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Writing I Can Statements

Page history last edited by Bill 11 years, 9 months ago

Writing I Can Statements


Instructional experts from Bob Marzano and Judith Chappuis to Rick Stiggins and Larry Ainsworth have argued something that good teachers have known for years:  Involving students in assessing their own mastery of classroom content has a direct impact on mastery and achievement.  It makes sense, doesn't it?  If a student has a clear understanding of what they are supposed to be learning, wouldn't they be better prepared to focus their efforts---and to help identify areas where they are still confused?


The challenge, though, is that state standards documents----which define the content that students are expected to master----are completely intimidating to parents and students (and sometimes teachers, too!).  Bob Marzano goes as far as to argue that state standard documents aren't even suitable for use in schools.  In Classroom Assessment and Grading that Work (2006), he writes:  ‚ÄúNational and state standards documents simply were not designed to allow for easy application to classroom assessments" (p. 18).


This presentation is designed to show teachers how to tackle this challenge, breaking state standards into learning targets that can be shared with---and easily understood by---the parents and students of your classrooms.



Surveying the Current Situation


Take a few minutes to think about how you are using the state standards in your work with parents and students by answering the two survey questions below.  After you've answered each question, turn to your neighbor and explain your responses:


Survey Question 1





Survey Question 2 




Looking at the Research




There has actually been a ton of research done on the role that student awareness of the learning standards that they are trying to master can play in improving achievement results in today's classrooms.  This PowerPoint presentation includes a series of quotes from assessment experts Rick Stiggins and Bob Marzano that are designed to introduce teachers this research.  It also includes a sample strategy---developed by Rick Stiggins----for developing student-friendly learning targets. 





Additional Resources

The following materials may help teachers who are working to convert their state standards into student-friendly learning targets.



Editable I Can Statement Template



While the attached document----which was shared as a sample in today's presentation----includes the I Can statements for a sixth grade unit on Western Europe, it is valuable to teachers and to learning teams because it is completely editable.  Download a copy today and fill in the content that you are teaching to your students. 


Writing Student Friendly Learning Targets



In this entry from his blog---The Tempered Radical---session presenter Bill Ferriter details the process that his learning team went through when working to convert state standards into student-friendly learning targets.  It can serve as a solid review of the content presented in today's session. 



More on Student Friendly Learning Goals



After writing about the process that his learning team uses to write student-friendly learning goals on his blog, session presenter Bill Ferriter was asked a series of follow-up questions by readers interested in the process.  This entry from Ferriter's blog addresses those questions---which are likely to be running through your head as well!



California State Standards



This link connects to a complete collection of the California State Standards.  It can be used by teachers who are working to identify essential standards and then break them into student-friendly learning targets. 



Classroom Assessment and Grading that Work



This book---written by assessment expert Bob Marzano----shares the research around classroom grading and assessment practices that have the greatest impact on student achievement.  While the text can be intimidating because it is written in a formal style, it is a phenomenal read for teachers who are working to understand how their grading and assessment decisions impact student learning in their classroom. 



Classroom Assessment for Student Learning



This book---written by assessment expert Rick Stiggins and his colleagues----is perhaps one of the most approachable assessment manuals for classroom teachers, including detailed information about writing I Can statements and tailoring assessment decisions to the content being studied.  Filled with practical handouts, strategies and suggestions, it is far more approachable than Marzano's book---but it's also far more expensive!



Professional Learning Team Handouts



While teachers could create I Can statements for their students while working in isolation, it is likely that the majority of this work is going to be done by teams of teachers working together----which brings up a whole new challenge because working together is never easy!  This collection of handouts---drawn from session presenter Bill Ferriter's newest book on professional learning communities----may come in handy as your team works together to develop student-friendly learning targets. 




Session Assessment

After leaving today's session, please take a few moments to fill out this five question survey, designed to provide session presenter Bill Ferriter with feedback on how to improve this learning experience.






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