Teacher Appreciation Abounds

For those of you who may not know, it’s Teacher Appreciation Week. I hope you’ll take the time to send a message or extend a kind gesture toward a special teacher in your life. We all have them either through our own educational experience or in the lives of our children. I hope you’ll brighten the day of a teacher you know! A very talented teacher I am lucky enough.. Read More

The Best Resource for Common Core Writing is Finally Here!

I am beyond excited to share a remarkable and extremely valuable resource that’s available free online. It’s called Understanding Proficiency, and it’s fantastic! Of course, I’m biased because I was one of the lucky educators who helped develop the content for the site. But I think you’ll quickly see how valuable the materials are for teachers, administrators, coaches, you name it! It’s the resource I’ve wished for since the Common.. Read More

LitCentric Resources are in the Digital Library

I got some great news last week…there are 5 new resources in the Smarter Balanced Digital Library from LitCentric.com!  If you teach in a Smarter Balanced state, and your department of education has purchased access to the Digital Library, then you should be able to download my resources free of charge.  Here’s what’s available so far: Peer Editors Feedback Form: A Writer’s Workshop Conferencing Tool for grades 3rd-10th Crafting a.. Read More

Mahalo Oahu and Maui Educators

As happy as I am to be back on the mainland with my sweet little family, I find myself longing for the island life!  It was such a pleasure to not only visit Hawaii (I mean, how can you go wrong?), but to meet with such thoughtful practitioners who willingly gave up part of their very brief summer break to work with me and my colleagues to learn about performance.. Read More

Hawaii Here I Come!

Getting very excited here on the mainland because my trip to Hawaii is less than a month away!  As part of the incredible Building Educator Assessment Literacy project through WestEd and Stanford SCALE (funded by Helmsley Foundation) I have been hired to present to teachers on Oahu and Maui.  So excited!  Of course the island appeal is too good to pass up, but I’m equally looking forward to working with.. Read More

Do You Have What it Takes to Create a Performance Task? Yes You Do!

Performance Tasks play an important role in next-generation assessments of Common Core State Standards.  This leaves teachers wondering: What defines a quality Performance Task?  How do Performance Tasks used in on-demand assessments compare with those used in the classroom?  What is a Performance Task anyway? The answers to these and many more questions can be found in the professional learning experience I’ve created here at LitCentric.com.  It’s easy to follow,.. Read More

Smarter Balanced Performance Tasks: 3-5 Rubrics

As part of the Building Educator Assessment Literacy project sponsored by WestEd and Stanford SCALE, I’ve been providing workshops on the Elementary English Language Arts performance tasks from Smarter Balanced.  It’s been a great experience working with such a talented team and with such receptive audiences. One of the sessions we conduct in the workshop is a breakdown of how the 3-5 Informational and Opinion full-write rubrics are designed and.. Read More

Common Core 2nd Grade ELA Unit – Incredible!

I am so fortunate to work with some incredible educators, many of whom I consider Common Core experts. They have worked with the new standards for several years, deconstructing each one, analyzing student work, collaborating to design new units, and learning new instructional strategies to meet their students’ needs. Pretty remarkable. One such educator I work with is a talented second grade teacher in a high-needs school. We worked together.. Read More

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