5 Ways You're Not Using the VDOE Website

Hi from Alyssa at Alyssa Teaches! As we head back to school, I want to share some tips about using one of my favorite websites as a Virginia teacher - the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) website. The VDOE website is a great one-stop shop for both new teachers and seasoned teachers! It's just what you need to familiarize yourself with the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) and find tons of great resources to save time this school year!

Subscribe to Updates

First, I have to recommend signing up for the TeacherDirect subscription. This weekly email from VDOE includes news about professional development opportunities, grants, superintendent memos, and even instructional materials! It's the perfect way to stay current on VDOE happenings.

Find Testing Resources

Second, if you haven't already bookmarked the VDOE SOL & Testing page, you're going to want to right now. This is a treasure trove of helpful materials for teaching the standards and for gearing up for SOL tests at the end of the school year. From this page, you can access helpful testing updates, information on alternative assessments, practice test items, and released tests from previous years.

Grab Instructional Resources

Next, I recommend checking out the SOL pages for each of the content areas. You probably already know that these contain the Standards of Learning documents, Curriculum Frameworks, and SOL test blueprints, but there are many other useful resources, including:
  • crosswalk guides between the old and the revised standards
  • progression charts
  • sample rubrics
  • resources for instruction
  • resources for assessment
  • example TEI test items
I promise, it's worth taking a few minutes to skim the pages to find some hidden treasures! For example, on the math page, you can grab printable math word wall cards. On the social studies page, you can find links to maps of Virginia and a PDF of all of the documents relevant to Virginia's history. You can also get sample lesson plans for science and some of the other content areas!

Get a Leg Up on Performance Assessment

Chances are that your district uses performance assessments in some of the content areas. Get started with some basic resources for administering performance assessments, including editable rubrics!

Learn About Portrait of a Graduate

Last, especially if you're new to teaching in Virginia, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the Virginia Profile of a Graduate. VDOE provides a basic overview of the knowledge and skills they want all Virginia students to have when they graduate from public school.

As you can see, there are tons of resources on the VDOE website. I hope you check out the site and find some useful information!

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