In my view assessment and evaluation is an integral and fundamental part of a powerful instructing and learning process. Therefore, adjustments must be made in assessment and evaluation so that the overall focus is on final goal and especially on students learning. My motivation behind assessment is that it is a chance for students to show their learning and their performance keeping in mind the final goal for their subject/unit/lesson. I wouldn’t like to see my assessment as a judgment of my students learning but it will solemnly be a record of their performance. I don’t want to confine my assessment strategies to traditional methods of final exams and tests (Assessment of learning). I believe that students should be given opportunities to show their performance on continuous basis. And this gives me the confidence to introduce assessment for and as learning during my instructions. Moreover, keeping my focus and my students focus on the final/end goal I like distributing and dividing my assessment in small chunks over the whole semester (including students classroom engagement, assigning project related to real life, classroom discussions on studied topics, quizzes, tests and exams). Further, I want to give my students the chance to present their learning in whatever they like; therefore, I always want to have a discussion with my students before and after an assessment to get my student feedback. This allows me to differentiate and adapt my assessment, therefore, observation, conversation leads to a good end product. In all students ought to be given learning chances to exceed expectations in class and take part in basic reflection with the goal that they will have the opportunity to comprehend, reflect and screen their own learning.
I tried implementing my assessment and evaluating philosophy during my field experience. The one strategy or tool that really worked for me was bell work/entrance slip. This technique allowed me to revisit some concepts that students are confused about. In order to align outcomes with real life through assessment as learning I created small tasks with in the class environment that helped student reflect on their learning. I made use of mid chapter reviews in order to prepare my students for unit tests. Observing and monitoring students’ workbook practices helped me adjust my teaching practices a lot. Creating tasks was a difficult experience for me because I was trying to incorporate different kinds of learners. I created figures, guiding questions and also some difficult questions in order to fit the task for all learners. But the handouts I provided were not very readable to all learners. So students will misread some questions. For my internship I will make a management checklist before creating a task that will help consider all kinds of differentiation.
One thing I really wanted to do was a unit project with my students. I think because my planning during the three weeks was very focused on open tasks. I missed the opportunity to think about it. To completely align my assessment philosophy with my internship I will keep in mind to distribute and divide my focus on different assessment tools.
Finally the three key learning’s I want to share are as follows:
- Aligning assessment with instruction and curriculum is the most important aspect for teacher professional development and students’ learning.
- Assessment of learning requires the support of assessment for and as learning.
- Assessment shouldn’t be restricted to traditional high stakes exams, keeping in mind the diversity of classroom.
This week we had few more gathering introductions on assessment tools, and I learned numerous new evaluation instruments that I didn’t know about already. In any case, in this blog I additionally need to say some about the instructing methodologies that were adjusted to these assessment tools, especially for ADHD students.
Some of them are: Have lessons incorporate visual and sound-related angles, Utilize shorter lessons to keep up the concentration of the students, Furnish a classroom with couple of diversions when conceivable, Have students work in sets or little gatherings versus vast gatherings to look after core interest, Utilize spatial techniques (Cases may incorporate realistic coordinators or chart paper to help with number arrangement of math issues), Give cases and models and Incorporate innovation inside lessons to keep student locked in.
The majority of the above showing procedures were superbly adjusted to assessment tools that our companions exhibited. In the first place introduction was math and the utilization of assessment tools, for example, mistake investigation as far as charting, tests and exams was exceptionally intricate. My own particular research gave me some understanding to assessment tools that can be utilized as a part of the classroom structure allocated to us. (Margaret and Mary five Practices for orchestrating productive mathematics discussions) provide a great layout of assessment, beginning with envisioning students reactions we can create parcel of on spot developmental evaluation, for example, agendas, coordinators and accomplishment graphs.
Moreover, teach thought have some great assistive tools that can also evolve into great assessment tools. Tools such as text to speech, intel reader and mathtalk are very useful for teachers and students and provide some great deal of ease for all parties.
In all, this week class was loaded with intuitive introduction and information exchanging.
I am starting this blog entry by quoting ministry of education, Saskatchewan website https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/government-structure/ministries/education
“By putting the needs of each and every student first, we will ensure that our province has a highly skilled and highly educated population that will contribute to the success of our province”.
The reason to quote above statement is to connect dots of the presentation we had this Wednesday from Kevin Tonita. He shared with us some of the key points of ministry strategic plan. Specifically, learning about ESSP targets for 2020, as a beginning teacher I feel great responsibility to help ministry achieve these goals. He mentioned that the current Saskatchewan three year graduation rate is about 73% and this is almost constant with previous years. And the ESSP target is to take it to 85%. Based on the previous statistics, it seems like a very difficult task but again I consider the above quote and feel responsible to put my all effort to help ministry reach this goal.
But, after looking at some of the main reasons behind ministry not able to finish their tasks were closely related to funding issues. For that we all have to come together and re-evaluate our priorities and think about our future generation.
Going back to our class activity we did as a carousel, first the activity itself was a great way to review and introduce topics that require cooperative learning. But this was the first time I performed this activity therefore I was curious to learn about it. I browsed about it and learned few key reminder about this activity from http://www.gcasd.org/Downloads/Activating_Strategies.pdf
Here are some of them: Ahead of time prepare the chart paper and the different topics, insuring that you have enough “stations” so that every group is at one station during each rotation. These charts and responses can be used as the lesson activator, representing the prior knowledge and current understandings of the group. And Tracy did a great job of putting it all together.
We discussed three topics in our carousel: learning contracts, inquiry and then tests. Among the three topics we discussed, we shared a lot about learning contracts and most of the time all we talked about was negatives of the learning contracts. We were all confirmed on the statement that learning contracts hinder student’s growth and progress by showing students what they will not be able to achieve. But there was some powerful discussion around positives that learning contracts allow students to become more self-directing and more responsible for their own learning. Also, providing students the choice of their own learning make them feel powerful. And we talked about our own experiences and discussed that students learn material more deeply and permanently if they learn through projects of their own choice instead of direct lecturing or teaching.
In all, this week class broaden my knowledge as a student and as a professional.
Listening to Cori Antonini past Wednesday night was a really on task learning experience for me. Because the way he talked about rubrics and linked it to 21st century learners felt very important to me. And I totally agree with him on to bring the end goal first to the learner (bringing to learner what they can achieve and how they can achieve in first class). Although there were lot of cool things in the Saskatchewan learning project but one thing that touched me was use of built in strategies for assessment, instruction and differentiation. Because, for me as a beginning teacher I think that if we create rubrics using these built ins then they can become a very strong tool that will help and support classroom instruction which in turn benefit students learning. I did a research on my part find some books on creating rubrics and found an interesting one “How to Create and Use Rubrics for Formative Assessment and Grading” by Susan M. Brookhart. And in the book she identifies two essential components of effective rubrics: (1) criteria that relate to the learning (not the “tasks”) that students are being asked to demonstrate and (2) clear descriptions of performance across a continuum of quality. Now, when we were creating rubric in the class all groups were feeling that we need to create more criteria in our rubrics and have to mention clear description of performance. And this links to the situation that if we created a rubric that the students are having difficulty in understanding then the end result will be unfruitful because how can we expect that rubric to align instruction and assessment. Use of clear description and proper criteria’s will help students in understanding the rubric and thus making them confident to engage in using the rubric.
But we have to be careful because too much information will lead student thinking towards confusion so we have to keep the organization of the rubric moderate and comprehensible. Picking right amount of columns and there names and the information across the columns have to organized and reflective for students reading and learning. As we talked about flow from one column to next when discussing meeting and established column, student should be able to see this flow in the rubric.
On the other hand, I was browsing about rubrics and stumbled on an other rubric creating tool called “iRubric”. And this tool is quite similar to the one Cori talked about. There are many tools available for creating rubric but as Andrew Miller mentioned in his blog “rubrics are everywhere and with so many competing purposes, it only makes sense that rubrics remain a beast to create and use”.
I started reading Anne Davies “ Making classroom assessment work” and before getting into the book chapters, one thing that caught my eyes was the writing on the back cover saying “Quality classroom assessment methods, like good hiking boots, will support learner and give them a solid foundation for their lifelong journey. Now, this sentence totally fit my personal experience, because my whole high school and university experience build up on the assessment techniques that did not give any solid foundation. And why is that, the answer is actually in the Anne Davies book chapter 2, where she is talking about descriptive feedback and evaluative feedback. The only thing I was given was the evaluative feedback. Now the problem with that was that I had no clue of what I did good and I what did wrong and how much I did good and how I did wrong. And this is what we talked about in class about thinking of what were some positive/negative assessment experiences in our lives. And to learn more about the evaluative feedback I read the article “Assessment and classroom learning By Black, Paul, Wiliam, Dylan, Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice Mar1998, Vol. 5, Issue 1” Now it was a long 65 pages article but the gist of the article was that evaluative feedback can completely interfere with student learning process and most of the time that interference is negative. On the other hand descriptive feedback give students chance to know something about themselves and it also provides evidence that teacher know their students and this also leads up to a class room environment that is feasible to every student. Although I am not a fan of evaluative feedback but I think it provides a great opportunity for peer assessment and learning with others. Because thats how I learned, whenever my teacher give me back any assignment I try to compare it to my classmate to assess what I missed and what needs to be done. And as Anne Davies mentioned in chapter 11 that there are many ways to assess and one of them is learning from others. I was reading an article on learning from others by Jeff Durham and he wrote some sentences that just clinged to mind and one of them “The beauty of wanting to learn from others is that you will remain open and willing to listen which, in return, will draw others towards you which will also open up many new doors and experiences”. And i think learning from other has all components of assessment embeded in i.e. assessment for, as, and of learning. And therefore, we should act upon any opportunity that gives us a chance to learn from others.