What is the purpose of the alignment documents and how can they be used for planning? The alignment documents are intended to support individual teachers and/or team planning. Teachers can begin their planning by using the Key Learning Questions to identify the lesson focus. Alignment documents also support teachers with the specific Look Fors for each investigation. The Assessment column supports formative assessment throughout the unit. The Technology column is a support for teachers to enrich the math content with technology. Why is there a column for links to Kathy Richardson assessments on the K-2 alignments? The work being done in Investigations links closely to the goal(s) of the Kathy Richardson assessment that’s indicated. The indicated links are recommended assessments to be used to along with the Investigations Sourcebook when available. Why isn’t there an assessment at the end of every investigation? If there was not an assessment in the Assessment Sourcebook that matched a particular investigation, then an assessment was not listed. What was the process for making revisions to the pacing guides and alignment documents? The process for making revisions was collaborative across the district. All teachers had an opportunity to participate in an on-line survey that polled opinions on the content and pacing of the documents. Those results were then compiled, discussed, and revised by grade level committees made up of teachers from every quadrant in the district. Elementary math district coaches, then, refined and standardized the revisions. Finally, elementary math teacher leaders were invited to review the drafts. Why is the sequence changed in places on the pacing guides? During the revision process, the sequence and pacing of each guide was thoroughly evaluated. In cases where there was an overwhelming amount of feedback suggesting changes, the grade level committees discussed the implications of such changes. In most of these cases, the committee agreed with the suggestions and changed the sequence and pacing. What things were considered before changes were made to the documents? Many things were considered including: Standards District adopted curriculum Survey results Recommendations from the revision committee APS calendar/CSAP testing windows Needs of the entire district Why is there a technology column? As outlined in VISTA 2010, the district is moving to integrate technology into classrooms. The technology column has been added to support teachers in finding the technology resources already included in the Investigations units and available on building servers. In the future, the column will also contain such technology supplements as teacher created flipcharts for the Promethian Board. What is the role of the key learning questions and why do the key learning questions look different? Feedback suggested that teachers needed support with developing key learning questions. These questions are intended to help teachers focus on the mathematics of the lesson and support problem based instruction. Other teacher developed questions may be appropriate as well. Why did the assessment column change? How are the assessments intended to be used? Feedback from the survey indicated that the placement of the pre and post assessments, which were intended to be formative tools, was not helpful. In response to that concern, assessments are now consistently matched and listed at the end of the each investigation within the unit. Last year, look for questions were written out and this year it only says, “See About the Assessment in this Unit.” Why was that changed? Feedback indicated that a more comprehensive list of look for questions would be more helpful for teachers. Since each Investigations unit has a detailed list of look for questions in the section entitled “About the Assessment in this Unit,” this section was referenced to help reduce the length of the documents.
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