MSM 217: Dr. Kristina Doubet & Formative Assessment.

AMLE Feature:

Interview with Dr. Kristina Doubet

“Dr. Kristina Doubet is an Associate Professor of Middle and Secondary Education at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. With over ten years of experience teaching middle and secondary English, she now prepares future middle and high school teachers for careers in the classroom. Dr Doubet completed her M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at The University of Virginia where she studied the impact of differentiated instruction on student performance in elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. Her publications also focus on assessment and differentiated instruction and include AMLE’s, Smart in the Middle: Classrooms that Work for Bright Middle Schoolers (co-authored with Carol Tomlinson). Dr. Doubet works regularly with practicing teachers from all grade levels and content areas as a staff developer for schools/districts implementing initiatives in the areas of Common Core Standards, formative assessment and differentiated instruction.”

Dr. Doubet is cited here:  Differentiation
You can get more of Dr. Doubet from
Contact info:
Some Resources:

Jokes You Can Use:

“The speed of time is one second per second.” – Monsieur Loach

Kulula Airlines.  Real airplane.  Real paint job.  Real funny.  🙂

Eileen Award:

Eric Huff

  • Scoopit:
  • Twitter:  Todd Bloch, Jennifer McFarlane, #mschat, Deanna @ldgermany312, Brian Tonniges @BTonniges, Stephen Davis.
  • Facebook:
  • Google+:  Ciera Robinson, Jennifer Fox,
  • iTunes:
  • eMail:  Patti Kinney (NASSP), Dr. Monte Tatom,


Dollar Artist Sculptures

Challenge your students.


Discover a career and find the right education.

Who’s Reading What?

Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

This podcast is based on the editorial column of Science Scope Magazine, September, 2012, published by the National Science Teachers Association.  The editor of Science Scope is Inez Liftig.  Her column is entitled, “Editor’s Roundtable.”

Her editorial focused on finding the common ground between math and science.  She cited the commonalities between the eight Practices of Science and Engineering, from the Next Generation Science Standards and the eight Practices of Mathematics outlined in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.

From the Twitterverse:

* Mary Alise Herrera ‏@maliseherrera
RT @AMLEnews Who Are These Middle School Kids & What Makes Them Tick?  via @mmuir #midleved #msadmin, #mschat
* Erin Klein ‏@KleinErin
Student Introduction to ClassDojo (classroom management tool):  via @youtube cc@ClassDojo
* Angela Maiers ‏@AngelaMaiers
Should My Middle School Student Take Algebra?  via @SiaKnight
* Scott B. Goldscher ‏@ScottBGoldscher
Ideas For The First Day’s of School – A Resource  I kno u started or r startng school.Take a look at these 1st day plns.
* Angela Maiers ‏@AngelaMaiers
Starting a New Gig? Follow the “30-60-90 Plan”  via @YouTernMark
* Erin Klein ‏@KleinErin
Why Tweet? I was asked by a blog friend why I love Twitter:  As an educator, please share your ideas and comments, too.
* Miguel Guhlin ‏@mguhlin
3 Free iPad Timeline Apps for History Students
* Maggie Cary ‏@maggiecary
EZ Morning Routines for Heading Back to School:
* Angela Maiers ‏@AngelaMaiers
Teach This! Teaching with lesson plans and ideas that rock 08/27/2012  via @flatclassroom
* Vicki Davis ‏@coolcatteacher
The Teacher’s Survival Kit for Lesson Planning! Tips & 1000s of Free Lesson Plans via @shellterrell
* ABC News ‏@ABC
Harvard Has ‘Culture of Cheating,’ Grad Says
* Library of Congress ‏@librarycongress
A new set of historical photos from our collections just added to Flickr: child labor images from the early 1900s. …
* Middle Grades Forum ‏@MGForumSTW
Trimming the Cost of Common-Core Implementation … #mschat #commoncore
* AMLE ‏@AMLEnews
This article offers a great description of the uses of both formative & summative assessment  #mschat
* Teachers.Net ‏@TeachersNet
Motivating The Middle Schooler … #mschat #midleveled #edchat #educoach #edadmin #wcpd
Join #mschat on Thursdays at 8:00 pm EST on Twitter!   Todd Bloch ‏@blocht574
Archive of 8-30-12 #mschat Formative Assessment Great chat check it out if you need to know more about FA



The TimeMap of World History is an all inclusive look at world history. It combines maps, timelines and chronological narratives that work together to enhance historical understanding.


MyHistro is the social memory-bank, created on the same foundation of combining maps and timelines as of the one-of-a-kind history site Histrodamus. myHistro is the place where new folk memories are born and personal stories are told. It is for everyone who wants to be known and remembered.
At myHistro you can take control of your personal history and choose what will be fixed in the memories of your family, friends and everyone. Here you can show important moments of your life in a new, attractive format – perfect for telling stories!
But myHistro is much more than just personal memories. Some myHistro users create stories about their family and ancestors, other people do the same about their idols – singers, actors, sportsmen or even politicians. And many are using myHistro to plan their future – from their next vacation to full-scale life or career planning – and with myHistro, they can share these plans with closest friends.
For sports clubs it is novel fan-channel, for writers it is a great test ground to frame their next novel, for teachers, myHistro is interactive workbook and for journalists, it’s a’-brand new way to map and illustrate their stories.
myHistro is not just another social site, it is a whole new way of telling stories and worth every second of your time!

The Parent Rap

A little fun for teachers who are parents.!

For Those Who Want to Lead, Read

by John Coleman  |  10:00 AM August 15, 2012
Even as global literacy rates are high (84%), people are reading less and less deeply.
But deep, broad reading habits are often a defining characteristic of our greatest leaders and can catalyze insight, innovation, empathy, and personal effectiveness.
Note how many business titans are or have been avid readers.
Reading can also make you more effective in leading others. Reading increases verbal intelligence (PDF), making a leader a more adept and articulate communicator. Reading novels can improve empathy and understanding of social cues, allowing a leader to better work with and understand others — traits that author Anne Kreamer persuasively linked to increased organizational effectiveness, and to pay raises and promotions for the leaders who possessed these qualities. And any business person understands that heightened emotional intelligence will improve his or her leadership and management ability.


Combining Social Studies and Language Arts

Sandra Wozniak

Share Resources: and search: ISTE 2012
Ok, this lady is awesome. She is SOOOOOO middle school! Love her energy and her teaching style.

Who are you?

She is Sandra Wozniak.

She teaches in New Jersey. Who am I?

Not related to Steve (better dancer) 33 years in the classroom

Students help develop the SCAN tool. I’ve been around so long . . . . .

She works with a company that makes decision and analytic tools to large corporations.

The corporation wants to market it to schools. Her colleagues think she’s Yoda. ( Her students think she’s Betty White.

Her children think she’s ridiculous.

Did you hear a click?

Webcam 101 for Seniors. It’s all in your perspective.

Teaching deeper thinking. It’s not about the tools.

It’s about the learning: addressing, integrating and embedding literacy, 21st century skills, and media, info, network, and intercultural literacy in your content area.
Who owns history?

“2.0 tools without content are like coco puffs-kid’s go cuckoo for it , but it doesn’t have much nutritional value.”

Use online dicsussion platforms and tools to build in the nutrition. Y? Why use social media?

1. Kids like them
2. Practice citizenship
3. Promotes Equity.
4. Increase participation
5. Get kids to see other perspectives.

How to construct a SCAN lesson template:

Sample from TregoED:

ISTE-SIGMS Innovative Technology Award Winner:

“Who Owns History”

Integrating Language Arts, Social Studies and Technology by:
Cynthia Cassidy and Michelle Cook, Mt. Olive Middle School, Budd Lake, NJ

Who owns history? This essential question was posed to 6th grade language arts students by media specialist Cynthia Cassidy, and classroom teacher Michelle Cook. Ms. Cook and Ms. Cassidy used technology to build upon a recent social studies unit on ancient civilizations to develop “voice” and “point of view” in writing, while also practicing active reading strategies with non-fiction.

With these objectives in mind, the pair designed a web-based interactive unit requiring students to confront the question: “Who owns history?” To help students tackle this, they spotlighted the debate on whether ancient antiquities should be returned to Egypt. Serendipitously timed with the Egyptian revolution, Egyptian “voices” came alive as students took on the role of four different stakeholders involved in the issue.

The teachers used a variety of online tools to build a weeklong project based around the SCAN tool, which is available at ($45 teacher subscription rate). SCAN incorporates critical thinking strategies in a Facebook-like interface. Each lesson allows students to role-play, discuss, clarify and develop a perspective-based action plan. Ms. Cassidy and Ms. Cook created a SCAN lesson, entitled Egyptian Artifacts: Finders, Keepers? The lesson, complete with links to various international articles and videos, was utilized with five different classes (136 students).

The unit began with a class discussion of the essential question. After the discussion, the teachers motivated students by using an online link organizer at to show news and video clips that introduced the various issues involved. The teachers also used the clips to review the writing trait of “voice” and “point of view”. Students then visited five “reading centers” where they practiced their active reading strategies with non-fiction texts while completing graphic organizers on the SMART board.

Once students had the necessary background knowledge, the teachers reviewed the rubric on “voice” and directed students to the media center where they worked with the SCAN tool. Once students created a screen name and picked an avatar, they had to select one point of view: U.S. archeologist, Director of Egyptian Antiquities, Egyptian citizen, or U.S. museum director.

Students used reading strategies to review supplemental resources. Once empathetic to their perspective, students joined the interface where they communicated in the voice of their character. Students practiced civil discourse and true collaboration to develop a plan to address the issues.

Following the SCAN sessions, students performed a self-assessment and reflection. To conclude, students used graphic organizers to synthesize the information gathered during the sessions and compose a persuasive essay written from their personal point of view.

STE-SIGMS Innovative Technology Award Winner: 2 “Who Owns History”
Integrating Language Arts, Social Studies and Technology by:
Cynthia Cassidy and Michelle Cook, Mt. Olive Middle School, Budd Lake, NJ

The project meets the following standards:

ISTE.NETS for Students: 1-6

American Association of School Librarians Standards for the 21st Century Learner: 1.1.1, 1.1.7- 1.1.9, 1.3.2, 1.3.4, 1.3.5, 1.4.2, 2.1.1, 2.1.3, 2.1.5-6, 3.1.6, 4.3.1, 4.3.4.

Common Core English/Language Arts Standards:
Writing 6-12: Gr.6.1, 6.2, 6.4, 6.6, 6.9
Reading 6-12:Gr. 6.2, 6.6, 6.7
Reading and Writing for Informational Text 6-12: Gr.6.6 Speaking and Listening Skills: Gr.6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.6

21st Century Skills New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards: 9.1.8.A.1-4, 9.1.8.B1-2, 9.1.8.D.1, 9.1.8.D.3-4.

STE-SIGMS Innovative Technology Award Winner: 3 “Who Owns History”
Integrating Language Arts, Social Studies and Technology by:
Cynthia Cassidy and Michelle Cook, Mt. Olive Middle School, Budd Lake, NJ

Part 2

Trained in the Understanding by Design framework, teachers at Mount Olive Middle School are encouraged to use instructional strategies and plan learning experiences that bring about enduring understandings. As a result of the common planning time allotted by the district’s administration, meaningful, interdisciplinary units are frequently planned. These units often employ the expertise of the full-time media specialist who is an active participant in team and department meetings. The media specialist’s invaluable expertise and talents are decisive to the integration of various forms of technology and research into unit plans.

By fostering a school culture that embraces innovation, the administration supports teachers as they pilot new, inventive learning experiences. This support makes it possible for teachers to research, assemble resources, and collaborate, ensuring the smooth implementation of authentic learning experiences. As a result, students are excited about learning and prove it through their achievement.

STE-SIGMS Innovative Technology Award Winner: 4 “Who Owns History”
Integrating Language Arts, Social Studies and Technology by:
Cynthia Cassidy and Michelle Cook, Mt. Olive Middle School, Budd Lake, NJ

Part 3

The SCAN tool encourages students to become active and reflective decision makers on various developmental levels. Because of differing cognitive levels, activity modifications were necessary. During the activity, we discovered that students struggled to accurately type the lengthy URL address. Thus, we created a direct link to the activity by using This shortened link was particularly helpful for our special needs learners.

To further maximize student learning, teachers could make additional modifications. One modification could address the reading levels of all supplemental articles. Applicable articles of varying reading levels would ensure that students reading below grade level would not toil with comprehension. Conversely, gifted students could be accommodated with articles composed of more advanced arguments. With these varying levels, the supplied graphic organizers could be differentiated to help organize new information.

To help other staff members, we suggest adding an additional day to review the arguments more thoroughly. Students would be more knowledgeable about every point of view, and could make more informed decisions about their stance. To more formally assess students, teachers could incorporate an online poll ( ) before and after the project to see how students’ opinions were influenced by the discussion.

Further, if teaching the writing trait of “voice,” teachers could provide a mini-lesson on using concise language for each point of view. For example, students could create a list of powerful verbs that Dr. Hawass might use when constructing his argument. This list could act as a reference during in the SCAN session.

Moreover, educators could utilize the “Think, Pair, Share” technique during the activity. With this technique, students could brainstorm with other students while still being individually accountable for their own work. Additionally, if a child is absent, he or she could still complete the entire activity.

Members of the global community could also get involved with this project. Since the lesson is web-based, sharing the URL with interested parties at other schools, local senior centers, or related organizations could create a unique experience. By using the SCAN tool, students can truly enter a classroom without walls.

STE-SIGMS Innovative Technology Award Winner: 5 “Who Owns History”
Integrating Language Arts, Social Studies and Technology by:
Cynthia Cassidy and Michelle Cook, Mt. Olive Middle School, Budd Lake, NJ

Part 4:

The impact of this project was astounding. Typically, on traditional projects, Ms. Cook will have approximately 85% of students complete all of the assigned work, sometimes reluctantly. For this unit, however, Ms. Cook had a 99% total completion rate. Unlike an oral class discussion that may be monopolized by a minority of students, the online tool using screen names and avatars elicited full participation. In fact, many students went above and beyond the requirements. Some students wrote fifteen comments instead of the required three, while others came up with four action plans, rather than two.

Additionally, because the SCAN tool provides a “teacher’s view” that gave us a full transcript of student discussion, we were able to use the provided rubric on “voice” to quickly assess and provide feedback to the students. This transcript gave us concrete evidence of the scope and quality of participation of all students during the discussion. The built-in teacher’s view also allowed us to monitor the ongoing discussion in real time for netiquette and content, ensuring that all students were on-task at all times.

Additionally, the students’ self-assessments and reflections (see attached examples) show how students achieved the language arts learning objectives while practicing 21st century skills. The graphic organizers for the final essays constructed by the students prove that the students understood the various points of view, analyzed all of the issues involved in the problem, and were able to construct a valid argument that was substantiated by textual support.

Overall, we found that even our most reluctant students and students with significant disabilities, such as Autism and disgraphia, were active contributors during the SCAN sessions. The SCAN tool gave these students the ability to work at their own pace without the pressure of the attention of their peers.

During the week, students were overheard commenting that they “love SCAN!” and “can’t wait to come back tomorrow to do this again.” Students were fully engaged and had to be prodded to logoff the computers at the end of the class period. As they were gently nudged out the door, many still debated their perspective. Some students even asked if they could access the activity from home because they were afraid they would miss something if they didn’t read all the comments. How often do students ask the teachers for homework? But the most telling comment of all was made by a small group of students who wondered why “Mrs. Cook isn’t making us do any language arts!” They were so engrossed in the activity that they didn’t even realize they were practicing and applying their reading and writing skills!


Limits to Time on Task

Web Spotlight:

Teacher’s Ultimate Digital Kit

Online PD for teachers who are learning to teach with technology.  There’s a great one on using QR codes in the classroom . . .

Events & Happenings:

Calendar of Events:

Ohio Middle Level Association:

AMLE Affiliate Conferences:

Classroom 2.0’s Live Calendar.

Classroom 2.0’s Ning Blog: Archived content is available.