Meet Melanie LiCausi
Melanie is the original creator of Leveled Assessments for Math and ELA. Leveled Assessments take Marzano’s research to a whole new LEVEL, by adding clear and objective tasks to proficiency scales. Melanie’s experience with differentiation comes from twelve years in the classroom teaching first grade, second grade, middle school math, and several years of Gifted Resource in a multi-age classroom for grades 3-5. She has mastered the art of aligning content at multiple grade levels to give students a smooth and defined path for progress.
“My school is very heavy in the Marzano evaluation – and this is perfect for showing the scales under my I can statements. I put a star on the 3 level, because that is what students should aim for. Very well written, and concise for some complicated standards!” – Ally S.
“These scaled assessments are great! I love that the questions show a progression of skills so I can see where students may be struggling, and it also gives the kids the opportunity to see that they can do something, even if they’re not quite “on level” yet. Thanks.” – Robert R.
December 1, 2018
“THIS HAS BEEN A LIFESAVER! Thanks for offering exactly what I was looking for. I was already to make it and wha-la there it is. Perfect! Thank you for your hard work. I appreciate it so much. I am a follower now!” – Beth Marlatt
November 30, 2018
“I am so grateful for this resource! It makes transitioning to standards based grading so much easier!! Thank you for your incredibly hard work!” – Katt F. November 26, 2018
“This is a perfect resource for my dual language classroom, especially since my students can rate themselves as we work through each skill.” – Socorro F. December 2, 2018
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Download free copies of Proficiency Scales and Leveled Assessments to try in your classroom today!
As Proficiency Scales become the NEW way to teach, more and more schools are looking for resources from experienced teachers. Melanie has written, taught and presented proficiency scales at multiple conferences to walk teachers through the process of creating, presenting, organizing, and assessing learning objectives with scales. FOLLOW THE LINK above to recieve a free GUIDE to SCALES sharing my own experience and tips.
Looking for SCHOOL SITE LICENSES? Contact Melanie.firstname.lastname@example.org for 50% off group licenses.
LEARN to Do This!
Learning to create scales was a PAINFUL reminder of what my students often feel… tossed into content they didn’t choose… expected to master things they are still clueless about… feeling all of the uncertainty and intimidation that goes along with learning something new! I have heard from countless teachers who are struggling through the same process. Having resources already done for them is AMAZING! But, learning to teach scales and modify their own assessments will be ESSENTIAL as modern education moves towards differentiated instruction. That’s why I am working on a UNIQUE and EXCITING new online course that will actually TEACH TEACHERS my simple streamlined process for creating scales and assessments. I have spent the last 7 years writing Proficiency Scales and Leveled Assessments for grades 1st-8th. I can tell you that the same process applies to every subject and grade level. Creating scales is an investment in PLANNING, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Once you learn how to USE them in your classroom, you will see how it can completely transform the learning experience for you and your students. If you’re interested in learning to CREATE YOUR OWN LEVELED LEARNING GOALS AND ASSESSMENTS twice as fast, please sign up to follow me by email to get all the details this fall.
Watch this video for a quick introduction to how I teach scales for pre-assessment!
Mrs. L’s Blog
Standards Based Grading is the Ultimate Growth Mindset Tool! A simple shift in focus. Students track mastery in the standards, instead of earning points toward a subject grade. Students are assessed according to their level of PROFICIENCY. Standards Based Grading can be more helpful in targeting student strengths and weaknesses. Teachers are able to plan more specifically, i.e. “DIFFERENTIATE”, to support students level of understanding. It gives teachers the feedback they need to modify instruction. It also tells students exactly what to work on next!
s the difference between a Rubric and a Proficiency Scale? In the examples below I’m going to share with you how each classroom tool can vary in structure and purpose. A rubric can look like a four-point scale with one crucial difference; a proficiency scale is focused on one learning objective. A rubric often includes a variety of skills that are related to different standards. Let’s look at some examples for elementary and middle school language arts and writing!
Do you struggle to get your students into nonfiction writing? Recipes are one of those informational forms that is very specific and easy to imitate. Your students will get to explore the importance of descriptive titles, step by step instructions, appealing images, and accurate descriptions. I even include 4 sets of directions for differentiating the activity to the levels of a proficiency scale. This Holiday Recipe writing activity is one of my favorites because it is FUN and relies directly to the writing nonfiction standards. Read on to get a link to a free Holiday Writing Activity Template with ready to print directions! No Prep Required!!
What are your beliefs about differentiation?
When you look at the diversity in your classroom, does it seem possible to reach every student? What if differentiation was just based on a naturally logical path of learning?
Start with background knowledge and end with opportunities for in-depth application.
I like to call this vertical differentiation. This means that students are working on the same topic or standard, at different levels of cognitive difficulty. If you are familiar with Blooms or Marzano Taxonomy of Higher Order Thinking skills, then you already have an idea of vertical differentiation.
Have you figured out what to work on with your child at home?
My name is Melanie LiCausi, and I am a mom of three, a classroom teacher, and trying out home-schooling for the very first time!
Having the unique experience of being on both sides of online learning has given me the chance to notice a few things.
Read on to see the simplest way to communicate your standards to students and parents in 4 easy steps!
Kids LOVE origami, at least my students always have. In an effort to get kids working together as a team, here is a fun way to assign groups and 'solidify' partnerships using one simple origami fold. Students can leave their group piece in a special place to indicate...
Do you ever look at all your proficiency scales and feel overwhelmed? Not only do you have to cover 20-30 learning standards in each subject, but now you have 4 different levels to differentiate for? Did you know that you might get away with emphasizing just 5-6...
Can Proficiency Scales work outside of core subject matter? Yes! One of the Phoenix schools I worked with adapted scales to their special circumstances, their Spanish Immersion program. Think ESL, ELL. Together we brainstormed a few ideas during our professional development session. Read on to see what we came up with!
If you work with Higher Order Thinking skills (Marzano or Bloom's Taxonomy), you know that vocabulary mastery is more than memorizing definitions. Our goal is for kids to comprehend and apply vocabulary in the right contexts. Demonstrating GROWTH in vocabulary mastery...
So, how does African American History inspire student goal-setting? Some kids have a clear idea of what kind of future they're working towards, and others may not have any good ideas, or any good examples of happy and successful adults in their lives. Helping kids...