Monday, September 3, 2012

Common Core Benchmarks

This year our school is going through another WASC Accreditation and so we're focusing a lot on benchmark exams. We didn't have benchmarks in the past because we were such a small school, but now that we're increasing in numbers, we want to make sure that all our students are receiving the same level of instruction.

We also decided to make our benchmark exams align with the new Common Core standards. Since these standards will be coming into play in 2014-2015, we thought it'd be smart to create our benchmarks align with them now. This will give us a year or two to start incorporating the common core standards and become familiar with using them to guide our teaching.

Starting last school year our departments started creating the benchmark exams, and we finally finished! Even though I'm not the department chair, I love organizing and designing cute stuff, so I offered to put all the English benchmark tests for each grade in a binder. This will provide easy access for the WASC people when they want to see proof of our benchmarks!

Love my cute Common Core Benchmark binder!!

Comment Starter: Do you guys do benchmark assessments? Are yours Common Core aligned?

Have a great day back from your 3-day weekend!
Ms. W



5 comments:

  1. Do you have these benchmarks as printables? I love this binder and would love to somehow incorporate it! Great blog for a new teacher like myself :)

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    1. I do have the benchmarks, but they're kind of specific to 10th grade and those standards :/
      Let me know if you still want me to email you one though.

      Stephanie

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    2. Hi Stephanie! I just discovered your blog, and I want to say how awesome it is to find a secondary English teacher blog as great as yours! I will be following your posts! Could you send me a copy of these benchmarks? We are just now switching over to the common core, and anything would be helpful. I'm lucky enough to teach 9th & 10th grade. Double the fun!

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  2. I'm getting ready to work on our benchmarks next week....anything you can share??

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    1. The greatest factor we found helpful was having all the English teacher take each others' benchmarks. That was seriously the best thing we did. Some questions were ambiguous or didn't make sense to other teachers, therefore it would probably be confusing to the students.

      We also did a teacher copy with the "comments" on the side that labeled each question according to Common Core Standard. For example, question 2 is R.CCR.4.

      We chose to only have 4 major "Power Learning Goals" that the benchmark would cover. So we chose 4 major CC Standards. We plan on making another benchmark for later in the year that will cover others, etc.

      Hope this all helps!!
      Stephanie

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