Good Morning and Happy Wednesday! Welcome to Question 3 of our slow chat working with the development of questions to engage and instruct students.
Today, my 5th grade team members, coaches and administrators are collaborating and sharing during our PLC time about our assessments and the DOK levels. We reflect and review our student work based on the DOK levels and decide how each assessment and student production looks based on our resources.
This is something new for our building/district. I am interested to hear about your ideas surrounding today’s question and how your team and building are working through assessments and student work with the DOK.
We (@senger, @Darcey_Teasdale, and @Susan_Shires) would love to hear from you this week- with each question we ask. I am eager to learn your process for creating strong questions that both allow you to know what a student knows, but also how well they think.
In our district we have a team of level leaders that meet in the summer. Part of what they do is create the common assessments (common to both high school campuses in the district). At this time we determine the text, find or create questions, and look at levels. Our English Coordinator will often review our work. We try to keep the questions to a few level 1, but mostly level 2 and some 3’s. So, the rest of the team will receive a focused planning document that also shows the # of questions at each level.
Those of us who work with the questions often debate between level 2 and 3.
Basic assessments at campuses really don’t focus on level questions in a strict manner. We know we need a few lower level questions , but our focus is on application and analysis and synthesis, so we structure our questions based on that.
I think that overall, teachers are finding it useful and interesting, but challenging.
Im in the process of trying to get the staff in mys school who are resistant to tech to jump on board with this powerful tool. The work with students DOK depends on what the task is that I am doing or skill I want them to develop.
When you say that you try to stay with the upper levels, is that useful for students who have special needs/accommodations/modifications? What happens if you are simply introducing a new topic to your class? Would you begin with L1 & L2?
I think that we tend to blend 2 and 3 since they are connected. We always expect our students to explain their thinking and don’t often see, in English at least, how a student can just give us an answer without the explanation portion. The debate really is over our expectations and how we are conditioned, so we tend to not be in total favor of a level 2- although we know we do need them since all classes have an array of learning abilities.
In class discussions and introductory lessons, I also start low to build confidence and to gauge students’ prior knowledge. Throughout the lesson, I build the DOK in order to make mathematical connections between prior knowledge and new learning. I also try to encourage students to ask their own DOK… “What if…”
Formatives are built with increasing DOK for each concept.
Assessments include a variety of DOK levels, from basic concepts to error analysis type problems.
Change is hard for many people. It has been for me over the years- it’s the anxiety at feeling or looking foolish or even feeling to ‘dumb.’ I think as teachers we can get caught up in the idea that we should be able to learn quickly ourselves, have all the answers, etc. The transition from chalk to tech is BIG, and like the students we teach, teachers can often push back and resist those things that make them uncomfortable.
Just introduce things step by step. Share what you’ve created with them. They’ll see how great it is and slowly start trying to do it on their own. I can tell you that there are a few teachers on my campus who are surprised at how I have jumped on the formative bandwagon and run with it!
It’s not just veteran teachers, either. I don’t know how many of my students tell me, 'You don’t teach me anything." In their minds, if I’m not in front of the class lecturing, then I’m not teaching. They don’t see the videos I find (or make), and the activities we do as ‘teaching.’ They want to be told what to write down and where to write it down. I want them to struggle a little so they forge those learning pathways in their brains. They usually don’t “get it” as Freshman, but many times return to me in later years saying, “I wish my math teacher did things the way you used to do them in our class.”