Standards Alignment in ELM

November 10, 2014 - 5 minutes read

How is engage2learn aligned to the Texas Standards?

Let’s count the ways . . .

1. Curriculum

The curriculum design process in our model is 100% focused on the Texas standards including the TEKS, TCCRS, and the Texas Common Core Elements defined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board created by HB 2183 (critical thinking, communication, empirical and quantitative reasoning, personal responsibility, social responsibility, teamwork) to enhance college readiness.

Our design process starts with unpacking the standards selected from the district scope and sequence for the unit so that teachers are aware of the depth and rigor of the standards.

All aspects of unit design are then aligned to the standards for mastery (TEKS) including vetting all resources for alignment to the depth and complexity of the standards.
The challenge, assessments, and all learner tools are checked for alignment to the standards for mastery.

2. Training

Engage only trains and partners with Texas districts simply because we will only work with the Texas standards listed above. All of our training materials including online resources as well as manipulatives, handouts, and examples are all TEKS-based resources. Our training includes best practices focused on standards alignment for designing TEKS-aligned units, facilitating student standards mastery of the TEKS, and leading for learning in a standards-based system. Because we are a Texas company and not a national company, we do not ever address the Common Core State Standards.

3. Instruction

Engage Learning Model is based on the solid research base of inquiry-based learning integrated with best practices for TEKS standards mastery. The model starts with a launch where students are presented with a challenge aligned to the TEKS and a rubric designed with the standards/TEKS in “column 3” for meeting expectations. Next, the students analyze the challenge and rubric and write research questions aligned to the standards/TEKS. Then, the students receive small group direct instruction (workshops), research, and complete independent practice (DIYs) utilizing TEKS-aligned and differentiated resources. The learners apply their new-found knowledge and skills to a product or solution. Finally, they share their product or solution with a real audience. During each of these steps, the teacher is using formative assessment, summative assessment and intervention to adjust instruction, resources, and student learning towards standards mastery

4. Assessment

In ELM, teachers design pre-assessments, formative assessments, project requirements, rubrics, and summative assessments based exactly on the depth and complexity of the TEKS. Best practices for assessment is a hallmark of the Engage Learning Model and a focus of coaching.

5. Online Systems/eStudio

All Engage clients have access to our online system, eStudio, which supports teacher professional learning. The unit design studio where teachers share ideas and design lessons based on the standards is searchable by the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, Texas College and Career Readiness Standards and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Core Curriculum Elements. There are over 8,000 units aligned to the Texas standards available for teachers to clone or use.

6. Coaches

Our coaches are hired specifically for their knowledge of the Texas standards and best instructional practices. We only hire educators who have experience teaching and leading in Texas because we want them to be TEKS gurus.

Student Achievement through Staff Development

Components of Professional
Development Model
Knowledge
(thorough)
Skill
(strong)
Transfer
(implementation)
Theory 10% 5% 0%
Demonstration 30% 20% 0%
Practice/Feedback 60% 60% 5%
Coaching/Collegial Support 95% 95% 95%

In: Bruce Joyce and Beverley Showers, 2002, Designing Training and Peer Coaching: Our needs for learning, VA, USA, ASCD


7. Coaching

Our coaching process is extensive and every conversation begins with a discussion of the standards. One of the most common comments we get from campus principals and instructional leaders is that when they are using our model, they are having the most in-depth conversations about the TEKS they have ever had on their campus with both teachers and students.

engage2learn is aligned to the Texas standards and only to the Texas standards. We will only work in Texas because we know the TEKS. We have turned down business in Arkansas, Utah, Oklahoma, and other states that use the Common Core because we only work with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. Therefore, we consider ourselves experts in the standards, or as Shannon says, “TEKS gurus” who will help you understand the standards at the level of depth and complexity that they are written so you can teach, design, assess and intervene to guide students to mastery of the standards.

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