The Professional Learning Committee (PLC) held a meeting at Centennial on April 27th, 2018 at 2 pm. There were over 20 teachers in attendance. The purpose of the meeting was to complete revision of our ESL Writing Rubrics. There were three groups of teachers working on rubrics: a group for ESL Levels Beginning Low & High; another for Intermediate Low; and a third group for Intermediate High. The recommendation was made to revise to further revise the rubrics to make them more user-friendly for teachers of various levels. Teachers brought samples of writing completed in their classes to test out the rubrics and find out how closely members of the groups would score the writing samples using the rubrics. The results of the scoring helped the groups to make appropriate adjustments to writing rubrics. In addition, most of the groups changed the weighting given to each criterion measured in their rubrics. Lastly, teachers decided to hold a final PLC meeting on May 11th, 2018 to finalize the rubrics. They are to be shared at the ESL Assessment Committee Meeting at the end of May.
The Professional Learning Committee (PLC) Meeting was held on April 13th, 2018. There were 12 Teachers in Attendance. The Meeting was chaired by Rob Jenkins. The teachers continued their group work by level on the Writing Rubrics for the upcoming Fall Semester 2018. The PLC will submit our finished rubrics to the ESL Department as possible tools for assessing our students that could be used with a writing portfolio that each ESL teacher could develop for regular formative assessments during the semester. The writing portfolios could be one of a number of multiple measures that teachers may use to determine whether students are ready for promotion to the next ESL level. At the PLC Meeting, Rob encouraged the teachers to revise the writing rubrics so that they are weighted to accurately reflect the importance attached to each area assessed by the rubric. For instance, if paragraph organization were most important, then the rubric would award a greater number of points to students whose paragraphs are more unified and coherent. Both the Beginning and Intermediate ESL groups revised the order of their rubrics and added weighting to each category assessed in the rubric.
The next step will be for the teachers to conduct another writing lesson with their classes, and return to the next PLC Meeting on Friday April 27th, 2018 with their student paragraphs. Then the PLC teachers will use their newly revised rubrics to assess the paragraphs from the writing lessons, and check how well the new rubrics work when used to measure the students’ writing.
Product of the March 23 PLC Meeting Ms. Marti Guerra wrote an article in which she explains the dynamics of the meetings and its results.
We have been working on developing rubrics for our levels at the PLC meetings. This has been an excellent learning experience for me. Although I am familiar with rubrics I had not developed my own rubric for tests or exams I give to my students.
Working together with instructors who teach our level, we first developed rubrics for CORE Writing Standards. That proved to be a challenging task, since there are so many writing tasks appropriate for this level. But with trial and error and application (testing) we were able to construct specific rubrics to test our students on specific writing tasks.
We Tested 10 Questions
For Beginning ESL 1 we used 10 sentences for students to rewrite by correcting spelling, punctuation and subject/verb agreement. One instructor had the students write their own sentences instead of giving them incorrect sentences to correct; however, we used the same rubric to correct the sentences. We did not correct our own students’ tests, but exchanged the tests with other instructors in our group to see if we would get the same points. We found that the rubric worked well, since the points assessed were much the same, give or take a few points.
Other levels of ESL assessed
Besides testing the rubric among instructors in our own level, we also exchanged tests with other levels, i.e., Intermediate 2 and Beginning 2. We were given the rubrics they had written for their level, and we graded the students’ work using the appropriate rubrics. The rubrics proved to be helpful, since our points were similar to what their points were. We found the Beginning 2 rubrics a bit problematic and we discussed this with some of the instructors.
I discovered that a few of my sentences needed to be written—they were unclear and could be corrected in more than one way, which would cause different points to be assessed depending on the sentence constructed. I will rewrite these sentences so that there can be only one way to rewrite the sentences correctly.
We encourage everyone to come and join us and work with us to continue to work on CORE Writing Standards. We usually meet every other Friday, from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
ESL Instructor, Beginning 1
There were twelve teachers present at our meeting on March 23rd. Debbye Karaffa led the meeting. We got right to work in our leveled groups discussing the classroom experiences we have been having with the writing rubrics that we are developing. Each group tested the current version of their rubric with authentic student writing samples. Then, to further test the rubrics, we shared them with other levels along with the students’ writings, to see if the rubrics were clear enough to the teachers to be used and to get similar score results. Each level group sought clarification and gave feedback about the rubrics to their authors for further revision.
The PLC Meeting was held on March 2, 2018 at Centennial Education Center. There were 12 Teachers in Attendance. The purpose of the meeting was to develop and refine our writing rubrics by ESL Level. The rubrics will be used in writing portfolios that ESL Teachers will begin to use during the Fall, 2018 Semester. The PLC Teachers met by level, and completed the writing rubrics that they had begun designing at the previous meeting. Most teachers decided to create rubrics that included a 1-3 or 0-3 evaluation scale along with specific categories for checking for grammar, mechanics, and composition skills (such as unity, organization, and development of ideas). The rubrics for Beginning ESL Teachers were developed for word to sentence and for Intermediate Teachers, for sentence to paragraph level writing. The PLC instructors decided to give a new writing assignment to their students, and to bring some copies of the students’ writing to the next PLC Meeting. The teachers would then use the newly-developed rubrics to norm and evaluate the student writing among the members of the ESL level groups. From the norming process, teachers will learn how to better revise the rubrics, increasing their effectiveness before the rubrics are used with the writing portfolios in Fall 2018. (more…)
At the February 23rd Meeting of the PLC, there were 14 teachers present. Mr Rob Jenkins was unable to attend the meeting due to a presentation he was making at another school district. In his absence, Debora Karaffa served as his highly effective replacement. Debbye asked for teachers to report on their experiences using the formative assessments. After many successful reports, the teachers watched a video created by Rob Jenkins on creating writing rubrics. The video provided many useful hints for the teachers to use when making their rubrics. After watching the video, teachers met by ESL level with their colleagues to create the rubrics. The rubrics will be used to evaluate a writing portfolio that each teacher will keep of the formative writing assessments that the students will write during the semester. Some groups were able to finish their rubrics, while others were at least 50% completed. All groups promised to type their rubrics to bring to the next meeting on March 2nd, 2018.
At the February 2nd Meeting of the PLC, there were 16 teachers and Mr. Rob Jenkins present. Initial discussion at the meeting involved the new curriculum and the role of the PLC in developing formative writing assessments. An additional goal was for the spring semester, 2018 was to create writing rubrics that teachers could use to evaluate the writing assessments. The assessments would be collected in a writing portfolio that teachers could use to make decisions for promotions to the next ESL level. After discussion, the teachers formed teams by level to make a writing assessment for students in their classes. The teachers consulted the curriculum as well as other available textbook resources to find appropriate writing prompts and create the assessments. By the end of the meeting, all groups reported success in writing their formative assessments. The assessments were to be piloted in the teachers’ courses with reporting on their experiences at the February 23rd Meeting.