(Schmoker, 2018)
Alignment - Use the Standards to Guide: Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment in PLCs
(DuFour and Eaker, 2009)
Steps to Prioritizing Standards
(Ainsworth, 2019)
What does it mean to unpack standards?
What do we expect our students to know?Step 1: Make initial selections using criteria below.
Analyze language & Extract CluesTier 1 - Learning Targets based on the standards
Essential Knowledge- Nouns!How will we know they are learning?Step 2: Look for connections to state tests. Make revisions as needed.
-facts students need to know to master the standardsTier 1 Formative & Summative Assessments
Essential Skills - Verbs!How will we respond when students don't know it?Step 3: Chart selections for each grade in grade-level sheet
-exercising and practicing new facets of knowledgeMTSS - Tier 1 - Reteaching MTSS - Tier 2 Intervention
Steps to Unpack StandardsHow will we respond when students already know it?Step 4: Vertically align Priority Standards by discussing & reaching consensus.
1. Read the standards as a teamMTSS - Tier 1 - Extension
2. Highlight or circle the verbsNext Steps....Priority Standard Selection Criteria
3. Highlight or underline the nouns and noun phrasesDetermine which standards are essential or the Priority Standards “A carefully planned pacing calendar provides suggested horizontal learning
progressions within grades and courses and suggested vertical learning progressions between grades and courses" (Ainsworth, 2010).
4. Determine the number of learning targets found within each standardRemember, the standards we have determined as essential are the ones we are going to spend the bulk of our time pre-assessing, teaching, assessing, re-teaching and reassessing. These are the standards we can’t imagine our students leaving our course of study or grade level without mastering (Nelson, 2016).Endurance (Will the standard last beyond a single test date or grade? Does the standard include concepts and skills needed in life?)
Leverage (Will the standard provide knowledge and skills that have are of value in mulitple disciplines or have crossover application among content areas; i.e., interdisciplinary connections?)
5. Add a row (right click or command click- insert row) under the standard and write each as separate learning targetsPrioritization not EliminationExternal Exams (national, state, college, career)
6. Pull the academic vocabulary from the standard - this can be added in another column (right click or command click- insert column right or left)Prioritization does not mean elimination. The other standards will still be taught. They are good to know, but a student could still progress to the next grade or course without mastering them at a high level (Nelson, 2016).Readiness for the Next Level of Learning (Will the standard provide students with essentail knowledge and skills that are necessary for their success in the next grade level or course of study?) (Ainsworth, 2019)
Schmoker, Michael J. Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning. ASCD, 2018. DuFour, Richard, and Robert E. Eaker. Professional Learning Communities at Work: Best Practices for Enhancing Student Achievement. Hawker Brownlow Education, 2009. Ainsworth, Larry, and Kyra Donovan. Rigorous Curriculum Design: How to Create Curricular Units of Study That Align Standards, Instruction, and Assessment. International Center for Leadership in Education Inc., 2019.
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Nielsen, Maria. “Unpacking Standards Leads to Confidence, Not Chaos, for Teachers and Students.” All Things Assessment, Solution Tree, 19 July 2020