Analysis of Middle School Assignments

Here is a great study that was conducted this year where researchers looked at the quality and rigor of middle school assignments.

 This Education Trust report by Joan Dabrowski is a follow-up to a September 2016 analysis of the rigor and Common Core alignment of student assignments in two urban districts (see Marshall Memo 602 for a summary). The four criteria used to analyze assignments were:

–   Alignment with Common Core standards;

–   Soliciting text-based responses from students;

–   Cognitive challenge, especially the creation of a piece of extended writing;

–   Motivation and engagement – Students have choice of task, product, process, or text; the topic is poignant and uses real-world materials; and there are connections with students’ experiences, goals, interests, and values.

The report contains a detailed critical analysis of six middle-school assignments:

  • grade 7 ELA end-of-unit writing task
  • grade 8 ELA close-reading assignment
  • grade 7 American history assignment on the Constitutional Convention debates
  • grade 8 Socratic Seminar on Black Lives Matter versus All Lives Matter
  • grade 6 science writing prompt on the seasons
  • grade 7 writing prompt on flower structures.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s