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Standards Based

Page history last edited by Laura Sexton 6 years, 7 months ago


To develop a unit, my choose to start with the standards and group several according to a related theme, or you may start with a theme and idea for a unit project/assessment and pull together standards (whether from your state's, ACTFL/NCSSFL, or Linguafolio) that fit your theme and build up to your Integrated Performance Assessment, like a restaurant role-play where there is a problem with your food. You could even try the ACTFL Unit and Lesson Planner iPad app for free!



Build in formative assessments regularly to give students an idea of where they stand. Assessment can be as simple as maintaining a set of cards with a student name on each and pull random cards during bellringer-type activities to check for proficiency or struggling. If you have the technology available, you could also create quick checks through Socrative, Kahoot, or Pear Deck. You may also wish to make some of the formative assessments optional for students who have already demonstrated mastery (though it could be difficult to convince students who have to do more that they're not being punished). For summative assessments, consider giving a week or so to record, get feedback, and revise. It's also a good idea to have students present in class as much as possible and evaluate as they do so, using recordings for verification when you have questions.


Rubrics like Fairfax County Public Schools' are appropriate for interpersonal and presentational evaluation, but interpretive tends to be less open to Marzano-style gradations, and so can be evaluated with simple questions in the L1 or graphic organizers. The more information you can include in descriptors for rubrics, the more it helps students improve. but more descriptors indicating things like fluency and frequency of demonstrated proficiency rather than academic behaviors or even I-cans.



One of the main paradigm shifts between traditional evaluation and standards-based is the distinction between grading for proficiency and for academic behaviors. For example, turning an assignment in on time or making it look attractive--or simply submitting an assignment for completion--are fairly common grading practices, and these skills, too, are certainly valuable parts of the learning experience. However, under a standards-based or proficiency-based model, the grade is based strictly on demonstration of content-related skills. Some schools or classes will send home a separate behavior report card for HOWL--Habits of Work and Learning, but others consider behavior too subjective to be evaluated. There is also a distinction between assignment requirements and what is being evaluated. Expectations for what constitutes a complete assignment must be spelled out clearly in the assignment directions, and submissions that do not meet those requirements should be returned so that proficiency evaluation is possible. (This also means there must be opportunity for submission review prior to the final deadline to ensure that students are presenting relevant work.)


Some also recommend reserving the actual "I can" statements as tools for student self-evaluation rather than as measures of proficiency. Instead you can focus on more overarching descriptors like ACTFL's Proficiency Guidelines.     

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