Summer Technology Institute

We will be holding another NWSC Technology Institute. The four districts in the North West Consortium are: Smithfield, North Smithfield, Burrillville and Lincoln. The summer Teacher Technology Institute is open to all teachers, administrators or staff members from any of the four districts. The institute will consist of four professional development sessions spread across two days during the summer. Each session will focus on different technology tools and how to integrate them into your current practice. All sessions are available to participants free of charge, although seating will be limited.

The summer 2016 Teacher Technology Institute will be held on August 9th and August 10th at Lincoln Middle School. There will be a number of different sessions to choose from, many focusing on the tools within Google Apps for Education. If you are looking to improve your skills or learn something new, these will be great opportunities that are completely free!
If you are interested in presenting a session and sharing information and knowledge, please contact Clare Arnold or Adam Stanley.

Constructed Response: Rethinking How We Use Proficient Samples of Student Work

Picture this… A 10th Grade English teacher holds up a sample research paper and says “this is a ‘C-‘ … this is the minimum that you have to do in order to pass…” It would never happen! The English teacher would never use a C- as a model and quite frankly, the English teacher is not looking for a C- in any way, shape or form. Yet, many times when we use proficient samples of state released assessment, we do just that.


Don’t get me wrong; I am a huge advocate of using examples of work to show children the expectations of the final work product. I am grateful that the state provides us such samples to work with. Through the released samples we can get a clear picture of the grade level expectation that is sometimes vague when written in the standard form. But, we have to rethink how we use those samples.


Most constructed response questions are scored on a four-point rubric. The ‘3’ is considered proficient. The ‘3’ however can’t be the goal… because in reality the ‘3’ is the C-, the minimum that a student can write to be considered proficient. It (the ‘3’) may be a goal for our struggling students, but certainly not for our typical students. We have to model samples of work that exceed the standard by clearly showing children how to not only answer a question thoroughly and provide evidence to prove the answer, but also how to take it to another level applying higher order thinking skills: analysis, judgment, evaluation, conclusion etc…


So the next time you look at a ‘proficient’ response… think C- and go from there. For me, I would model using the ‘4’ and discuss as a class how we can improve it.