Students can do no better than the assignments they are given. And with new, high-level standards, that’s truer now than ever before. But what makes a high-quality  assignment, and how do we know?

K-12 teachers (ELA, Science, or Social Studies), school leaders, and district staffs joined us in Baltimore at our assignments convening on May 15-17 to learn how to enhance assignments to meet the demands of rigorous college- and career-ready standards.

School and district teams interacted and networked with peers from across the country to:

  • Dig deep into a process of assignment analysis, with concrete examples, guidance, and peer collaboration;
  • Examine assignments through the lens of alignment with standards, centrality of text, cognitive challenge, and motivation and engagement — and identify areas for improvement and innovation;
  • Learn/strategize how to use this process to advance learning in your own building or district, so that all students are getting the kinds of rich, high-quality, engaging assignments that are central to the purpose of the Common Core.

May 15-17, 2016

Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel
202 E Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21202


Session Descriptions

Achievement & Opportunity in America

The Role of Classroom Assignments in Expanding Opportunities for Our Children

Session Descriptions

Participants engaged with each other on topics such as:

Using a Framework to Enhance Classroom Assignments
Our literacy frameworks serve as a guide for practitioners in identifying trends across multiple assignments, subject areas, and grade levels. In these sessions, participants will learn more about our frameworks and how they can enhance classroom assignments.

Supporting Assignment Analysis in Your School or District
School and district leaders play a critical role in supporting teachers as they implement more rigorous college- and career-ready standards. Participants in this session will explore ways in which school structures, resources, and professional development can be leveraged to promote assignment analysis that enhances student learning throughout their school or district.

Teacher Scaffolding in in ELA, Science, and Social Studies Assignments
These sessions will examine the temporary scaffolding or supports that teachers can provide for students as they work toward independence. Participants will learn more about the different types of scaffolding and how to most effectively use them to refine their own classroom assignments.

The Role of Choice in Enhancing ELA, Science, and Social Studies Assignments
Relevancy and choice for students can foster autonomy and provide a pathway from the known to the unknown, from the simple to the complex. Participants in this session will learn more about how to incorporate relevancy and choice in to their classroom assignments to motivate and engage their students.

Discussions as a Tool for Equity and Support
When students engage in rich discussions as part of their ELA, science, and social studies assignments, they are pushed to comprehend more deeply, collaborate with others, and practice what it means to present knowledge and ideas with both credibility and conviction. Participants in this session will examine the importance of both the content and structure of discussions as they refine their own classroom assignments.