Welcome to our August author focus newsletter! This month we bring you tips and insights from our authors Anne Davies, James Anderson, Douglas Fisher, Timothy Kanold and William Ferriter. Read on below for snippets from their articles or blogs. You will also find links to the full article and selected books from Hawker Brownlow Education.


Happy reading.

Anne Davies
Jay McTighe

Getting Ready for the School Year
The first step of an assessment plan is preparing to begin with the end in mind. This means deconstructing the curriculum outcomes or standards into groups of 'big ideas' that make sense for you and your learners. Then think about how best to express the collection of standards in each grouping in learner-friendly language. Research and practice support this powerful idea. (Research Connection - Visible Learning by John Hattie). Last summer, during the 'back to school' sessions Sandra Herbst and I did, we worked with groups of educators helping them get ready for the school year from an assessment perspective. Here are a few examples from previous sessions of Learning Destinations from Mathematics, Writing, and Science, written in language students and their parents are likely to understand...

See Step 2 here and Step 3 here.

Titles by Anne Davies:
Making Classroom Assessment Work, 3rd Edition (SOT1762)
Knowing What Counts Conferencing and Reporting, 2nd Edition (SOT1830)
Knowing What Counts Setting and Using Criteria, 2nd Edition (SOT1809)
Knowing What Counts Self-Assessment and Goal Setting, 2nd Edition (SOT1793)
Transforming Schools and Systems Using Assessment: A Practical Guide (SOT3382)

> View the full blog post
> See all products

James Anderson
Jay McTighe

President of the World Bank
Habits of Mind have made an appearance in the Dartmouth Presidential Lectures. In the video below Dr Kim, new president of the World Bank discusses his views on important Habits of Mind. Making particular reference to Questioning and Posing Problems.

It is a great endorsement for the Habits of Mind that the Habits of Mind are discussed in such a prestigious and influential setting. More importantly though, it is wonderful to think that someone who will be the president of the world bank from July 1st 2012 recognises the importance of developing effective Habits of Mind.

Titles by James Anderson:
Succeeding with Habits of Mind (HB6224)

> View full blog post and videos
> See all products

Douglas Fisher

Word Learning is a Journey
“When will I know enough words?” asked Jairo, a student from Indonesia. “I want to be ready for college. So when can I stop learning new words?”  We had to tell him the truth: never. Word learning is not a constrained skill like letter knowledge, phonics, phonemic awareness, or fluency (Paris, 2005). Instead, it is akin to comprehension, an unconstrained skill that continues to develop across our lifespan. We all continue to learn words. Nancy recently learned that lunch-blocking occurs when someone schedules something to prevent another from having lunch with friends. One of our high school students recently used the term foofy, fluffed up and puffy, to describe the shoulders of a shirt she was wearing. Word learning is a journey, not a destination. And teachers have a powerful role to play in students’ journeys.

Titles by Douglas Fisher:
Literacy 2.0: Reading and Writing in 21st Century Classrooms (SOT7184)
Teaching Visual Literacy: Using Comic Books, Graphic Novels, Anime, Cartoons, and More to Develop Comprehension and Thinking Skills (CO5481)
The Purposeful Classroom: How to Structure Lessons with Learning Goals in Mind (112007)

> View the full blog post
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Timothy Kanold
Tim Kanold

PLC Assessment
Writing as I travel this summer talking about high leverage teacher and administrator assessment behaviors and actions that really matter in the pursuit of improved student achievement goals. Since June, I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of great educators in St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Denver, San Antonio; this week in Louisville and Baltimore; and next week in Los Angeles and Orlando. And at every stop, we are engaged in deep work and reflective discussions about highly effective assessment processes at the teacher collaborative team level.

In a PLC culture, it is expected that all aspects of formative and summative assessment are decided in collaboration with others at the grade or course team level - within well-defined boundaries monitored by the on site teachers and leaders.  As you develop your “Teachable Point of View  (TPOV) about Assessment as a collaborative team in a PLC  - Assessment becomes understood as a major inequity creator if left unattended. Widely variant levels of rigor, assessment instruments (like quizzes and tests), and assessment as a meaningful form of student feedback will result  - if assessment is not a focused coherent and intentional activity of your collaborative team.

Titles by Timothy Kanold:
The Five Disciplines of PLC Leaders (SOT1861)
What Principals Need to Know About Teaching and Learning Maths (SOT0466)

> View full blog post
> See all products

William Ferriter

How Guaranteed and Viable is Your Curriculum?
Simple Curricula Truth #1: Curricula developed at the state and/or federal level are almost ALWAYS stuffed with far more content than any teacher can possibly get through in the course of one school year.

Heck, one of my favorite Bob Marzano studies showed that it would take 23 years to adequately cover the standards in the K12 curricula.

Simple Curricula Truth #2: Simple truth #1 causes pretty much EVERY teacher to gloss over individual standards in their curriculum.

When there's just NO WAY to get through everything, you do the best that you can to get through as much as you can and you pray that the rest isn't on the end-of-grade tests.

Titles by William Ferriter:
Teaching the iGeneration: 5 Easy Ways to Introduce Essential Skills with Web 2.0 Tools (SOT7610)
Building a Professional Learning Community at Work: A Guide to the First Year (SOT7085)
Essentials for Principals: Communicating and Connecting with Social Media (SOT1823)

> View full blog post
> See all products

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