Earlier this month, the Arizona Department of Education announced the new k-12 state assessment. The AzMERIT, or Arizona’s Measurement of Educational Readiness to Inform Teaching, will replace the AIMS exam as of April 2015. The news sparked a heated debate in the education community about whether Arizona’s classrooms were ready for the change. But if we put politics aside, you might be wondering: “What’s really changing?”
So what can you do to help your students prepare for this new, more challenging assessment? If you’ve been teaching to the Arizona College and Career Readiness Standards, you already are! The Arizona Department of Education website offers some additional resources. Consider pushing students to higher levels of DOK (Depth of Knowledge) using this guide: http://www.azed.gov/assessment/files/2014/11/dok-levels.pdf. Change can be scary, but the good news is we might be more prepared than we thought!
Classroom learning centers are a great way for students to engage in a meaningful application of concepts independently, while freeing the teacher up for one on one and small group interventions. Elementary teachers often use this strategy in their classrooms; however, learning centers can be beneficial for middle and high school students, as well. Here are some great ideas for implementing center-based learning with students of all ages.
Centers allow us to increase differentiation and academic engagement across grade levels and content areas. By selecting meaningful reinforcement activities that align to your students’ needs, you will maximize the effectiveness of center based learning in your classroom.
Our mission is to provide Arizona’s special education teachers with resources, support and recognition to ensure they make a long-term commitment to the classroom, thereby increasing student achievement with consistency and quality of education. TRP is committed to supporting recruitment, development, and retention of Arizona’s special educators, increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of Arizona’s schools, and improving educational opportunities for all students.