For the last five years, one charter middle school in Manhattan has been conducting a radical experiment in doing exactly that. The Equity Project pays its teachers a salary of $125,000 a year, with extra bonuses based on performance. It also expects a lot more from them, including longer hours and slightly larger classes, four weeks of professional development a year, and regular reviews once hired.

The result? According to the Wall Street Journal, the first long-term study to evaluate the school shows that its unusual model is producing results.

So here is the skinny on grading and assessment. I must first admit, it is something that we constantly have to work on in my building. Do the assignments that we ask our students to complete in our classrooms have a purpose? If the answer is no – then stop assigning them – like, now.

There are several areas that we should focus on when bringing purposeful assessment to your building:

Drop the Zero

100-point grading scales are mathematically inaccurate – it is a fact. We must stop the use of the zero in our buildings immediately. The zero holds six times more weight than any other grade that we can assign students. Use of the zero in our grading practices could potentially eliminate a student’s chances of passing a course in the first semester. This is what I refer to as the Grading Abyss. It is a pitfall, that when students fall into it, they will act a fool in your class as they have no mathematical chance of passing your course – even with a 100%.

Laws of Averaging State: 0% + 100% = 100%; when we divide that by 2, we get 50%. A failing grade. Bummer.

Read more about dropping the use of the zero here.

Are Your Grades Polluted?

Do you know why we grade students? You should.

Grades, at least at the middle and secondary levels, are about student proficiency with the standards that we teach. Anything else that we grade students on – other than proficiency on the standards – pollutes your grades. Say, if you grade students on participation (subjective) or behavior (subjective) – the grade becomes a reflection of much more than the student’s proficiency on the standards you are teaching. Parents when they see an A or a D on a progress report would not know whether the students are proficient on the standards, or are just a compliant student in your class.

Your grades are polluted. You can read more about grading pollution here.

Meaningful Feedback

Grading for completion? C’mon… you know you’ve done it. I was guilty of it during my early years in the classroom.

If we assign students work, we owe it to them to provide them with meaningful feedback. Checking (and assigning grades) for completion is nothing but “busy work”. Our students know that and they are on to us.

What if we grade for completion, but a student actually doesn’t have a clue about what they are talking about. Hypothetically one could pass a student that knows nothing about the content area that we are teaching them in. Again, bummer. We would be guilty of contributing to just passing students on.

If you assign work – provide your students with meaningful feedback.

In schools across this country, we must tighten up our grading and assessment practices. The ability to assign grades comes with a lot of power. With great power, comes great responsibility.

If we haphazardly assign grades and award credit without reason, we are going to produce students that are not proficient in any areas. On the other end, we are also failing hundreds of thousands of students every year based on what? This question is especially important when we reflect on the reasons for the 1.2 million high school dropouts that we encounter each year in the United States.

So, I ask that as you begin the new school year that you look hard and redefine assessment in your classroom, schoolhouse, or district. Go forth and do great things.

We send students to spend half a day at a testing center to take the SAT. We ought to invest equal time in sending them to assessment centers to gauge their values and their social, emotional and creative capabilities. If colleges did this, they would gain a much better picture of their prospective students. More students would have a fair chance to demonstrate their distinctive talents and qualifications, and colleges might be less likely to reject the next Walt Disney.

Quick and Dirty Guide to Chest Trauma Chest injuries are responsible for 25% of all traumatic deaths annually. It is important for all EMS providers to be suspicious and vigilant when faced with a chest trauma patient.   Chest Injuries Chest injuries are caused by blunt force trauma, penetrating trauma or both. They are often seen in: Automobile accidents Falls from excessive heights (usually >15’ vertically) Blast injuries (both primary and secondary) Significant blows to the chest Chest compression injuries Gunshot wounds (GSW) Stab/impalement wounds Different thoracic injuries/trauma, classified by the area of involvement: Skeletal injury (Ribs, Clavicles, Sternum) Pulmonary injury (Trachea, Bronchi, Lungs) Heart/Great Vessels (Myocardium, Aorta, Pulmonary vessels) It is crucial for a person to have an intact thoracic cage for adequate ventilation to take place. A blunt thoracic injury resulting in inadequate ventilation, can quickly lead to hypoxia […]

Decide what YOU need to do for your life … And do it. Break-through old habits and daily patterns that keep you frustrated. Remember, our emotional reality becomes what we focus on throughout the course of the day, so take stock of your thoughts and feelings. Stay awake and aware. 

Don’t let enthusiasm be corroded by defeats, lethargy, fear or routine. Defeats are a part of life. Fear can lay hidden. Lethargy and routine can sneak in …Guard your enthusiasm, as it is a powerful source of energy.

Focus on ongoing self discovery. Pay mind to your spiritual dialogue. Realize you’re on an unfolding journey ….. to a life in balance …

Our Journey to Balance 


Pelvic Fracture Assessment

Reflecting on my new assessment practice and taking some advice

So before the year began I really wanted to improve my assessment practices. I wanted to have an easy and detailed way to track all my notes, thoughts, and my students goals.

I came up with this method:

I made a new spreadsheet or sheet as Google calls them for each of my students and a new tabs for each strand. I loved how organized it was and as I started using it this week I loved it even more.

BUT then, I began documenting all my students work and opening up different sheets and tabs for each of the students took forever.

So I’m adapting and following advice from Joel Frey, and Kimberly Pollishuke. Thanks guys for taking the time and commenting on my post!

I’m creating a form for me to use to make notes about my students progress and to conference with them and make new goals.

Here is what it looks like:

I’m excited to try it this way and hope it is easier and quicker to use!

anonymous asked:

can i ask the mods and followers for advice? i need to know how to get diagnosed germany. from what i see, autism in general is not really well researched? i just want someone actually qualified to help me. my doctor said my curiosity is nonsense, saying some pretty hurtful and very misinformed things. so he did not recommend me somewhere or tell me what steps to take. i would be very thankful to hear about the general process of the diagnosis or what kind of things i can do to even get there.

I don’t know myself, but I don’t think any of our mods are German, and so I thought it might be better to just reply and post this for our followers who might have more insight to be able to respond. 

I have been told that it’s quite difficult to be assessed in Germany because of general lack of knowledge about autism, but I’m not sure exactly why this is.

Anyway, until someone else can respond with more knowledgable information about assessment in Germany, here are some suggestions that may or may not be helpful!

- Are there any other doctors who work at the same practise that you could ask to see instead? They might be more knowledgable or open to finding out about it.

- Perhaps you could speak to your doctor about the specific problems you are having (rather than telling him that you want to be assessed for autism), and then he could provide you with a referral or details of someone to speak to about those specific problems, and then you could raise the possibility of an autism assessment with those people? Although he has been dismissive of the idea you have autism, he might be less dismissive of your actual issues (if that makes sense? He might not agree that you have autism, but he might agree that you need some professional help with specific issues such as anxiety or depression or communication difficulties, etc.). 

- There are lots of articles and information on autism more generally, so perhaps you could provide your doctor with some more information to better explain your suspicions that you may be on the spectrum? 

- It might also be worth contacting private psychiatrists/psychologists to ask them whether they provide assessments for autism, and if not whether they know who you should contact? If you have any local services in Germany (Social Care type services; in the UK we have specific local teams set up for various difficulties, such as a Mental Health Team, and Learning Disabilities Team) you might be able to find contact details for them to get more information.

- Perhaps you could also try signing up to forums to see if there are any German members who might have more information.

- Ben

The 5 P’s for Neurovascular Assessments

Pain- Pretty obviously, this symptom indicates injury has occurred. Some conditions (especially closed fractures where compartment syndrome is developing) have disproportionate pain to the mechanism of injury and which radiates over a large surface area, which indicates muscle or nerve injury. 

Parasthesia- Altered sensation in a limb and often the site below the injury. Commonly described as pins and needles, ‘tingling’ or a burning sensation, it is a result of neurological damage or nerve damage/compression. Parasthesia can be seen in patients w/ a stroke, TBI, SCI (spinal cord injury) and injuries which cause damage and compression of muscle tissue ie. fractures, compartment syndrome. This is a ‘sensory’ symptom. 

Paresis- This refers to the partial or full loss of motor function of the injured area and again, the site below the injury. It has similar causes to parasthesia, where the ability to control movements in the injured limb (or in the case of SCI, any body part innervated by that area) is decreased. 

Pallor- Pale skin tone in an injured area. Occurs as a result of poor perfusion to an area and changes in body temperature. Peripheral vasoconstriction in cases of hypovolaemia and shock (except neurogenic) results in the capillaries in the hands and feet to tighten, reducing blood flow. Localised ischaemia due to soft tissue and muscle injuries also restricts or stops blood flow, causing a change in colour. This indicates hypoxia, either systemically or by body region. 

Pulses- Pedal pulses are commonly assessed to determine adequate distal blood supply. It is important to compare distal pulses in extremities to work out whether there is injury to one specific area or to multiple sites. 

Some conditions require a sixth P, Poikilothermia to be assessed. this refers to a body part or region taking on an ambient temperature, showing an inability to thermoregulate. 

Blended and Online Assessment Taxonomy

The first part of an assessment design is the most obvious; the student performance, or more simply referred to as the activity. This requires a student to show the teacher what they know or can do. The second part assessment design is often assumed or omitted; however, this part of the assessment is critical to optimizing alignment to the objectives, and provides valuable support towards student success. This critical component is the grading plan or better named the feedback criteria.

As a teacher, we need to effectively communicate to our learners both a description of how they will perform an assessment activity as well as a description of how we will judge the quality of their performance. Are you planning and communicating your feedback criteria? The Blended and Online Assessment Taxonomy Infographic presents types of activities that suit various levels of assessment as well as grading and feedback criteria which will help you plan better assessments.