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The latest on assessment & grading
Education news, tips, & resources for December
Learning and Leading Professional Learning News, December 2020 Edition: Assessment & Grading
Welcome to the December 2020 edition of Learning and Leading.

As we approach the school holiday season, we are all looking forward to a much-deserved break from the “new normal” or what some might more accurately call crisis teaching. As educators, we also equate this time of year with end-of-term or mid-term assessments.

Thankfully, many provinces and districts have put a pause on standardized tests and some summative assessments like tests and exams. Like many activities in education, assessment and evaluation are different now, based on the summer learning gap that was more like a spring-summer learning gap, and the blend of remote, cohort, or hybrid classrooms. However, assessment must continue, but differently this year as we adapt to an ever-changing teaching environment.

In this month’s edition of Learning and Leading, we focus on assessment and grading to help you think about what assessment might look like this month and in 2021. Some highlights in this edition include downloadable content from Tom Schimmer’s Growing Tomorrow’s Citizens in Today’s Classrooms, a free recording from our Mind the Gaps webinar series, and a blog post from Katie White on the power of focusing on strengths and celebrations during this challenging time in schools.

Enjoy this month’s newsletter, and have a safe and restful holiday season…you deserve it.
—Solution Tree Education Canada

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New Episode Available Now!
Episode 5 of Inside the Treehouse Podcast dropped December 4, and features Sharon Kramer. As the first member of her family to graduate from high school, Kramer went on to become a pioneering voice for priority schools. Hear her story and what advice she has for educators today. Available now on your favorite podcast app.
New and Best-selling Books
Coaching Your Classroom
Coaching Your Classroom
How to Deliver Actionable Feedback to Students
By Garnet Hillman and Mandy Stalets
Maximize student self-efficacy and growth by providing high-quality feedback students can act on.
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Grading From the Inside Out
Grading From the Inside Out
Bringing Accuracy to Student Assessment Through a Standards-Based Mindset
By Tom Schimmer
The time for grading reform is now. Discover the steps your team can take to implement standards-based practices that transform grading and reporting schoolwide.
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The New Art and Science of Classroom Assessment
The New Art and Science of Classroom Assessment
By Robert J. Marzano, Jennifer S. Norford, and Mike Ruyle
Learn how to shift to a new paradigm of classroom assessment that truly reflects course curriculum and student progress.
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Finding Creativity Through Assessment
By Katie White
Discover how to design rich learning experiences and thoughtful assessments that encourage creativity, inquiry, and growth, rather than compliance and “right answers.”
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Growing Tomorrow’s Citizens in Today’s Classrooms
Growing Tomorrow’s Citizens in Today’s Classrooms
By Cassandra Erkens, Tom Schimmer, and Nicole Dimich
Learn how to design meaningful assessment and instruction that promotes student mastery of essential 21st century skills, including collaboration, creative thinking, digital citizenship, and more.
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Assessing Unstoppable Learning
Assessing Unstoppable Learning
By Tom Hierck and Angela Freese
Editors: Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey
Explore the element of assessing in the Unstoppable Learning model and learn step-by-step actions for reworking your assessment systems.
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The Student-Centered Classroom
The Student-Centered Classroom
Transforming Your Teaching and Grading Practices
By Jeanetta Jones Miller
Leave behind one-size-fits-all lessons, tests, and grades in favor of a student-centered approach that is interactive, individualized, and rigorous.
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Leading Standards-Based Learning
Leading Standards-Based Learning
An Implementation Guide for Schools and Districts
By Tammy Heflebower, Jan K. Hoegh, Philip B. Warrick
Acquire a research-backed, five-phase plan for leading the transition to a standards-based grading system in your school or district.
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On-site and Online
Professional Development
The Solution Tree Assessment Center
The Solution Tree Assessment Center
The Solution Tree Assessment Center will help you develop assessment literacy across your school or district to ensure every student, regardless of background, is college and career ready.
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75-Minute Immediate Impact Institutes
Free chapter
Assessment: Just-in-Time Assessment—Gathering Information and Taking Action
Featuring Katie White
Explore formative assessment—with a special focus on pre-assessment—that readies you to serve students in the best ways possible.
Watch preview and learn more »
Free reproducible
Student Self-Efficacy—Where Are We Going? How Am I Doing? What Do I Need to Do?
Featuring Tim Brown
Examine essential characteristics for building student self-efficacy and what those elements mean for virtual and in-person practices.
Watch preview and learn more »
Upcoming Events
Twitter Chat
Twitter Chat
The All Things Assessment Twitter Chat takes place on Tuesday evenings at 6:00 pm PT/9:00 pm ET. Join in at #ATAssessment.
RTI at Work Portable Event Package
RTI at Work™ Portable Event Package
Presenters: Austin Buffum, Brian K. Butler, Luis F. Cruz, Nicole Dimich, Mike Mattos, and Sarah Schuhl
Get 30-day unlimited access to brand-new keynotes and breakout sessions delivered by education experts who have successfully led schools through the RTI process.
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Grading from the Inside Out Virtual Workshop
Grading From the Inside Out Virtual Workshop: A Live 2-Day Event with Tom Schimmer
The Grading From the Inside Out Virtual Workshop is focused on the practices and processes that will modernize grading and reporting systems to be more aligned to our standards-based instructional paradigm.
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free resources
Free Chapter
Free chapter
Access a free chapter from Growing Tomorrow’s Citizens that dives deep into how to assess critical thinking.
Download chapter »
Free Reproducible
Free reproducible
Rely on this free Critical-Thinking Skills Rubric from Growing Tomorrow’s Citizens to help you accurately measure your students’ critical thinking skills.
Download reproducible »
AllThingsAssessment Blog
“Let’s Talk Strengths and Celebrations” by Katie White
When I am working with teacher groups to analyze student work, our first area of focus is always student strengths. By identifying areas of celebration from the outset, we nurture optimism and hope in teachers, which they can then…
Continue reading »
Katie White
Free videos
The Purpose of Assessment | Free Video featuring Tom Schimmer
The Purpose of Assessment
Featuring Tom Schimmer
Watch as Tom Schimmer describes the relationship between formative and summative assessment, as well as the difference between common grading practices and standard-based grading practices.
Watch now »
Free Webinar: Mind the Gaps featuring Nicole Dimich
Mind the Gaps: Transforming Assessment Practices in Unprecedented Times to Ensure Student Success
During this webinar, expert Nicole Dimich provides guidance on how to design meaningful assessments that empower you to be instructionally agile and your students to be invested in their learning.
Watch now »
Additional Listening & Watching
Videos from Education Week on Formative Assessment
Featured Videos
Formative-Assessment Videos
from Education Week
Using formative-assessment strategies, educators can gather information about what students are learning while they’re learning it. In these two videos, see how formative-assessment techniques play out in the classroom.
Watch now »
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