By Betty Scola of Waterford Township, NJ

Students practice for PARCC with Edulastic

Waterford students complete their work in Edulastic. Edulastic has given Betty the capacity to easily move from a 3 to a 4 in the Danielson Rubric scoring system.

We are a Danielson School.  If you are too, you are very familiar with the Rubric.  You know, the one where we “…live in 3 and vacation in 4.”

I don’t like vacationing, I like living in 4.  So how can Edulastic help?

Just take a quick look at Domain 3 – Instruction and read the wording of how to get a 4.


3D. Using Assessment in Instruction:

“Assessment is fully integrated into instruction, through extensive use of formative assessment. Students appear to be aware of, and there is some evidence that they have contributed to, the assessment criteria. Questions and assessments are used regularly to diagnose evidence of learning by individual students. A variety of forms of feedback, from both teacher and peers, is accurate and specific and advances learning. Students self-assess and monitor their own progress. The teacher successfully differentiates instruction to address individual students’ misunderstandings.”

3E. Demonstrating Flexibility and Responsiveness:

“The teacher seizes an opportunity to enhance learning, building on a spontaneous event or students’ interests, or successfully adjusts and differentiates instruction to address individual student misunderstandings. Using an extensive repertoire of instructional strategies and soliciting additional resources from the school or community, the teacher persists in seeking effective approaches for students who need help.”


Now imagine you are teaching a concept to your students.  You don’t want to spend your whole class period teaching a concept if the students grasp it right away but you also don’t want to move too quickly if students aren’t getting it.  Enter Edulastic.

I was recently teaching area and perimeter concepts to my 5th graders. It should be a review, something they’ve learned from previous years, but you never know.  I went to Edulastic and used the question bank library to search for questions that met the standards I wanted to cover that day. I created an assessment by arranging the questions so that they progressively increased in difficulty.

Then the fun begins.  I start out modeling question 1 with the students.  Then I let them do the next four questions on their own.  While they were working, I was able to monitor their responses on the teacher dashboard and offer individual help on the spot for those struggling.  For the student that shows mastery right away, I can have them either move on to a more difficult concept or help out a struggling student. After working with students, I can come back as a group and model another question and the cycle repeats itself.  

I get a chance to meet every student’s individual needs and no student is held back when they can advance.  I can even have a second assessment ready that I can assign to my advanced students if the first is too simplistic.

Thanks to Edulastic, I was able to never write a question, never grade a paper but effectively teach and assess a skill in a 40 minute block of time.  And since my principal walked in during this lesson, I received a 4 in both 3D and 3E!

By Betty Scola
Betty Scola has worked in education for over 14 years and is a librarian and media specialist at Waterford Township in Waterford, New Jersey.

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