Assessment

Effective Grading Practices - Pandemic Response and Educational Practices (PREP)

What Schools Can Do Right Now to Ensure Effective Grading Practices

Categories: Assessment, Pandemic Response and Educational Practices, Technology

This entry is the ninth in a blog series called Pandemic Response and Educational Practices (PREP), which aims to highlight and further the important work educators are doing amid the worldwide COVID-19 crisis.

Based on FAST Grading: A Guide to Implementing Best Practices

With almost all schools in the United States and Canada closed, and countless more around the world, leaders and policymakers share a legitimate concern about educational equity in grading. While some students have been able to continue their lessons with online learning, many others cannot. Some families lack computers and internet connectivity. Other families have a computer and internet service, but with parents and siblings all competing for the same computer and bandwidth, it is almost impossible for any individual child to have continuous access to online learning.  Read more

What Works: Continuous Assessment and Interval Grading

Categories: Assessment, Instruction, Robert Canady

In our recent publication, Beyond the Grade, our primary goal was to highlight practices proven to boost student achievement. As we began our study, we noticed assessment and grading topics being used interchangeably. 

With refinement of our practices, we identified specific distinctions between the two processes. Here, we discuss the importance of assessment and grading, and traditional and current beliefs and practices of each. With this information, we describe a key difference between assessment and grading—with assessment as a continuous process and grading as an interval one. These distinctions are key to boosting student achievement.  Read more

Five Questions with UNI Professor Matt Townsley

Categories: Assessment, Authors

Credit: UNI News Services

(Note: This interview originally appeared on Inside UNI, the University of Northern Iowa’s online communications channel. It has been republished with permission from UNI News Services.)

UNI professor Matt Townsley wants to see an education revolution. In his upcoming book “Making Grades Matter,” co-written with Nathan Wear, the UNI educational leadership assistant professor lays out the path for middle and high schools to abandon traditional letter grades in favor of a standards-based grading model. In this conversation, he outlines his case for why schools should rethink the way they think about grades and learning. Read more

Associate Katie White writes about the usage of the word "Ability" in the classroom.

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Ability: What’s in a Word?

Categories: Assessment

Based on Unlocked: Assessment as the Key to Everyday Creativity in the Classroom

Lately, I have found myself becoming increasingly antagonistic toward the word “ability.” I hear it used almost daily in my work with assessment and learning in a variety of educational settings, but rarely do I hear it used without experiencing a flash of frustration.

Because I am not usually prone to this kind of negative response to a commonly accepted term, I have decided to “unpack” the word and why its use in an educational context bothers me.

When I examined the literal definition of the word, I found nothing that immediately explained my questionable response: Read more

Differentiation and the Elementary School Classroom

Differentiation and the Elementary School Classroom

Categories: Assessment, Authors

Based on Teaching With the Instructional Cha-Chas: 4 Steps to Make Learning Stick

In a nutshell, differentiated instruction is meeting the unique and diverse needs of your students so they are successful in reaching the standards. It’s a concept based on a mindset that all students can improve their skills and understanding to achieve the daily learning target and eventually the standard—it just might take more time, different tools, and/or more teacher support.

Students may not arrive at those goals on the same day or in the same way. Teachers evaluate the data to determine what to do next and then respond with powerful feedback and by differentiating the instruction. Read more