Assessment

Teachers giving students feedback on discussions

Feed Students Through Feedback (Small Groups, Big Discussions Part 10)

Categories: Assessment, Instruction

This is the tenth post in a series on student-led, small-group discussions. To read the other posts, see “Small Groups, Big Discussions.” The series explores the challenges to effective small-group discussions and how to address them. The content is connected to the book Deep Discourse.

If you have incorporated the ideas from my past blog posts into your instructional practices and still find your students’ discussions lack substance, it may be due to the feedback they are receiving. After years of research, Hattie (2008) revealed that feedback was among the most powerful influences on achievement and states that students have a greater chance of achieving learning targets when teachers provide ongoing feedback about their progress. Read more

Set criteria for grading student discussions

How to Grade Small-Group Discussion (Small Groups, Big Discussions Part 9)

Categories: Assessment, Instruction

This is the ninth post in a series on student-led, small-group discussions. To read the other posts, see “Small Groups, Big Discussions.” The series explores the challenges to effective small-group discussions and how to address them. The content is connected to the book Deep Discourse.

Often, teachers wonder how they should grade students to hold them accountable during discussions. A conversation with one teacher illustrates the questions many teachers ask. She said, “I want to include more student-led discussions in my classroom, but I don’t know how I would grade their work to hold them accountable. They won’t speak up if they think they aren’t receiving points. How might I grade individual students for their work during discussions? What criteria should I use to grade them as they engage in discussions?” Read more

Shifting Gears To Competency-Based Learning Through PLCs at Work™

Categories: Assessment

“Once you learn, you never forget.” We have all heard that statement as it relates to riding a bicycle, and any of us who has ever taught a child to ride a bike know that for most children, this learning process requires time, patience, and perseverance. Riding a bike isn’t easy. Children are required to transfer their learning of a number of different skills (pedaling, balancing, steering, turning, and stopping, for example) and eventually put these distinct skills together to be a successful bike rider. For those of us in a position to provide the support and guidance, we find ourselves constantly providing feedback, with the ultimate goal of helping the child learn how to ride a bike safely and successfully, recognizing that they had to start somewhere. Read more

Simplified and Personalized: Formative Assessments

Categories: 21st Century Skills, Assessment

Based on The Quest For Learning: How To Maximize Student Engagement

In many classrooms, assessment is still an event. It might be an end-of-unit event, a benchmark event, or a “because it’s Friday” event. Whatever the assessment reason, inviting a more formative approach gives opportunities for frequent feedback in a couple of different ways.

  1. It shows the learner how well they are progressing toward a particular target, skill, or standard.
  2. It shows the learner which strategies work best for the learner to reach their targets.

In The Quest For Learning: How To Maximize Student Engagement (2017), we propose a simplified descriptive rubric to help teachers manage formative feedback, both at the beginning of a learning scenario and throughout it. Read more

Common assessment is key to improving student learning.

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Improving Student Learning: Together, We Can!

Categories: Assessment, PLC, School Improvement

Teaching can be exhausting. You work hard to create meaningful lessons, assessments, and interventions. You manage students in class with varying learning needs, behavior needs, and experiences. You grade papers and answer emails and phone calls. You participate in parent-student conferences, IEP meetings, and serve on committees or leadership teams. You manage duties on campus and fill out report cards. And all with little fanfare for the effort.

And, on top of everything, the hard work can be made more frustrating when high-stakes assessments show consistently poor student performance or little student growth. What is a teacher or school to do? Read more