Sunday, July 24, 2016

Why Use Performance Standards?

At the beginning of last school year my school was introduced to Learning Scales. Our  hearts stopped, it was one more thing in the ever increasing list of requirements teachers must meet. Through-out the year we had PLC's that helped us understand Performance Scales and how to use them in the classroom. Then in December we were told each grade level would be given 1 teacher workday to write Performance Scales together. I knew that one day was simply not enough. By this time I was beginning to see the value in them. You see Performance Scales help students self assess themselves to see where they are for the focus standard and help teachers provide support & differentiate instruction for all learners.  During Winter break I began the task of writing the Kindergarten standards for my team. I wanted to understand them before meeting with my team to write more. I got hooked the more I wrote them the more I understood the standards and saw their potential.  I carefully selected picture cues to match each standard. By the time I met with my team I had already written all the Kindergarten ones.  Here's a sample of Kindergarten Scales for you.

 You can read how to write your own here

My team loved them. These scales and the picture cues helped my kindergarten students understand what was expected of them. I used their standards based tests to show them where they were. As a teacher I loved how they allowed me to think in advance what task or expectation I could give my high achieving students to challenge them. My friends who taught other grades begged me to write some for them. 

So this summer I challenged myself to write the LAFS & Common Core Performance Standards for K-5th. I really wanted to finish all of them by mid August. However as I started to write the first grade standards, I found some standards that I simply didn't understand and had to research them to understand them and help students understand them. There was also the curve ball that I had to have surgery this summer. It was minor and luckily everything went better than expected. But I did lose a week of writing because I was tired and sore after having surgery. 

I also decided that quality was more important than quantity. Yes, I will keep my commitment of writing all of them. On Friday I finished all the first grade versions.  Hooray!

I plan to write all the 2nd & 3rd grade Performance standards by the end of August. 4th grade by the end of September and 5th grade by the end of October. 

Leave a comment below with your grade level and email by August 15th so I can let you know when your grade level is finished. Here's my promise to you if I don't meet the deadline I promised above for your grade level I will send it to you free provided you leave me a comment by August 15th.


What are my customer's saying about them?
"Yesssssss!!!!!This was absolutely what I needed in terms of looking at each standard with the Marzano alignment! You seriously saved me hours of work. The standards are super clear and easy to use. I also love that the evidence of student learning is on there- what a great way to give a concise picture of where the kiddos are at. Thank you so much!" -Kelly G.
"I have a K/1 split so I bought the Kinder scales as well as this one. They're both fabulous. I'm going to get a lot of use out of these. Thanks for all the work you put into making them! :)"
-Kelly G. 

"I love this resource! This will help me to assess my students' level of understanding for each standard, while at the same time providing them with expectations and goals to move them forward to the next level. Awesome!"

-Davina T.
"This product makes it so easy to incorporate scales! It has the standard, learning goals for each level, and student evidence at each level in an easy "I can" statement. I have no excuse for not using scales anymore! Thank you!!"