Learning through Leading

Posted: September 16, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

I was fortunate this past week to meet with teachers and pre-conference setting professional goals, talking about how I could support those goals, what I might expect to see in the classroom and more. The most powerful part of the conversation was determining how we would assess whether or not our strategies  are working. These were hard conversations because it is difficult to measure literacy because it is complex, and we are not trained in assessment writing. I contend that we are better than we believe but through discussion, study, research, and collaboration (PLNs, ) we will improve our practice. As I proceeded through conference after conference, teachers amazed me with their creativity and innovation when it came to formative assessment ideas.

Creativity has been in the forefront of my mind since watching the Sir Ken Robinson TED talk. In a time with increasing formalization, standardization and accountability, I believed creativity and teacher autonomy was in jeopardy. What I am learning through leading is that teachers are being more creative than ever utilizing technology, new teaching strategies and pedagogies, and working together to meet students’ needs.  Although I am not shocked at teacher innovation and creativity, I am inspired to share. Below are some of the ideas that were shared in pre-conferences to measure our building literacy goal. Some measures are formal and others are very informal. We must not forget that we are highly trained professionals who can trust informal formative assessment measures and our perception of student learning as measures of efficacy. A balanced look at assessment includes all measures. I hope these help you think about assessment differently and take away confidence in your ability to measure student learning. If you have an innovative way of assessing student learning, please share your methods using the comments feature.

Perception Data (What students think and believe about their learning):

  • Ask the students if the strategy worked for them:
  • Fist to five – Student raises hand with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 asking a question about understanding, preference, etc,
  • Reflection sheet including strategies and asking student to indicate preference based on performance or interest
  • Use white boards to respond
  • Clicker response systems
  • Exit tickets
  • Time for student to reflect
  • Polls using Google Forms, Poll Everywhere, etc.

Summative (To assess learning):

  • Require students to interact with teacher feedback-  resubmit writing/assignment with corrections based on teacher feedback
  • Literacy questions modeled after ACT test questions
  • Utilize GAINS and released test passages and questions
  • Short answer and essay quiz and test questions
  • Essays
  • Blogs
  • Cold reads including charts and graphs
  • Tests and quizzes
  • Portfolios
  • Intentionally grouped students (discussion, projects, presentations)

Formative (Used to inform instruction):

  • Observations
  • Discussion/Debate (Take a stand, 4 corner dabate, etc.)
  • Polls (using Google Forms, Poll Everywhere, fist to five, etc.)
  • Blogs
  • Discussion boards
  • Collaboration using Google Drive
  • Learning Logs/Blogs
  • Graphic organizers
  • Peer/Self Assessment
  • Portfolios/journals
  • Intentionally grouped students (discussion, projects, presentations)
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