Start with learning expectations
The standards tell us where to take students, but not how to deal with students not ready for them.
What do we need to know about our students right now?
- What standards are most relevant?
- What skills should they have?
- What content knowledge do we expect students to have?
- How will we know where students are in the expected learning progression?
What are the skills and knowledge every student needs at the start of a learning cycle?
The answer will guide your diagnostic decisions.
Previous expectations and learning support the new outcomes.
Earlier instruction builds a foundation to support future instructional needs. If you are confident they did, look for recent data that helps guide diagnostic decisions.
What diagnostic measures should we use to gauge student readiness?
Focus on the most critical skills and keep your diagnostic data targeted.
- What skills or knowledge should students have now?
- Where are our students now?
- Where do we start based on their initial performance results?
Diagnostic assessments measure skills and content knowledge within the target learning. A good measure and data help lower the chance to chase issues outside the focus.
Performance tasks with guidelines
Tasks demonstrate student thinking and provide quality data. Set guidelines for administration to improve the consistency of data. Uniform administration provides a better environment to make inferences from the data. If you allow modifications, make sure everyone knows the rules.
What will we do with students that show a large learning gap?
Some students will not be ready to start at grade level expectations. Closing significant knowledge gaps need a different approach than just regular instruction.
Specialized resources, including site and district coaches, will be necessary to assist in the design of a support system. Identify the support students will receive, along with the additional or modified work expected from them.
Communicate expectations with students, stakeholders, and parents.
The transparency of support models helps everyone understand the expectations for instruction, support, and helps identify issues the student will have to overcome.