Archive for October, 2007

Formative Assessment Cycle in Your Classroom: Your Technology Use?

Formative Assessment Cycle (Question, Response, Interpretation, Action)

How do you generate an activity that requires a student response through technology?
How do you gather student responses through technology?
How do you interpret or diagnose the gap between where the student is and the desired goal through technology
How do you provide meaningful suggestions to help the student close the learning gap through technology?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

Spanish Street (calle)Scenes Photos from Flickr

Here are a variety of hispanic streets. Please share with your Spanish teacher so that he/she can help the students to improve their speaking and writing through visuals.


Calle de las flores, Andalucia, Espana

Calle Zamora decorada para la navidad, Salmanca, Espana

Calle feliz, Iquitos Loreto Peru

Calle que lleva nuestro nombre, Montevideo, Uruguay

Calle Obispo with the Hotel Ambos Mundos (Hemingway’s haunt), Havana, Cuba

Calle Santa Isabel, Madrid, Espana

Calle del leon (hisortia, Madrid, Espana

Fútbol en la Calle 26 de Marzo #8, Montevideo, Uruguay

Calle del diamante, Xalapa, Mexico

Frutería. Calle San Esteban. Sevilla, Espana

A stall in Calle Heredia, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba

Pinturas en la Calle El Conde, Santo Domingo, República Dominicana.

Other Spanish (Hispanic) images:


Spanish streets – Calle

Spanish sports –Deporte

Spanish transportation Transportes

Spanish restaurant Restaurante

If you have ideas you would like to share about the problems that students have in being fluent speakers and, if possible, the possible solutions, please add as a comment.  For example,  some students can not keep a conversation focused on the topic – a solution is to start them with a series of pictures about the topic or for them to focus on a specific problem such as an ordering problem in a restaurant.

Improve Rubrics to be Formative Assessment

I’ve been looking at rubrics online. I’ve been very frustrated.

Most rubrics do not explain the differences between the quality levels of Advanced, Proficient, Growing, and Starting in the standard. Can your students really improve by reading the rubric? Do they know the difference in the quality expected in each level?
Some typical comments which supposedly describe the quality:
Advanced – Has complete explanations;
Proficient – Adequately explains the information;
Growing – Has some of the information;
Starting- Has a little of the information
What does this mean to a student who received a Starting designation? How does the rubric indicate that he/she has to do to improve?

Most rubrics do not distinguish between which categories are critical and which are helpful. For example, in writing the message (the critical part) is supported by grammar conventions (helpful). Without a sound message, it does not matter how grammatically correct the message is. Unfortunately, usually the message and grammar conventions are given the same weight.

Perhaps three questions (Sadler, 1989) will help you to evaluate a rubric:
Does it clearly indicate the standard and the high quality expected for the standard?
Does it clear indicate to the student how the student’s present performance compares to this standard and quality?
Does it clearly indicate to the student how to close the gap between where the student now is and the expected high quality of the standard?

Rubric as Formative Assessment

Does your rubric clearly indicate what next steps the student is to take to improve in the standard? If not, then probably it is not a student formative learning rubric but a teacher grading rubric.

Wiki Wonderful for Student Learning

W I K I Wonderful Information Kids Inspired

I did a presentation today on improving students’ in-depth and comprehensive learning through a wiki.

I showed:
How students can create their own class textbook.
How students can summarize and clarify textbook chapters.
How students can work on projects together with a shared repository for materials, ideas, and drafts.
How students can do individual long term projects (term paper, science report, etc.) using the wiki as a scaffold.
How students can use a Wiki as a presentation tool.
How educators can do formative assessment during any stage of the students’ projects instead of waiting until the end to assess since the educators can see what changes have been made by which students.

How else do you promote in-depth and comprehensive standards-based learning through a wiki?

Harry Grover Tuttle 2007

Written Feedback: Improving Student Learning

Written feedback can be a powerful tool for helping students to move forward in their learning. However, if we bombard the students with too much feedback, the students will shut down. Do you remember ever getting an English paper with more red marks than your original writing? Did you feel that it was hopeless to try to write?

Written feedback has the advantage that the student can refer to it over and over again. With oral feedback, the student may forget what was said.

Some techniques for effective written feedback:
– Sandwich your improvement feedback between what the student did well in terms of the standard.
– Focus on one to two critical aspects only. Do not comment on all five components of your Science lab report rubric.
– Word process your comments so that students can read them! If students hand in their work in digital format, you can add your comments in the appropriate places
– Word your feedback in student understandable talk.
– Instead of telling , asking questions
– Be positive or neutral, never negative!
– Be very concrete about what the student needs to do to improve. Avoid “Write better”, “Enlarge ideas,” and “Be specific.” Create a word processed list of concrete suggestions so that you can easily cut and paste.
-Review your written feedback notes for students to see if you need to do whole class, small group, pair or individual focused instruction.
– Allow an opportunity for the student to re-do the work. Student learning is the purpose, not a summative grade.

What other techniques do you use to give written formative feedback?

Changing a Test from Summative to Formative

How does a test change from being a summative (end of unit, no more work on it) to a formative one (ongoing learning)?

One technique is to assess the test against a specific rubric or checklist. When a student is missing something, you circle it. A student can easily see what he/she did not do.

First paragraph/sentence Details Paragraphs Closing paragraph

Requirements for a direct request order letter

However, correcting a test is summative unless the student can learn from the test. Since the student can see by looking at what is circled, what he/she is missing, the student can see his/her gaps in learning. The next step is for the student to re-take that part of the test now that he/she knows what his/her gaps are and how to correct them. In addition, the section of the textbook is indicated if the student has additional question.

The success of this method is when the student hands in the revised test to demonstrate his/her learning. A wonderful climax is for the student then to be given another letter of this type to do to fully demonstrate his/her new learning.

Are your tests summative or formative? If they are formative, how do you make them formative so that the students learns what the gaps in learning are and fills in those gaps to be a proficient student?

Students Standard Success Pre-Requisite: Purpose and Demonstration

My favorite questions to ask in class are “What is the purpose of this class?” and “How will I know that you have learned it?”

Two critical classroom questions about a standard

If students are not aware of what they are to be learning (the standard, outcome, or proficiency), then they are not focused learners. I do not want to hear their answers as activities such as “To find information on the web” or “Use APA style.” I want them to identify the major outcome for the unit or course such as “Write a research paper on a future career.”

Likewise, if they do not know how they are to demonstrate their learning, then they will not be focused on the types of activities they need to do. If students can answer “Write a research paper detailing career responsibilities, skills, education and employment possibilities for two careers,” then I am sure that they know what they have to do to be successful in the course.

I’ve actually give quizzes on these two questions. If they cannot answer these two questions, then they probably will not do well in their course learning. I will provide them with many opportunities to self-assess their progress. I use the online survey tool of Zoomerang to give me a class and individual overview of their progress in reaching the course outcome so that I can work with groups and individuals who need additional support in order to be successful.

How well can your students answer these two questions for your course? How do you check on their progress using technology?

Harry Grover Tuttle© 2007

RSS Education with Technology

  • Tech Integration Teacher, What time is it? August 23, 2016
    When someone asks what time it is, that person wants to know the time, not the history of the clock, not how a clock works, and not what other types of clocks there are. Classroom teachers want to help their students improve their academic learning through technology. Sometimes they need help with technology so they go […]
  • Curriculum Focus, Not Technology Focus July 28, 2016
    In my public school career I have been a classroom teacher, a technology integration specialist and a technology administrator. In my technology role, I served under the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. She had a simple mission: Improve students’ academic learning. My mission was equally simple: Improve students’ academic learning through technology […]
  • Students React to Digital Badges: Pros, Cons and Interesting June 22, 2016
      ISTE 2016 By Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D. College World Language Students’ Preferences Digital Badges – 52%        Paper Certificates – 48% World Language: Can-Do Digital Badges Digital Badges Pro- – Breaks down proficiency more – Shows all badges at once – Is more attractive – Is more appropriate since we use […]
  • Digital Badges: Naming the Badge October 29, 2015
    Once teachers have selected what learning and what digital badges (individual or category badges; see previous blog), the teachers encounter another decision. What will they name each badge? Will they use the full name of the Common Core Standard or the national proficiency? For English, under “Speaking and Listening,”will they write out SL.2 “Integrate and […]
  • Digital Badges: Better Than Grades? October 19, 2015
    Teachers understand that the grade in a course consists of many different factors such as homework, participation , projects, tests, etc. Blodget observes that sometimes grades reflect attitude, effort, ability and behavior ( Equally important, a letter […]
  • World Language Students Use of Mobile Devices in the Classroom October 5, 2015
    Do world language students use technology n the classroom? Do their  teachers go beyond having their students use technology simply for the drill and practice in vocabulary and grammar? Students can use laptops and mobile devices to hear authentic language, read authentic texts, read tweets about famous performers, see up-to-the-moment culture,  watch video […]
  • 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. […]
  • Global Cultural Learning Using Mobile Devices (ISTE Mobile MegaShare Presentation) June 28, 2014
    Based on my presentation at ISTE 2014 Mobile Megashare Why teach about other countries? Location: Large view to small on maps. Culture or culture. Find six similarities in a  mobile picture from another culture (“Wars are caused by differences, not similarities.”-Tuttle.) Tell one piece of information from each different Internet visual from a place in that […]
  • 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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