Saturday, May 7, 2016

Assessment - it's more than a test! #MTBoS30 - 7


What is one significant practice in teaching?

Assessment!

You see it everywhere ... but it's so much more than a "test" marked right or wrong!

Assessment starts with planning ... it's the first step ... not the last!

What do you want students to know AND how will you know they know it?

But it's more than knowing what questions to ask at the end of a unit ... the bigger issue is how do you know students are getting "IT" all along the way!?!

Enter ... FORMATIVE assessment!

So formative assessment is not just a quiz over the lesson marked right or wrong!

It can't stop there ... otherwise the quiz is just so much one more grade ... 

What do you want to know about that lesson?
 ... can students demonstrate the process?
     ... can they explain the thinking that is involved?
          ... can they use the lesson topic in a way not demonstrated in class?
   ... do you want to know if students can just find an answer mimicking the notes given in class?

And now that you have designed the perfect question or task ... that's still not enough!

How will you respond to students?
... a grade at the top of their paper?
    .... a written note or two about their work?
         .... will you discuss it in class?
                 .... what feedback will students get?
                      ... what will they do with that feedback?

And yet there is still more ... yes, this one "formative assessment" amidst many still needs more attention!

What will YOU do with students' results??  You gave a grade, written feedback, or discussed it in class?  But how will the results affect your planning of the next lesson?

And people wonder about the fuss over assessment!  Yes those BIG tests ... there is so much we could write about those ... but really ... it's the day to day FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT that is ... 

... constant
    ... the daily grind or the daily AHA
           ... it's the BRAIN DRAIN - the really hard work!

Assessment ... it's the underpinning of success in the classroom!



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