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Glossary of Educational Terms for the 21st Century Learner

In an effort to help parents follow their child's own academic success, we have put together a glossary of terms, examples, and associated links for teaching and learning in the 21st Century.

Assessment

  • One type of data

  • Generally refers to a student performance measure

  • Many ways to assess what our students know and can do

  • All data and assessment collected should align to the standards, values and priorities of the district and community

Data

  • Evidence that provides information

  • Comes in many forms: quantitative and qualitative

Pre-assessment 

  • an assessment given to students prior to a set of skills/concepts being taught to determine if students have the necessary pre-requisite skills/concepts to gain proficiency in the area.

  • based on the assessment data students may be asked to come in for intervention or be given differentiated activities to work on those pre-requisite skills/concepts they need additional support with.

  • pre-assessments are also used to determine if any students have proficiency on a particular set of requisite skills/concepts being taught

  • based on assessment data students may be challenged to extend their understanding of requisite skills/concepts beyond proficiency level

Learning Expectations

  • the goals the teacher expects students to gain proficiency on in a particular unit of study (WALT...  We are learning to/ We are learning that)

  • these are based on the New Jersey Student Learning Standards / National Common Core Standards   http://www.state.nj.us/education/cccs/

  • some of these are grade-level and unit specific (finding volume of cubes, analyzing analogies, comparing and contrasting plant and animal cells, etc.)

  • other of these are "soft goals" that transcend grade-levels and units (actively listening, responding to open-ended questions, critical thinking, problem-solving, etc.)

  • these are shared with students as they are introduced into instruction

Activities

  • these are the tasks students are involved in to gain an understanding of concepts and to acquire skills based on the learning expectations

  • these include individual tasks and group tasks

  • the general activity format is to introduce concepts/skills, model concepts/skills, provide guided practice of the concepts/skills, and to provide independent practice of the concepts/skills

Resources

  • these are the materials students utilize during activities

  • these include both traditional paper resources (particular books, textbooks, magazines, etc.) and technology-based resources (software programs, web-based materials, wikis, etc.)

Student Strategies

  • these are the techniques teachers show students to help them practice skills (to find volume multiply length x width x height, to visualize make a movie in your head, etc.)

  • these serve as an anchor for students to return to when they are utilizing a skill

  • these promote independence in student work as they serve as a guide for working with a skill and through a problem

  • these are differentiated to meet the needs of learners

Instructional Strategies

  • these are the techniques (how to) teacher use in delivering content/skills (modeling skills, utilizing technology, talking through a problem out loud, etc.)

  • these are differentiated to meet the needs of learners

Formative Assessments

  • these are the on-going assessments used to determine if students are acquiring the intended goals of the learning expectation

  • the assessment data from these are used to determine if students need targeted intervention on a particular learning expectation, if instructional or student strategies need to be adjusted for some or all learners, and to see if students are ready to move on to the next learning expectation or apply the learned skills to higher level tasks

  • the scores from these serve as feedback and can be revised to ensure students understand the learning expectation and have corrected errors in their use of skills/understanding of concepts

  • this includes classwork and homework, as well as any specific tasks designed by the teacher to collect data to inform instruction

Differentiation

  • this includes any adjustments made to activities, assessments, strategies to assist students in acquiring the intended learning expectation

  • this is done based on the assessment data collected from formative assessments

  • the intent is not to make things easier or to change the learning expectation but instead to support students in gaining proficiency on the intended learning expectation

Intervention

  • this includes working with students outside the scheduled class time on specific learning expectations they are not showing proficiency with http://www.rti4success.org/

  • this is done based on the assessment data collected from formative assessments

  • this is done to provide timely assistance to students so they can continue with the planned lessons without missing and to support further instruction

Benchmark Assessments

  • these include assessments of groups of learning expectations that have already been formatively assessed

  • these result in grades

  • the goal of these is to see if students can apply, select, and interweave the individual learning expectations as needed to solve higher level problems

  • the data from these is utilized to provide a grade at points throughout the unit

  • students have opportunities to revise this work and grades based on the teachers' analysis of the errors made- this involves cross-referencing the benchmark and formative assessments to find discrepancies in students skills/content and application

  • discrepancies in formative and benchmark assessment data indicate that other academic or behavioral areas of affecting the students' performance and can be addressed more specifically

  • these usually include quizzes, portions of on-going projects, small papers, etc.

Summative Assessments

  • these include final assessments for a unit- assessing all the learning expectations already addressed and assessed throughout the unit

  • these result in grades

  • the goal of these is to have students demonstrate what they have learned from the unit and what they can apply to real-world, authentic problems- this requires students to draw upon and select appropriate content and skills as needed in the task

  • these usually include tests, projects, and papers

  • the data from these is used to set on-going goals for the revision of units and long-term intervention of specific student's skills - this is done by examining the weakest learning expectations of a unit and focusing on them in future professional development and curriculum work

21st Century Skills

  • these include the readiness skills for careers and colleges http://www.p21.org/

  • these are incorporated as strategies and activities for teaching students content and skills

  • these are embedded in the summative assessment tasks to ensure they are authentic experiences