What exactly is an “assignment,” and why does it matter? How can educators ensure that their teaching meets the rigorous demands of the Common Core State Standards, so that all students are well prepared for college or careers? Drawing from her extensive experience as a teacher coach, author Eleanor Dougherty answers these questions and many more, with two aims in mind: (1) to guide teachers and administrators in crafting high-quality assignments, and (2) to help educators understand the powerful impact that assignments can have on teaching and learning.
The book explains the critical differences among “assignments,” “activities,” and “assessments” and thoroughly describes the key elements of an assignment: prompts, rubrics, products, and instructional plans. Readers will learn how to
* Follow a seven-step process for crafting effective assignments;
* Link assignments to units and courses;
* Devise “Anchor” assignments for collaboration and consistency across grades;
* Tap into instructional “touchstones” that can enrich any assignment;
* Create classroom and school environments that support assignment-making; and
* Use assignments as a source of data about teaching and learning.
Equipped with the knowledge and expertise gained from Assignments Matter, readers will be able to create meaningful learning experiences for their students and come to appreciate the author’s belief that “assignments may well be the missing link in school reform efforts to improve student achievement.”