Distinguished TPEP Scores Using the ELP Standards

If you’ve driven by any school building in your area, you’ve no doubt noticed that teachers are back to work. I would argue that many of us have been ‘working’ in many different ways throughout the summer, but this time of year guarantees that teachers are physically back in their school buildings preparing for students to arrive. We put a lot of emphasis on the ‘new year’ with our students, as well as amongst ourselves. It makes sense. For kids there are new clothes, new teachers, and a new … [Read more...]

Rethinking Rubrics

Earlier this summer, I pledged to take some time off but to also get myself re-organized and put back together in a way that was functional but more importantly good for my teaching and good for my students. One idea that I had socked away for later was revising my rubrics when I revisited some assignments I wanted to change up. They just never seemed to be good enough and by that I mean thorough enough. I never feel like all of my students really grasp what they, as individuals, need to do to … [Read more...]

STEM Clock Hours: The Upcoming OSPI Certification Renewal Requirements

5-Year Renewal What? Oh, yeah, that thing I have to scramble to do once every five years: squeeze in classes, beg for clock hours, file for an extension, and eventually get a five-year renewal of my certificate only to forget about it for another four-and-a-half years. Hopefully, this is not usually your experience. I’m sure some of you plot your courses wisely to methodically finish or just get it all out of the way the first year of the renewal cycle. However you “roll” with your teaching … [Read more...]

SBAC scores are released and Graduation Scores are Set: What Does it Mean?

So, you prepared for the SBAC last year, administered the test, and are now thinking about the data that will be placed before you when you return as a staff for the 2015-2016 school year.  Perhaps, you even read some pieces about the graduation cut score being lowered or watched OSPI’s press conference on the release of scores on Monday.  Like many that I have talked to, you are probably a little, if not a lot, confused by all the numbers and eduspeak being tossed into the … [Read more...]

Why You Should Use QFT for Your Next Observation

If you are someone who follows me you know I am always excited about something.  Well, the thing I am excited about this month in the Question Formulation Technique, or QFT.  This is a strategy that walks students through an experience where they create their own questions using a stimulus or question focus called a Qfocus.  This is the brain child of the Right Question Institute. You can go to their website to learn more about the technique and why it was created.  The "'why" is actually a … [Read more...]

Acting Out – Readers Theater in Your Classroom, Part Two

Earlier I wrote about ways I am using readers theater to help students practice fluency, inference, and comprehension.  In the April issue of School Library Journal Marybeth Kozikowski called out readers theater as one of the most effective ways to meet the CCSS and described readers theater this way:  "It’s so ridiculously easy to implement, it’s a wonder it hasn’t become part of every classroom’s curriculum.” It is easy to implement.  Here's how. Find a readers theater script. There … [Read more...]

Taking the Training Wheels off the Common Core

This summer I gave my seven-year old daughter Aviva two goals. Learn how to swim and ride her bike. Both are skills that are important for personal safety and would teach her the rewards of perseverance. By July, I knew she could swim. She'd advanced to the next level in her swim class and spent most of Independence Day jumping off the dock at the lake at my sister's house. But, riding her bike proved more difficult. I took her to the local track and we'd practice balancing. She'd ride for ten … [Read more...]

ECET2PS Live Blog!!!

Today I feel like a foreign correspondent. Usually, I pen my blog posts from the comfort of my home couch after several days of reflection and pondering. Today I’m writing In The Moment! Straight To You, The Reader! Today I’m attending the ECET2 Puget Sound Convening. How do you say ECET2, you might ask? ee-set-too But what does it mean, you might ask? Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers An ECET2 convening is an event planned by teachers, for teachers. I … [Read more...]

Robotics is the ‘Gateway Drug’ to Hooking Kids on STEM and the NGSS

Robotics is a Drug? First off, what is STEM? Drugs get all sorts of fancy acronyms, so why not education? Well, as far as currently over-hyped education trends go “STEM” is arguably at the top of the list. But when you take away the hype and look for the substance then what is left? In this case, frankly, a lot. As most of you know, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The acronym does not do the term justice though, because STEM is really about the effective integration … [Read more...]


Merriam-Webster: adjective for·ma·tive \ˈfȯr-mə-tiv\ —used to describe the time when someone or something is growing or being formed It seems to be a hot topic. FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT could be defined as: an array of ONGOING formal & informal assessments that happen DURING instruction, providing FEEDBACK to teachers and students in order to MODIFY teaching and learning to MOVE LEARNING toward learning goals. Formative Assessments are distinct from Summative Assessments, whose purpose is … [Read more...]