Blog about my experience at Ocean Beach with my Grade 3 Professional Learning Community

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At the end of the day, we all want the same thing for our students, success. One of the best experiences of my professional career in education occurred the day I walked into the 3rd Grade Professional Learning Community at Ocean Beach Elementary School.


You see, California students take an assessment called the SBAC in Grades 3-8 and 11. After having several conversations with teachers all over the state of California, I have realized there are no other programs on the market that mimic the online testing environment of the SBAC. My meeting with the staff members at Ocean Beach Elementary school embodied everything I loved and valued in my position as a Vice Principal, teacher, and educator; we spoke about the needs of the students at Ocean Beach Elementary and how Lumos Learning can meet those needs. I was able to get each teacher to log-in to individual Chromebook’s and experience the program from the eyes of both teacher and student.

The teachers were very open with me and expressed concerns in regards to the lack of technical preparation as far as the students are concerned. Specifically, teachers across the state are concerned that students do not have adequate exposure to technology in order to be successful in taking the SBAC. Students are able to write, but they are unable to translate what is written into a final, typed product. It takes time and practice. Fortunately for Lumos, we are at the head of the game. Our product is as SBAC “authentic” as they get. The teachers were impressed with our product. The amount of high-level, student-centered conversation taking place was delightfully overwhelming. We were having productive conversations about students not translating hand-written writing with typing. Students write better than they type. They are very aware that the students have to practice the SBAC the way they will take the SBAC…on the computer.

We got logged in and my teachers began by entering the Grade 3 ELA demo account. My son had taken a few of the CAT/PT’s I assigned him, so we had some good data on the dashboard. If a teacher had a question along the way, I could get up and give him or her the attention needed. First, I took a Partial Performance Task. I walked the teachers through the process of assigning items to students from creation to the assignment. We were able to get a hand’s on view of the product, and I could hear comments, get feedback, and have productive educational conversations. It was an amazing experience from start to finish.

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Nicole Stewart