Archive for February, 2007

Examine Teacher Strategy Effectiveness for Student Standard Learning

How do you select the strategies that you will use to help your students achieve the standards? One technique is best on a quality matrix. You list several possible strategies that could be used to teach a particular key component of a standard. You then guesstimate what percentage of your students will be successful in learning the key component if you use each strategy. You look at your scores and select the strategy that has the highest possible score. You pre-test the students, teach them using that strategy, and then post-test. Next, you check your guesstimate against the reality of the post-test. You can use a spreadsheet to do the analysis. Then you can make a decision if that strategy was as effective as you had hoped. If it was not effective, you can think of modifying that strategy or using another strategy. If your colleagues teach the same key component, you can compare strategies and their effectiveness in helping students to be successful learners in a standards environment. If two of you used the same strategy and had drastically different results, you can discuss of how the strategy was implemented in each class.

Most effective teaching strategy for standard

Try out this quality matrix to help you determine which of your teaching strategies are effective in helping students achieve the standards.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Improving Student Achievement Through Small Wins: Introduction

Short Wins to Achievement

Schmoker promotes the idea of small educational wins instead of long range plans

The big advantage is that you can see the educational pay-off in weeks or a month.

Quotes Hamel ““Win small, win early, win often”

Quotes Collins “steady stream of successes”

He gives several examples of schools which have implemented such a strategy for improving student learning:


In one school, a powerful lesson plan resulted in 85/88 students being able to write effective ”descriptive setttings” up from 4/85 a month earlier.

In another school, teacher saw gains in math in monthly meetings and at the end of the year saw sizeable gains on the state assessment.

In a third school, a first grade team celebrated their successes at their once a month 25 minute meeting. They showed charts of their students’ success in writing.

Schmoker, M. R. (2005). Results Now: How We Can Achieve Unprecedented Improvements In Teaching and Learning. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Does having short-wins appeal to you? Do you want to see monthly results instead of waiting for finals or state-tests results? Are you already implementing short wins?


© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007




Teacher Expectations and Student Achievement (TESA): Feedback

TESA Feedback

Teacher Expectations and Student Achievement emphasizes that teachers are often unaware of how they interact with students, particularly low income and minorities.

Strand B (Feedback) includes these categories. You can have a team of teachers observe you on the presence of these or you can audio/video tape yourself and then do an analysis.

Affirm/Correct– Do you tell all students equally if they are correct when they answer a question or make a comment?

Praise – Do you praise all students equally if they are correct when they answer a question or make a comment?

Reason for Praise – Do you tell all students equally the standards-based reason that they are correct when they answer a question or make a comment?

Listening – Do you listen attentively to all students equally as they talk to you?

Accepting Feelings – Do you acknowledge the feelings equally to all students?

So how do you apply these in your classroom? How do you use technology to help you? How do you use technology to monitor you increase in these?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Teacher Expectations and Student Achievement (TESA): Giving Student Response Opportunities

TESA Response Opportunities

TESA has been around since 1973. Many school have it as a key professional development tool since it is classroom based. Its research base states that teachers expect less of certain students (low income and minority), treat them differently in class and therefore those students achieve less.

In TESA other teachers observe you for certain teaching traits that center around equity.

You can do your own self-assessing (or you can audio/video tape yourself):

Under Response Opportunities (Strand A):

Latency – Do you wait five seconds after asking each question and before calling on any student? Do you use wait time for all students equally?

Equitable Distribution – Do you call on all students equally?

Individual Help – Do you provide help to all students equally?

Paraphrasing/Prompting – Do you paraphrase and prompt the question to help student get the correct answer equally?

Higher Level Questions- Do you ask higher level questions equally to all students?

You could create a spreadsheet of the number of times you positively do each of the above in your class and then try to increase the number each week. If you increased by 20% each week, you would soon have high scores in each area. Graph your results and be proud of your students’ increased learning because of your new high expectations for every student.

If you have had experience with TESA, please share them.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Student Eportfolios as Formative Assessment

Eportfolio as formative assessment

Students’ eportfolios can become formative if your students work on the eportfolios throughout the semester or year. If students just put the eportfolio together the last week of class, then the eportfolio cannot serve as formative assessment.

During the first Eportfolio Review Day which may be at the end of five weeks or ten weeks of school, students select which assignment (evidence, artifact) they will use in their eportfolio. As they share their choice with you, you can assess how well they understand the standard and how well their select assignments demonstrate the standard. You can offer assistance if they demonstrate a need.

During the subsequent Eportfolio Review Days, the students compare the most recent assignments that they have done to the ones they have already selected for the eportfolio. They self-assess their own work in terms of the standard. They begin to think of how they can do better future work to be more completely or more in depth demonstrations of their progress in the standard. As they share their decisions with you, you can assess how their understanding of the standard has increased and how much more discriminating they are in selecting good evidence for their eportfolio.

As students develop their reflection on the standard using the what “I learned previously, what I learned in the course, and what I still want to learn” about the standard model, they share it with you. You can help them develop in-depth reflections that truly illustrates their higher-level thinking about the standard.

When students do peer-evaluations of each other’s eportfolio based on the rubric, their formative assessments allows each student to grow

So how else do you use eportfolios as formative assessment?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Black’s Formative Assessment Research: How much do you know about your students?

Formative to Successful Summative Assessment

Black’s meta-analysis of research on formative assessment asserts the critical importance of formative assessment. He found that formative assessment has an “effect size of .4 to .7. These effect sizes are larger than most of those found for educational interventions. An effect gain of .7 in recent international comparative studies in math would have raised the score of a nation in the middle of the pack of 41 countries (i.e. the U.S.) to one of the top five.”

Implementing formative assessment involves these issues:

– It will require a significant change in classroom practice (more focus on formative assessments based on the standards)

– Students have to be actively involved in their learning and their own assessment.

– The results of formative assessment will be used to adjust teaching and learning.

“Do I really know enough about the understanding of my pupils to be able to help each of them?”

Do you? How do you use technology to guide you in collecting and analyzing formative assessment?





Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (1998). Inside the black box: Raising standards through classroom assessment. Phi Delta Kappan, 80(2), 139-148.



© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007



Podcasts: Let Students Question and Let Listeners Learn

Podcast Questions

Most podcasts do not invite the listener to think about the topic. The listener is passive. The podcast seems more like a lecture than a dialogue.

The students can start off the podcast with an essential question about the topic or a critical problem such as “What impact is global warming having on you?”and then pause for about five seconds for the listener to think about the topic.

Your students can use a Question and Answer format about this higher level thinking topic. “Were you hotter than usual last summer?” “Was it due to a weather pattern or global warming?” Then they can give some possibilities about why it might be global warming. They can ask another question and offer some possible answers. They can frame their answers in the form of questions such as “Could it be….?” or “What does this image show you about the effects of global warming?”

You will have to model this format for the students and have them practice it. A good starting point is for them to identify what questions they have the topic and its impact on their lives.

Let’s change podcasts from boring mini-lectures to engaging thought provoking learning.This way not only do the students producing it learn the content to a high level of thinking but the listener also does. Share some examples of how your students cause others to think and question.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


RSS Education with Technology

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  • Digital Badges: Individual or Categorized Learning Badges? September 12, 2015
    The idea of digital badges sounds appealing for the digital children in classes. As teachers start thinking about digital badges, they have to figure out what badges will be awarded. The teachers can award social or academic badges. If teachers decide to use academic badges, then the teachers may base their badges on the Common […]
  • English +Common Core +Mobile = Success (ISTE2014 Poster -details) June 30, 2014
    Here are the ten examples I showed at my English + Common Core  + Mobile ISTE 2014 Poster Session: Based on CCSS Anchor Statements: L.2 Take a Conventions Mobile Online Quiz  to pick the  incorrect sentence from four choices (capitalization) SL.2  Evaluate audio recording of a  book chapter on mobile and predict for next chapter. […]
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  • English + Common Core + Mobile = Success in Learning Poster Session at ISTE 2014 June 25, 2014
    In my ISTE Sunday 8-10 am poster session, I demonstrate many diverse mobile activities to help students achieve the English Language Arts Common Core Anchor Statements through mobile devices. The mobile activities focus on free common tool apps that are available on both the Android and the iPad. The students use the apps as a seamless […]

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