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Belle Plaine Teachers Leading by Individualization

Standards and Assessments in Moving to Individualized Instruction

October 31, 2017

 

The last few years the Belle Plaine School District has been gradually moving to standards-based instruction. Standards-based instruction requires the instructor to evaluate students on whether the students are meeting the standards for the class or not.  This, however, does not mean that the curriculum has changed.  It just means the focus is on making sure students are gaining the skills they should be learning in the class and verifying that with assessments.

At the elementary teachers and staff progress-monitor students throughout the year.  Teachers assess students on the standards and determine how much progress each student is making toward that standard.  Students that have not mastered the standard yet then will receive extra instruction in that area to help them gain mastery of that standard.  This process enables teachers and administrators to identify student needs and adjust instruction for those needs.  Although this is a difficult process, the elementary teachers work very hard to exceed expectations in this area as our progress monitoring is usually weeks ahead of other districts.

The high school is developing a similar process with pre and post-assessment.  Individual teachers assess students at the beginning of classes to determine students’ previous knowledge of the material and then adjust instruction for that data.  Teachers are working with TLC Instructional Coaches to identify the important data and reflect on what can be done to address any areas of need.  The connection between assessments and standards is a major step in the development of a forward-thinking educational environment.  Teachers at the high school have devoted extra time and effort to this process in order to exceed expectations for our students.

At Belle Plaine CSD we believe all students should have high expectations and by individualizing instruction we can help them achieve great things that are also important to them.  As Plainsmen we believe in meeting the needs of all our students and working with all of them to accomplish their goals.  Thank you, Teachers, and thank you to parents for your support in this process.  Go Plainsmen!

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