Although our assessment of students is critical to learning, we also want students to learn to assess themselves, writes teaching consultant Barbara Blackburn. Encouraging students to take measures of their own progress is both more rigorous and more empowering.
The only student test data that really matters, says education consultant Debbie Silver, is timely, diagnostic information telling educators what their students know and can or cannot do. With that data, they can plan instruction and fine-tune teaching practice.
As new teachers develop routines for their classrooms, Class Tech Tips founder Monica Burns says it’s important to plan how they will check for understanding each day to gather information and inform future instruction. She shares three simple class assessment tools.
Debbie Silver’s worst mistake? She managed to teach middle level science classes for too many years without ever fully embracing the practice of pre-assessment. See how her teaching changed and how yours might too with her simple go-to pre-assessment tools.
In FAST Grading, says veteran science/math teacher Joyce Depenbusch, Douglas Reeves has reached his goal of inspiring teachers and administrators to rethink grading and use his FAST strategies (Fair, Accurate, Specific, Timely) to optimize student learning.
Rubrics are important tools, says author and veteran MS educator Elyse Scott, but teachers need a more whole-student approach to formative assessment and feedback — one that attends “to that most basic need of young adolescents: one-on-one communication.”
Initial failures can produce big breakthroughs, as ELA consultant Sarah Tantillo found when students she was supporting failed to translate PARCC practice prompts into viable essays. Check out the tools Tantillo, teachers & tutors used to solve the problem.
Principal Matt Renwick says our definition of data has to broaden substantially if we expect to paint a complete picture of student learning. Renwick describes how two middle grades teachers are using technology to help meet the qualitative assessment challenge.