The below story was written on October 18, 2018 by Mary Ryerse from Getting Smart
The full story can be found here.
In Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD), as teachers work to embed new social studies and language arts curricular resources, there is a special focus on student-driven learning.
This concept of students taking ownership, practicing self-reflection, and learning directly stems from the FARROP, a rubric outlining ten dimensions of formative assessment practice with guidelines and resources for use in observations and reflections. There are already some district-wide practices that are in place that support formative assessment, and pilot teachers and principals are working together to streamline formative assessment practices for maximum student success.
Brea Lewis, third- and fourth-grade teacher at Ben Milam Elementary, is a great example of how to change the classroom experience. She says, “Our lesson plans reflect what we do each and every day, and we are really committed to embedding the student process.”
Brea continues, “Our focus on formative assessment changed the way we do lesson plans to be more student-driven. As teachers, we are learning whether we need to slow down or speed up. I have been watching professional learning videos as part of our How I Know project and they have helped my practice immensely.”
Dallas ISD is part of a three district collaborative project: How I Know: Designing Meaningful Formative Assessment Practice. #HowIKnow was created in an effort to improve and impact formative assessment practice for teachers and students. Even prior to joining the project, Dallas ISD had been emphasizing the importance of classroom interactions between students and teachers – especially as part of the formative assessment practice. The initiative is helping them take an even more focused professional development approach.
In the end, Brea describes, “The biggest shift we had was building a new type of culture in the classroom. Students do not want to rely solely on teachers telling them what to do, but the students themselves know what their next steps should be.”