the gioup.
The goal is that all the 7 membeis of each gioup will be able to shaie anu ieceive feeuback uuiing
a half-uay of ielease time.
The PB Committee