All of the instructional outcomes may be assessed by the proposed assessment plan, with clear criteria for assessing student work. The plan contains evidence of student contribution to its development. Assessment methodologies have been adapted for individual students as the need has arisen. The approach to using formative assessment is well designed and includes student as well as teacher use of the assessment information:
Evidence from Earlier Years:
Assessment can be tricky for many reasons, and because of this I have chosen to move into an ePortfolio system for much of my assessment.
By using ePortfolios, students have the opportunity to take things as far as they want, to revise blog posts with or without assistance, and to choose web tools that make the most sense for them and for the assignment.
Since ePortfolios are online, I am able to assess their progress on a daily basis from home or school, students can write comments to help with revision & improvement, and it provides a much larger authentic audience than a worksheet or test!
Because students can take each assignment as far as they want or can, differentiation is often natural and only requires some nudges and coaching. On the right, is a sample blog post by Abby. The assignment asked students to find a poem that they enjoyed, share it on Twitter on #WorldPoetryDay and answer a couple questions about it.
As for students who need additional support, I provide lots of feedback both verbal and written to all of my students. I provide time in class and during Homework Club (before school and during lunch recess) for students to make revisions. I encourage parents to help where they can, and I see tremendous growth over the course of the year in all of my students.
On the right is one of our blog feedback sheets that students receive each trimester. Students get a blank version of this sheet when I cut off grades for the trimester. One week later, I grade their blog posts and fill out the sheet. I give it to them and they have 1-2 weeks to make revisions (this is beyond the feedback they receive all trimester). At that point, I grade the ePortfolio entries one more time and students get two grades on the report card:
This information can also be found on our website all trimester long here.
This system of blog posts also helps me ensure that I assess & document all standards and objectives in at least science and social studies. Other subjects are often done in other ways:
Formative assessment is being used constantly in our classroom because feedback is my major focus as the teacher, while my students' main focus is improvement.
Formative assessment allows me to get an idea of where my students are as an entire class, helping me make decisions on what to do next in my instructional path. Formative assessment also helps me identify which students will need more support moving forward and which ones need enrichment and encouragement to challenge themselves further!
On the right is one way I conduct formative assessment in my class. It's a Google Sheet created by a Google Form that students fill out. The form has multiple long-answer questions on it that help me determine where students are academically, socially, and behaviorally in class. Based on this data, I make important decisions as I move forward with my teaching.
Of course, the main ways that I use formative assessment in my class is through observation. I sit with my students and walk around the classroom as they work each day. I listen to their words and anticipate misunderstandings and misconceptions. I determine if peer assistance is all that's needed (which is sometimes the case) or if I need to intervene. Many times, I will use this opportunity to do a "Give me five!" and give the feedback to the entire group so various students don't repeat the same mistakes.
My students track goals (some made by me, but many more made by them). We do so on a form at the right and we do this every week for 30 minutes. Students see tremendous growth in academic, social, and behavioral areas throughout the year due to this process!
My students also evaluate each day by discussing what went well and what needed improvement. They set a whole-class goal for the next day and work hard to ensure that goals is met. We do this during REARJMCL, the last 20 minutes of our day. This time includes time to write down any homework, gather our mail and materials, and do our classroom jobs. This time is completely student-led and is a sight to see! An example of some of our daily whole-class goals is on the right.
In addition to creating a whole-class goal, students also evaluate their progress towards goals that have been somewhat elusive! We have a rubric that we use nearly every day where students self-evaluate our class' achievement with regard to each task. Whenever the "Evaluator" disagrees with the majority of students on a grade, they ask for evidence to support their claim. This is an outstanding process that improves students' perspective of reality, self-assessment skills, and metacognition skills. It takes most of the year to make real gains, but it is undeniable when you watch them in the spring! Although the checklist changes every few months, there is one to the right you can check out.
Reflection and Synthesis is a main goal of ours all year long. I teach these skills in many ways, but one great resource I found is on the right.
Students are asked to reflect and self-assess on all assignments they complete either formally or informally. Some of the expectations are given, while others are left up to the student to decide.