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Aurora Institute

Is a Standard a Competency? (Part 2)

CompetencyWorks Blog

Author(s): Rose Colby

Issue(s): Issues in Practice, Rethink Instruction, Create Balanced Systems of Assessments

Read Part 1 or take a look at New Hampshire’s ELA and Math Competencies

Following up on the first post on this topic, I go deeper in looking at the relationship between standards and competencies. I facilitated work for the NH DoE whereby groups of  Math and ELA teachers wrote competencies to the Common Core, so I will use it as an example:

Competency:  Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze structure in expressions.  (note that the ‘verb’ is at Level 3 in the DOK.)

The performance indicators that would be used as formative or summative tasks in the demonstration of mastery of this competency are the CC standards.  So, as students move through these ‘I can” performance indicators, it should build understanding for the bigger concept of structure in expression.

Performance Indicators:  “I can…”

Strategic and Extended Thinking: Levels 3 &4 Depth of Knowledge:

1.     Apply properties of operations to rewrite complicated expressions in multiple ways where possible.

2.     Analyze an expression, apply concepts of writing expressions in equivalents forms to solve problems.

3.     Analyze and derive the formula for numbers patterns and use the formula to solve problems.

Skill/Concept: Level 2 Depth of Knowledge:

1.     Interpret parts of an expression, such as terms, factors, and coefficients.

2.     Interpret complicated expressions by viewing one or more of their parts as a single entity.

3.     Use the structure to regroup a complicated expression.

4.     Determine and perform the appropriate method for solving a problem.

Recall: Level 1 Depth of Knowledge:

1.     Identify parts of expressions using appropriate language of mathematics (exponent, coefficient, base etc).

2.     Identify types expressions (monomial, binomial, polynomial, constant, etc).

3.     Recognize the types of expressions.

4.     Identify equivalent forms of expressions.

Each one of these performance indicators are actually Common Core Standards–they have just been sorted or classified by their depth of knowledge.  Note the Level 1 and 2 performance indicators are the low level content acquisition material that does not demonstrate mastery but may be needed to reach mastery (formative).

__________About the Author__________

Rose Colby is an experienced educator. She taught high school biology and chemistry and has served as assistant principal and principal at several middle and high schools. She has been working with schools to develop competency-based learning and assessment models for the past three years. She is the co-author with Fred Bramante of Off the Clock: Moving from Time to Competency.