THiNKtech helps teachers plan for anything- even observations
With the school year in full swing, educators are starting to hear of upcoming formal and informal observations by administrative teams. As you start to unpack all of your best techniques, planning and revising for highly effective outcomes, the anxiety and stress over evaluation scores starts to build. Who is observing you? When is he or she coming? What if the students have an “off” day? Though there is so much about your observation that you can’t control, there is at least one thing you can. By using THiNKtech with your students, you transform your lessons from proficient to innovating- all with just one launch.
In looking at both the Marzano and Danielson frameworks for teacher evaluations, the difference between getting a three and a four is rooted in the idea that educators are responsive to student needs, engaging learners in meaningful, meta-cognitive social instruction, are equipped to adapt to behaviors on the fly, and are assessing students at multiple points throughout a lesson. No wonder teachers feel anxious and stressed during these observations.
Enter THiNKtech. Our simple to use tools and functions make it easy for teachers to hit “Innovating” (Marzano) and “Distinguished” (Danielson) marks on the frameworks. Remember: THiNKtech is created for teachers by teachers, and our program has been designed to engage all students in high quality, meaningful, social instruction.
Sounds too good to be true? Think about it. All of our tools are anchored in our PONDRR philosophy. Students are producing in real-time, taking ownership of their note-making, knowing that their work and ideas will be instantly shared and donated to their peers. Producing work for an audience other than their teacher allows students to reflect and instantly revise their thinking. If students are doing all of these things, a classroom buzzing with high-level learning, engagement, success, and positive relationships thrives.
Now, let’s break down the frameworks into the key areas of evaluation. You will see how seamlessly THiNKtech works to stimulate genuine student learning, fostering an environment that values inquiry, relationships, and meaningful instruction.
Content Knowledge/Planning: Using THiNKtech as a toolbox for instruction, teachers stimulate meta-cognition in all students: a key component in the Danielson rubric. Our tools encourage all students to formulate questions, initiate topics, and make unsolicited contributions to the learning around them. Their voices are heard and drive classroom discussions. As students donate their answers to the class, teachers create a shared culture of learning and promote social interaction.
- Try iT: Using Poll iT as an anticipatory set, put a question that connects to your content on the screen, along with anticipated or common answers that will categorize students. Based on their answer and connection to the question, this can group them in partnerships for the day’s lesson.
- Try iT: Using Think iT, put up a photo/image/graphic that connects to your lesson. Have students generate words, phrases, and terms associated with the photo to activate prior knowledge.
Knowledge of Students: What better way to demonstrate knowledge of students than to engage them in an app that targets all learners. THiNKtech’s tools make learning fun, social, and innovative. Our programs allow all students- regardless of ability (Special Ed, ENL, Advanced) to experience success and demonstrate higher-level thinking. THiNKtech is easy for students to use: it does not require student logins and is easily accessed via a URL and login in code. Its functionality is simple and facilitates learning in the most advanced, to the neediest learners. Since all students can use our program regardless of ability, they have the opportunity to show evidence of making progress towards closing achievement gaps among different demographics.
- Try iT: Using Check iT, have students share thoughts, ideas, questions on a topic. All answers will be displayed and become shared knowledge among all students.
Assessment: Assessment is fully integrated into instruction when using THiNKtech. Through real-time, instant reporting, teachers are able to diagnose evidence of learning throughout the entire lesson, driving and informing instruction. Our app easily exports data, providing assessment feedback for teachers to plan, revise, reflect, and diagnose evidence of learning.
- Try iT: Using Check iT, collect short responses, evidence-based responses, or questions that students have at the end of a lesson to drive instruction and give instant feedback to inform your teaching.
- Try iT: Using Speak iT, have students participate in an accountable talk around a book, topic, or article. What they can explain to others proves what they know. Giving a photo prompt and requiring students to explain its significance to what was being studied is a great opportunity for them to demonstrate knowledge attained and unique insight they have. Have vocabulary terms? Make students use them correctly in a sentence.
Classroom Environment: When students are engaged, they are focused and checked in. This engagement creates little discipline problems among students. Relationships are formed as students take ownership of their learning. No longer is the teacher feeding students information and instruction, but students are constructing their own knowledge on topics. Students feel as though their thoughts are valued, and take risks in sharing ideas, knowing that their teacher is going to be responsive.
- Try iT: Using Sort iT, have students categorize terms, photos, concepts, into groups that they have to determine and defend the reasoning behind the categorization. The sorting will allow students to reason, justify, and work together to create new knowledge on topics.
As you use THiNKtech, you will find that you worry less about being prepared for observations, knowing that our tools make your classroom innovative and distinguished each and every day. We don’t want you to use THiNKtech to “Score a 4”. Rather, we want you to know that in developing THiNKtech, we considered everything that teachers are already doing that’s innovative and distinguished, and wrapped it in one toolbox. Our functions make it easy for you to plan, engage, assess, and inform; thus helping others recognize the meaningful, engaged, social learning happening in every lesson you launch. Now, THiNKtech just allows you to illuminate your brilliance, and make your students’ learning shine.