Friday, October 30, 2009

Interim Assessment, a User's Guide - Kim Marshall

"Interim assessments are an important tool for school improvement, but they are easy to use poorly. Mr. Marshall provides 10 guidelines for using these tests effectively."

Download the PDF file of this article at:

This short (5 page) article is an overview of how interim assessment such as the NWEA tests can be used to improve teaching and learning. The article points out some pitfalls of using such tests, and may give you some ideas for how we can use interim assessment more effectively at NGHS.

After you read the article, please comment on it using the "COMMENTS" link under this post. Which of Marshall's ten guidelines do you think we need to work on most at NGHS? Which of the guidelines are we implementing best at NGHS? What are your suggestions for how to best use interim assessment at NGHS? Please sign your name to your comment so we can continue the discussion in the non-virtual world.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Data in the Driver's Seat - Educational Leadership Magazine

Data in the Driver's Seat by Paul Bambrick-Santoyo

Two New Jersey schools discover the benefits of interim assessments, clearly defined standards, and data driven instruction.

Click here for the website from which you can download a PDF file of the article.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Coherent units are critical to student understanding

Here is a nice article about how, even as we integrate more activities and information sources into our lessons, it is critical to help students build a framework within learning units.

"When science teachers adopt innovative curricula, it’s important that they structure students’ activities as a unit, rather than as a set of linear, discrete events. That’s because students learn with deeper understanding when the teacher has woven the concepts and activities into a coherent whole. Recent research by UW-Madison education professor Sadhana Puntambekar has helped to pinpoint how that’s done, and how science teachers effectively facilitate classroom discussion."

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Blending Science (or any other subject) and Service Learning

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) journal cover story this month is about integrating service learning into the curriculum. See how "Blending Science and Service Learning" inspires you to integrate service learning into the classes you teach.

Some specific science service learning ideas can be found at

For more information about service learning check out, "Learn and Serve" a national service learning clearinghouse at