Advanced proficiency level: High School Biology

N/A

Support materials:
Post-Observation Conversation with Evaluator (Excerpt)
Tracking Sheet

Overall rating & analysis

Overall rating: Two AP Strands and one E Strand equal an overall AP rating.

Beginning

Advanced

Exemplary

Strand 1: The frequency with which the teacher assesses students’ progress.

Periodically administers diagnostic and summative assessments to determine student performance

Regularly administers diagnostic, formative, and summative assessments to determine student progress

Administers assessments as often as necessary for students to work to mastery

Strand 2: Accuracy and efficiency in grading and the students’ understanding of their own performance.

Grades accurately and efficiently so that students are aware of their performance

Accurately and efficiently grades in a way that helps students understand their performance and where they are in relation to the big goal

Accurately and efficiently grades in ways that help individual students learn their strengths and weaknesses, improve their performance and see where they are in relation to the big goal

Strand 3: The frequency with which the teacher tracks student performance.

Tracks student performance periodically

Tracks student performance regularly so that data can inform short- and long-term planning and differentiation

Tracks student performance immediately so that data can drive short- and long-term planning and differentiation

 

Analysis: Why did the teacher receive these ratings?

Rating: AP Strand 1: The frequency with which the teacher assesses students’ progress.

Why AP?

The teacher administered diagnostics at the beginning of the year on biology skills as well as math and writing skills that are relevant to achieving 80% content mastery in her class (i.e., "I gave students a comprehensive diagnostics in the first week of school. Even though I'm teaching biology, I tried to include questions on math and writing standards that students would need to know in order to master the science objectives in my class.").

The teacher also administers "formative and summative assessments to determine student progress." She administers formative assessments including daily exit tickets as well as lab reports (which students are required to revise until they achieve mastery) and summative assessments in the form of unit tests (i.e., "On our lecture days when we're not doing labs, my students always have a five-question, exit-ticket style assessment that they complete at the end of class to determine their mastery of the day's objectives.I also use labs as a formative assessment tool.")

Why not E?

There is insufficient evidence that the teacher "administers assessments as often as necessary for students to work toward mastery." Although the teacher does require students to revise their lab reports until they achieve 80 percent, the teacher’s other assessments (including unit assessments and weekly quizzes) are not re-administered. Therefore, students who do not achieve mastery on these exams are unable to continue working toward mastery.

Rating: AP Strand 2: Accuracy and efficiency in grading and the students’ understanding of their own performance.

Why AP?

The teacher "efficiently grades in a way that helps students understand their performance," by having students trade their exit slips to grade immediately and returning all lab grades to students within two days.

Students are aware of "where they are in relation to the big goal," because the teacher periodically gives them an excel spreadsheet that tracks their progress against all the standards they will need to master (i.e., "At the end of each unit, students don't just get letter grades, they also get a copy of their excel spreadsheet so that they are clearly able to see the progress they've made toward the big goal as well as the areas where we still need to work.").s

Why not E?

There is insufficient evidence that the teacher helps "individual students learn their strengths and weaknesses." Although the teacher may provide specific feedback on assessments that helps students understand why they are getting answers right or wrong, there is no evidence of this.

Rating: EStrand 3: The frequency with which the teacher tracks student performance.

Why E?

The teacher "tracks student performance immediately," or more than once a week, so she knows where students are currently performing at any given moment. The teacher grades all labs within two days and enters students’ grades into her tracking before handing them back. In addition, every day that the teacher does not administer a lab, she gives students an exit ticket activity that assesses their mastery of the day's objective. The teacher uses a bin system that has students sort their papers by the grades they receive, which allows her to track her students proficiency on-the-spot. She also enters these grades into her tracking the same night.

The teacher tracks students’ performance frequently enough to use student data to "drive short- and long-term planning and differentiation." She is able to determine which students need to come to tutoring immediately from his tracking system on assessments so that she can meet the needs of students’ who have not mastered the objectives. She is able to use student data to alter his plans for the next day to appropriately differentiate and is also able to use data from summative assessments to adjust his long-term plan.