Align Assess Achieve Districtwide Inservice August 23 and 24, 2011
Why does formative assessment matter?
- Think about at time you were in a classroom and you get a summative assessment...and that is the first time you found out how you really learned or did not learn....formative assessment helps summative assessment be better.
- To make formative assessment work....you need a balance between whole group assessment and individual formative assessment.
- It is NOT formative if we don’t use it to change instruction in a class...for example, exit cards don’t matter if you don’t do anything to go back and redo instruction or correct learning.
Where am I going?
- Enduring understanding and essential questions. (Resource for developing essential questions -click here)
- What do the kids really need to know...do they need to know about telescopes or do they really need to know how do we know what is in space? So the essential question might be how do scientists know...the learning targets deal with the specific content to help them get the larger concept
- How can we help students to link key ideas together?
- QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:
- Do our assessments accurately measure the align piece...are we assessing the right things?
- Can the kids actually apply the concepts or are they just memorizing and spitting back?
- Achievement needs a lot of student generated student focused pieces, so how am I working with my students to help them evaluate their own work?
- Differentiation builds on the info that you get from formative assessment, so how am I differentiating assessments and assignments?
- Descriptive feedback helps your students to gauge their own learning, how do I provide specific descriptive feedback? What does a star and a point total tell them about their understanding? Great job...but doesnt really know how they are doing learning...
- How can we rethink our grading practice...do points really tell us a lot about what level of understanding our student have ? Do the grades early on in a unit get averaged into the summative assessment. if so we might want to question giving grades on work that is practice. With most current grading practices, even if they get high points on the end product, if they scored low early in the unit, this will pull down their overall grade. This is a big change phylisophically.
- How much is too much feedback?
QUESTIONS WE REFLECTED ON:
- Which of the three keys is your strength..what is the area that you want to be your next step?
- What examples can you think of that show you approach each key with technology tools and more traditional tools?
- How can we begin to assess less..more quality less quantity?
- IDEAS: Using rubrics for assessing work is helpful...either teacher created or student generated. Give them a piece of work that might be a 2 and have them add to it to raise it to a 3 or 4. Use the comment section in the ProgressBook marks screen to provide feedback to students that parents can also see.
Emotional Impact of Assessment
Reflection: Think of a time when you are the person taking the test and it went well..how was it set up to make it a positive experience. What about a time when it was negative...what made it negative?
ACTIVITY: Build an positive assessment framework story from positive and negative stories....
- create a respectful environment for the students
- results should not humiliate students
- should not be a gotcha moment
- one on one...specific feedback....that was delivered in a constructive, positive way, specific ways to improve.
- Use specific symbols that match up with the learning targets as feedback
- Multiple ways to show what they know
- Use a rubric, checklist with clear expectations to communicate what they need to do.
- Have them develop rubric with you
- Teacher passion and response to what students need...the class is not just about you
- Using a portfolio approach...building on understanding using ongoing critiques
- Focusing on the end product
- Authentic real world applications
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT IDEAS
- Using clock faces to make appointments to share ideas,collect information or work on an activity...kids can fill all of the clock times with people...or you can set two of the times by telling them what kind of partner they need to find. Clock appts can be used for short discussions within a period...or can be used sporadically over a few days.
- Use “ I say we say” as a way to document what all kids are thinking in a class...because as a teacher roaming you might miss it. On one side of a card a group of students who has worked together agree on their group response, on the flip side of the cards, individual students write ideas that feel they want the teacher to see that may not have been included in the group answer.
- Quizzes can be a good tool for showing kids what kind of questions or problems they will see. They are not motivational to all kids. They should not necessarily be averaged into grades...punished kids for not getting it early on. Need to be used to adjust instruction. Should not be the only short term assessment used...especially if it is not daily.
- Formative assessment does not just mean frequent assessment....you need to CHANGE what is going on in the classroom or it becomes ineffective.
- The advantage of doing some type of formative assessment daily...lets you reteach or adjust instruction a little bit at a time rather than identifying groups of kids who aren’t getting it after a week and having to differentiate for two or three large groups.
- Balance classroom assessment with individual assessments.
BALANCED ASSESSMENT SYSTEM
- Classroom assessment ....individual student info on the journey toward mastering content...formative
- Program assessment...Dibels, Terra Nova and other normed tests help id students who are or are not meeting indicators...can be formative if info is used to adjust instruction for these students.
- Institutional assessment ....State wide testing, ACT, SAT ….summative
COMPONENTS OF QUALITY ASSESSMENT
- Accuracy.....purpose, who will use the info, aligned to the targets
- Design....what will it look like, what is the best method depending on the level of the learning target ....simple or complex...like performance assessments
- Target....is it assessing the skill defined in the learning target, is it helping to motivate the kids, do they respond positively even if the results aren’t great...they have a chance to say, hmmm, I kind of get this, I know what to do next, I will have a chance to try it again.
IDEA: Use a grade response sheet for quizzes or homework...lets kids grade it....shows them what learning target each question addressed....they decide if it was a simple mistake or a need to review or study mistake...gives the ownership to the kids. Lets them see what material they get or don’t get...allows teachers to give them targeted review or additional practice.
IDEA: Allowing kids to retake assessments gives kids a chance to continue to work on their learning...and identify areas of continued learning...having kids take ownership and relearn materials increases student involvement.
QUESTION FROM STAFF:
- How do we find time?...think about lessons you already do and see how you can build formative assessments in...formative assessment does NOT have to be a separate piece, it should become a part of the lesson itself.
- What are parents going to think about grading changes....if you are worried about this....don’t change it at first....do the learning targets. EVENTUALLY EDUCATE THE PARENTS...LET THEM KNOW THAT THE KIDS ARE BEING REWARDED FOR DOING WELL AT THE END.
- How do we improve our feedback?...Descriptive feedback tends to be reactionary and based on what we see today.....you need to give them feedback that helps them figure out where they are and what they need to do to get where they need to be.
IDEA :Write /Chat...write, on a big notepaper, a response to a prompt...then respond to what other people have written by drawing arrows to connect your responses to other people's responses...it works better if you make students stand. Then post all the posters and have kids walk around the room (called a Gallery Walk), circle any statement that you feel strongly about...then write two in their notebook, then on a card...tell them you have 3 minutes to write about one of the topics...free write....then turn in. You can use this as test review by putting the big question or ideas in the middle and having kids respond, do more of the cafe approach where you have 5 or 6 different question stations and they rotate each question and see responses fro other groups and add to them..then do the gallery walk to see all the responses..as a teacher, you can see the misconceptions. You can also have kids color code similar comments to look for shared ideas, consensus on a topic or things that are most important to the group.
Write/Chat Prompt We Used: Todays students are bored with many components of the curr...some would argue that new basics must replace some of what we have taught for years...we need to restructure our curriculum to better prepare our students for the future....prompt for the write response activity. Once students have responded, give them a week of studying and learning and tell them to.go back and look at your original statement. They will either shift their thinking or they may decide they strengthened their thinking. Write again and include evidence from the reading, writing and discussion they have done to support their shifts or strengthening.
Questioning can be a valid form of formative assessment...as a preassessment, a midstream assessment or at the end to look for growth and understanding...this is an easy way to step into formative assessment. Have kids all write down a question and pick three to address in class.
Planning questions in advance is important...if you don’t plan questions ahead of time, you don’t get the results you want. Move away from asking them easy questions....if they dont answer immediately, we tend to reduce back to very basic questions..which robs the class of the opportunity to learn...force them to answer the questions and do the work....If you say" we are not moving forward until we get five reasons for the civil war" dont move forward..say who is going to get us started. This is important..if you give in and do the work for them...you wont know if they really know it or not. Hands up does not give you any useful info.....share out strategies on how to make sure that you are hearing from everyone.
WHERE AM I GOING 7 STRATEGIES OF FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT
- Students should be provided with a clear vision of the ultimate learning goal and the progression of learning targets to get there.
- Handout the rubric if you are using it, and provide them with multiple examples of strong and weak work...this keeps them from just duplicating the best work example. Strong work is not always beautiful. It is the content that is important, so make sure that the examples focus on quality and not beauty.
- Where am I now
- students should be provided with regular descriptive feedback...need examples from a variety of grade levels and content areas.
- kids should be able to improve their own work.
- kids should be taught both peer and self assessment...need to work with class on getting them to identify quality work......and to understand that one persons quality work is not the same as someone else’s work. Kids need to work on using self peer and teacher feedback to improve my work.
- Post criteria for feedback on the wall...one elementary teacher made stick people...each piece of the stick person was a symbol for a writing function...head is attempt, the smile is for nose is a c for capitalization, the eyes are for end punctuation, the smile is for legibility, dimples for spacing, the w for hair is for using words of day (or any other words you are focusing on), body was for attempt to using phonetics, balloons were for descriptive words, the p for hands is for prewriting.
- design lessons to focus on one aspect or quality at a time
- Teach student focused revision
- Students should be provided opportunities to set learning goals, self reflect, track and share their learning
Why would kids want to do work that isn’t worth points?
IDEAS : dont tell them it isnt for points. Convey that what you are doing is valuable and that it will be used to change something in class.
What is our game plan for kids who don’t want to do the work we want them to do?
IDEAS: develop a grade contract with the class that defines the quality of work and the mastery level you expect for each traditional letter grade then let them know all work they do is part of the grade contract, offering choices for how to “show what they know”. Find little ways for those kids to experience little successes. One option...if you have done 80% of your formative assessment work,you earn the right to correct your summative assessment. Or....give them a form, when you take the summative assessment and you don’t do well....if you want to retake, parent signs off on your estimation and explanation of why you think you didn’t do well and a plan for what you will do to prepare before taking it again.
How do we use formative assessment to boost the scores of high achievers?
IDEAS: it raises the bar...still use the data...how are we helping them to stretch their learning....add in real world applications, performance tasks....id early in the unit who is getting it and give them extensions. Need more examples of how to extend work....and provide interesting opportunities....not a packet of more work....This would be a good place for service learning. Collaborate with others. Use Carol Ann Tomlison gifted curriculum compacting...18 tech for challenging kids. Many of these are based on the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy - coming up with a variety of lesson activities that address the same content or learning target, but fall at different levels on the Bloom’s chart.
DIFFERENTIATION AND BLOOM’S TAXONOMY - Resources
RESOURCE LINKS FOR DIFFERENTIATION STRATEGIES:
- Effective Questioning and Critical Thinking
- R.A.F.T Writing Assignments
- Structured Academic Controversy
The Alignment Key
- Scaffold test questions by learning target and by Bloom’s level
- Learning targets need to be clear and give learners a clue about where they are going...and they need to be scaffolded, what skills do they need to have prior to working on the learning target...what are the deeper understandings.
- National Standards...not from the federal level, coming from the states, designed around college and career readiness, internationally benchmarked
- Provide consistent expectations for all
- Performance expected at the end, not just spitting back information
- Internationally benchmarked
- Prepare students for Global Success
Target Date for Assessment of Core Standards 2014-2015
- Reading...literature and informational text (foundational skills k-5)
- Speaking and Listening
History, Social Studies, Science and tech subjects
- Two strands- connected to informational text
FEEDBACK FROM DISCUSSION: k-5 Integrate reading and writing across the curriculum but not so much in the secondary grades.
Making connections to reading and writing and content areas like science and social studies...teaching content area teachers reading and writing strategies. How can we chunk ideas together. What strategies can we embed to help them with literacy and writing skills.
The 10 core standards in literacy and reading are the same in ELA, Soc and Science across k-12....in my science class we read, so what are the strategies that I can teach them to help them decode the reading or write ideas successfully. PE classes can journal and do this aligned to the common core literacy standards.
Common Core Math
- Mathematical Practice k-12
- Describe habits of mind of a mathematically expert student...there are 8 of them that need to be connected to content
- make sense of problems and persevere to solve them
- reason abstractly and quantitively
- construct viable arguements and crtique the reasoning of others
- model with math
- use appropriate tools strategically
- attend to precision
- look for and make use of structure
- look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.
k8 organized by grade level with domains that progress over several grades
grade introductions give 2-4 focal points each grade level
HS standards presented by conceptual theme...number and quantity,algebra, functions, modeling, geometry, statistics and probability.
Changes to look for:
- K math has really changed...no patterning
- 1st grade no more money or making change
- 2nd grade gets patterns, coins skip counting
- 6th grade has a lot more statistics and alg concepts
We now have to change the HOW are we teaching and the WHAT are we teaching.
COMMON CORE VOCABULARY
CCR career and college readiness k12. with grade level specific standards
Math Domains are broken into Clusters of related standards....standard is a grade level
Standard...is now Strand or Domain
Benchmark....CCR and Clusters
GUIDING QUESTIONS: Assessment is planned for 2014-15.
- How are we going to clarify and communicate learning expectations?
- How are we going to effectively instruct and assess these standards?
- How will we adjust instruction to meet students needs...and push for deeper understandings?
Enduring Understandings...big idea powerful statement for the teachers what do we want students to take with them into the future...these are for the Teacher...setting the destination in our own teacher terms. Must last beyond one unit of study. Like Science is a way of investigating the world we live in.
Essential Questions ...Engaging hook..thought provoking question to engage students. The deeper meaning you want students to obtain..This is what you want students to continually come back to. These don’t have easy answers...there should not be a basic answer they can find in their book...example. What are the reasons for conflict between Native Americans and settlers vs was conflict inevitable (this is more like an enduring understanding) provide an approach to thinking about any given concept or content, inspire students to think, ex. how do I use what I know to figure out what I don’t know, what is wellness, how do my choices help make me a better reader, who will read my writing.
Learning Targets....scaffolding....steps that students need to climb as they move toward deeper understanding. This is where formative assessment comes in. Learning Targets are the steps students take as they move toward understanding.
Larger grain targets...may have more than one piece.
Smaller grain targets are more specific and deal with only one thing at a time
4 TYPES OF LEARNING TARGETS
- knowledge...master factual and procedural info. name, recognize, recall
- reasoning.....use knowledge to reason and solve problems.
- skill and application....skill mastery. read, measure assemble
- product....create or design a product. design, produce. this can also be a summative assessment
The type of target determines the type of assessment.
Sample For Essential Questions
Using Mona Lisa’s Smile video clip..how does the creation and use of essential questions help to change her classroom...."is it any good" "what is art" what makes it good or bad...who decides what is good or bad taking role of facilitating a conversation
ACTIVITY: List your units...what are the things that keep coming up over and over...these are the essential questions...and teachers keep referring to these same questions year after year.
Let go of TELLING UNDERSTANDING...let the kids grapple with the deeper meanings.