What set of standards do I use?
I am using the Information Fluency Continuum benchmark skills for Grades K-12. This document was created by the NYC Department of Education and the Office of Library Services-NYC School Library System.
There are two effective features of this document that I like:
- It has been revised to meet the current AASL Standards For 21st Century Learners
- There are three standards (Standard 1: Using Information To Build Understanding, Standard 2: Pursing Personal and Aesthetic Growth and Standard 3: Demonstrating Social Responsibility) that are broken down by grade level. There are a list of skills in each grade level that students should master
How will I grade my students based off the standards?
As a special-area educator, I only give grades twice a year: at the end of the second quarter and at the end of the fourth quarter. Students receive two grades at those times. One grade is based off effort, and the other is based off meetings standards.
At the end of each class, I give students an effort grade. This is based on participation and engagement with the lesson, following the school’s four “Bs,” (Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe and Be Ready to Learn” and if they have brought books back for exchange.
The standards grade is based off assessments and projects.
All effort/standard grades are recorded in a Google Spreadsheet.
What kind of assessments can I give that are relevant and realistic for the situation?
Being my first year as a teacher, I am still figuring out my assessment and grading policy. This has been a year of trial-and-error and using classes as guinea pigs for many things. I have tried individual and group assessments, and both have been successful.
I have used more project-based and online assessments, rather than paper-pencil quizzes and tests. I have used Socrative, an online assessment tool, for my older grades. I have used our blogs for self-reflections about what has been learned after a lesson or project is complete. I have rubrics for longer projects and collaborations with grade-level teachers.
For younger grades, we use discussion in small and large groups. Right at the end of a lesson, I will break students into groups and they will share what they have learned. Then, we will come back as a whole group to breakdown and discuss. If groups do not have the correct answers for the main idea of a lesson, then I know I need to do something different to reteach for the next week.
I also use observation to assess younger grades. For example, one goal is for Kindergarten students to log onto the computers with username/passwords without using info cards as guidance. One quick sweep around the room, I have instant data or who needs extra time or assistance.
How do I assess students and analyze data if I only see students for a half-hour block a week?
Only seeing students for one half-hour block a week, it was at first a challenge to understand how to assess students. After much reflection and conversation, I realized it is possible.
I only teach one new concept per week per class. I cannot fit five standards into one lesson. That would make it ineffective, and students would have too much information to learn. I have realized it is OK to have students learn one thing at a time, and then build from that concept. Students need to have a strong foundation of skills in order to build a wealth of knowledge. It is OK to take my time, to not rush.
Do I have the same assessments as the other three elementary teacher-librarians?
At this time, I do not have the same assessments as the other three elementary teacher-librarians in my district. Grade-level teachers do because of the assessments from the EngageNY Modules.
We do have the same SLOs though, as part of our APPR.
Part 3 coming soon: Sample Excel spreadsheet with standards for each grade level and to show how data is gathered and analyzed.