Advanced proficiency level: 5th Grade Elementary

 

Support materials:
Pre-Observation Written Interview for Observer (Excerpt)

Overall rating & analysis

Overall rating: Two AP Strands equal an overall AP rating.

Beginning

Advanced

Exemplary

Strand 1: The Big Goal’s appropriateness for all students, reasoned ambitiousness, and sources.

Adopts a broad, generic goal that aspires to be ambitious and feasible for the entire class and achieves that balance for at least half of the teacher’s students

Designs a goal that is both ambitious and feasible for most students, based on reasoning informed by multiple sources, including diagnostic results for mastery goals

Designs feasible, highly ambitious goals that require intense work from each and every student, based on reasoning informed by multiple sources, including diagnostic results for mastery goals

Strand 2: The teacher’s understanding of how accomplishing goals will demonstrate mastery of standards and increase students’ opportunities in life.

Describes how the goal is aligned to key standards and identifies a basic tool of measuring achievement of the goal.

Describes how the goal is aligned to all key standards, explains broadly what students should know, understand or be able to do in order to achieve the goal, and cites the necessary assessment tools (e.g. achievement tests, performance-based assessments, etc.) that will be most meaningful to students’ lives when measuring the different facets of the goal

Describes how the goal is aligned to all key standards, explains the specific and prioritized knowledge and skills that each student will need to master in order to reach the goal – including pre-requisites – and cites a specific set of balanced measurement tools to measure different facets of the goal that will be most meaningful to students’ lives

 

Analysis: Why did the teacher receive these ratings?

Rating: APStrand 1: The Big Goal’s appropriateness for all students, reasoned ambitiousness, and sources.

Why AP?

The teacher "designs a goal that is both ambitious and feasible for the entire class and achieves that balance for most students, based on reasoning informed by multiple sources, including diagnostic results for mastery goals." The goal is that "all of my students will take the end of year state "Standards of Learning" exams in math, reading and writing and pass with a score of 400 or higher. Half of my students will score 500 which translates to an "advanced" score. In addition, students will demonstrate mastery of at least 80% of standards not included on the state exams through on-going assessments and culminating tasks. Half of students will achieve a 90% on these standards."

The goal is ambitious because half of his students scored in the 300-400 range the previous year while half of the students scored in the 200-300 range, which "would mean that they were moving from below fourth grade level to above the standard for 5th grade in reading." The goal is feasible because the teacher has internalized pre-requisite grade-level expectations, as well as the current and future ones (i.e., "I pored over the fourth, fifth and sixth grade standards so that I could really internalize the expectations of what grade-level skills would mean, both for their past grade levels and for where they're heading when I'm done with them."). In addition, the teacher has differentiated the goal to achieve the nexus of ambitiousness and feasibility for two-subgroups of students, ensuring that all students master the 5th grade material necessary to pass the high-stakes state test as well as the standards not assessed on the exam but also pushing the students who start the year closer to grade level to achieve an "advanced" score on the exam and display 90% mastery on other curriculum standards.

The teacher consulted "multiple sources," including colleagues (i.e., "Then I spoke with each of the fourth grade teachers both about what realistic expectations would look like, and about each of my students and how they were performing at the end of last year."), and a diagnostic, which he delivered.

Why not E?

Although the goal sets different mastery targets for two sub-groups of students in the class, the teacher has not created individual mastery targets for students and therefore may not have a "goal that is feasible" and "highly ambitious" requiring "intense work from each and every student." There may be students in the class who would require a higher, lower, or more differentiated goal than the goals set for the subgroups to best target the nexus of "feasible" and "highly ambitious."

Rating: APStrand 2: The teacher’s understanding of how accomplishing goals will demonstrate mastery of standards and increase students’ opportunities in life.

Why AP?

The teacher "describes how the goal is aligned to all key standards, explains broadly what students should know, understand or be able to do in order to achieve the goal" by explaining the particular standards related to reading, math, and writing that will be taught and assessed.

The teacher "cites the necessary assessment tools (e.g. achievement tests, performance-based assessments, etc.)" by explaining that the "students will take the end of year state "Standards of Learning" exams in math, reading and writing and.demonstrate mastery of at least 80% of standards not included on the state exams through on-going assessments and culminating tasks." The teacher’s explanation recognizes that he will need to measure students’ mastery of the standards through a variety of assessments including standardized tests and performance-based assessment tasks.

The teacher selects his primary tool of measurement, the "Standards of Learning" exams in math, reading, and writing taking into account which tools of assessment "will be most meaningful to students’ lives when measuring the different facets of the goal." The teacher explains that 5th grade is a high stakes testing year so he chose to set his goals around passing the "Standards of Learning" exam. (i.e., "Even though they don't cover everything, I wanted to keep the tests as a big part of my goal because I know that they are really important to the kids. Fifth grade is a big testing year in my state and if they don't pass they definitely have to go to summer school and may be retained in fifth grade.") In addition, he set a goal of 500 or advanced for half of his students because that would put them into the accelerated track. (i.e., "By accomplishing these things, students will be able to move on to the next grade prepared to transition to the accelerated pace and increased academic demand of middle school."

Why not E?

Although the teacher does cite "a specific set of balanced measurement tools to measure different facets of the goal that will be most meaningful to students’ lives," the teacher does not explain "the specific and prioritized knowledge and skills that each student will need to master in order to reach the goal-including pre-requisites." In the illustration, the teacher clearly indicates that he has a deep knowledge of the standards for 4th, 5th, and 6th grade (i.e., "I pored over the fourth, fifth and sixth grade standards so that I could really internalize the expectations of what grade-level skills would mean, both for their past grade levels and for where they're heading when I'm done with them. Then I spoke with each of the fourth grade teachers both about what realistic expectations would look like."). However, there is insufficient evidence that he has identified the knowledge and skills for "each student" or that he has "prioritized" them.