03 January 2016

5 Steps to Align Objectives for the NCASW

It's almost that time, NC amigos! This month we have to collect our evidence, write our narratives, and upload everything for first semester!

But let's just make sure everything fits first, shall we?


Take a minute to check your ASW results from last year. They're there! Check under Archived ASW's and then click on Final ASW rating and comments! They'll tell you if your
  • objectives were ALigned
  • evidence showed GRowth
  • Narrative Context makes sense and explains everything it should
Or if you're missing something like evidence or narratives, or if you exploited the temporary loophole that said you could do the same objective for everything. (HINT: you can't repeat this year.)

You had 2 evaluators assess each objective, and as far as I can tell, they each got to give you one comment. That's how you end up with "student growth is apparent" for one comment and "student growth is not apparent" for another on the same sample set. (Unless they were referring to different students? Who knows.)

A very informative session from FLANC pointed out a few key things that held a lot of people back:

  • showing what students know about the language instead of what they can do with the language
  • failing to explain the steps they took to help the kiddos get better
  • plain not aligning with the objective--make sure interpersonal is interpersonal and interpretive is interpretive! Don't mix up reading and writing or writing and speaking!
So before you go submitting anything this go round, make sure you've done a little soul searching as to why you got those codes you got and HOW you can make sure to avoid those same pitfalls

So I'm ALigned and showing GRowth A-OK in CLL.1.1 and 2.3, but growth both is and is not apparent for CMT.3.1. I guess the coro roulette sheets were pretty sparse evidence.


It's a little late for picking objectives (unless your principal hasn't hit "approve" yet, perhaps, but I wanted to reflect a bit on the process I went through to pick out my objectives and make sure they'd work this time.

Step 1

First I went through all of the objectives that I could choose from and picked out all of the objectives that I could easily connect with something I had done or knew I was going to do (IPAs come in especially handy here!)

Step 2

Then I split them up into the three strands:
  • Connections to Language and Literacy (CLL)
  • Connections to Other Disciplines (COD)
  • Communities (CMT)
CLL and COD are by far the easiest for me to cover, but I also had to make sure there was something from CMT.

HINT: Standards that end with CMT.2._  are easiest to fit, because #2 standards are interpretive, and finding texts to interact with is generally easier than arranging interaction with people from the communities within the target culture or even within the larger "language learner" community.)

Step 3

Then I split each of the strands up by skill--which is designated by number:
  1. interpersonal
  2. interpretive
  3. presentational
  4. cultural
I needed to see how many of the four skills I had covered with each. I noticed I had very little on the cultural side, so that's something I made a note to focus on next semester.

HINT: If you have multiple preps in a semester, repeat Steps 1-3 before proceeding to Step 4

Step 4

Select an objective from each strand--that way you free yourself up second semester, so you don't have to worry about missing one. I started with the hardest skill to demonstrate--interpersonal. Interpersonal is a beast for several reasons:
  • There must be a partner involved--it's not interpersonal if one person writes/records it.
  • Evidence pretty much HAS to be a recording. You could do the old note-passing exercise, but evaluators are VERY wary of anything typed that could be scripted instead of spontaneous.
  • File size limit on uploads--had to have my IT-oriented spouse convert my videos to audio to fit. I spent HOURS cutting up videos the year before.
HINT: After making sure interpersonal is covered, make sure to hit two more different skills. Yes, you can pick 2 of the same skill this time, but then you have to do all different skills next time. Don't back yourself into a corner like that.

Here's what my objective selection Doc ended up looking like for Spanish I:

Step 5

It's also a good idea to jot down which assignment you will use for the Before and which you will use for the After for each objective before you submit for principal approval (or before you send a gentle reminder that he/she needs to approve your objectives). 

HINT: If you can't think of a fitting assignment, I highly recommend re-selecting instead of trying to tack on something that doesn't actually connect to anything you were going to be doing anyway. I mean, sure, tweak your approach to something already planned so it aligns better, but don't go wedging in whole new units or mini-units for the sake of evidence. It'll be rushed and messy.

Here's what I came up with for Spanish I:
WL.NM.CMT.2.2: Infer meaning from familiar texts by using visual cues, such as road signs, charts, graphs, etc. that reflect the target culture.
WL.NM.CLL.3.1: Use memorized words and phrases in presentations on familiar topics, such as likes, dislikes, emotions, everyday activities, and immediate surroundings.
  • Visual Vocabulary + presentation draft
  • Final presentation
WL.NM.COD.1.1: Use memorized words and phrases to exchange information about the classroom and school environment.

Now you have one skill left to cover and possibly a whole new set of objectives to choose from for next semester. Peruse your objectives and start daydreaming where that fourth skill will fit. Give yourself a little time to recover from evidence collection and uploading, then start Steps 1-3 again.

The good news? You can pick pretty much anything you want for one whole objective now! ...except anything you've picked already.

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