A few weeks ago, I gave an overview of how to create a Marzano scale from a standard. I received a comment from a follower whose district is just "starting to dabble in Marzano" who wondered if I could provide a step-by-step example with an actual state standard. So, acting on the age old teaching principle of "if one person asks a question, lots of others are probably wondering the same thing", this week I'll show you how I break an actual state standard into Marzano aligned scales that can be used to guide daily instruction.
First, we need a sample standard. I'm from Michigan, so I'll use on of ours:
Quick side note: Michigan's social studies standards are notoriously packed with a TON of information and are usually unwieldly. I believe more work should have been done at the state level to break them down into more teacher and student-friendly chunks, but I digress.
Actually, the more content in a particular standard, the easier it is to break down. If there are bullet points (like the one above has), the first step for me is to turn the main part of the standard (F1.1...) into a student-friendly "I can" statement. This will become my level three or "mastery" level. This standard turns into, "I can describe why the colonists chose to declare their independence from Britain."
Next, I turn my attention to the bullet points themselves; these are the things students will need to be able to do to master the standard. In this standard, I would sequence the bullet points into a logical path that would lead to the colonists declaring independence. This will help with both creating the standard, and in using the standard to create your lesson plans later. It makes sense to me to sequence them like this:
Once these building blocks have been identified, I apply them to my "mastery statement" and wind up with this:
Now, to fill in the lower levels (1 &2) of the scales, you add the building blocks. I would do it like this:
The last step is to identify something that goes beyond mastery to fill out the "Beyond Mastery" level of the scale (level four). In this case, I would provide my students with an opportunity to evaluate the things that led the colonists to declare their independence. My level four would be, "I can select the one thing that I think most led the colonists to declare their independence and explain my reasoning."
This particular scale is far too big, and too full of information to be a single lesson, so to make it more usable, I would treat the things in level two as separate standards and create scales and lessons around them. When these lessons are put together, I am left with a lesson plan for about a week of instruction. These scales are as follow:
I know this all seems like a lot, but you will find that as you begin to create scales, it gets easier and easier resulting in faster and faster work. It will become second-nature to you, and you will begin to think of all of your content in terms of levels of mastery and how your students can demonstrate it. This mindset shift will lead to lessons more closely tailored to standards, better student performance on assessments and great evaluations for you!
Before I close, I want to thank the follower who submitted the request for this topic. If you have any questions about this post, or anything relating to Marzano, scales or socials studies, please leave them in the comments below. Your comments really help me find topics to blog about, and for great social studies resources, don't forget to visit and follow my TpT store.
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