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  • Kristie D’Arcangelo

    August 19, 2022 at 4:02 pm

    This set of assessment strategies truly tests some of the practices in my district and school.

    #1 – Thankfully this is strongly encouraged but I feel that my administration thinks of it differently. They want us to offer different options for students to show their understanding versus having multiple opportunities throughout the year to show their knowledge.

    #2 – I do this quite a bit with student reflection journals where I have them respond to prompts about their present confidence with a topic, feelings/thoughts about math and themselves as mathematicians, among other prompts. On assessments I do tend to highlight areas of concern so that they know where to focus their attention to try and fix the error. I don’t write too much as I am looking to see if they can “figure it out” on their own first.

    #3 – Students should always have an opportunity to show their understanding even if it well past the assessed time. I have students re-do and explain their errors and if they can’t figure out what exactly went wrong, they tell me how they know what they did this time is correct.

    #4 – I wish that our school graded this way in middle school. Unfortunately only K-4 are presently grading on a standards based scale. I am not sure how I could possibly record data for standards and learning goals as well as the traditional grading and not spend tons of time on this. I would like to reflect more on this one.

    #5 – I feel like with using a lot of the BTC practices in my classroom that I presently do this a lot. I enjoy listening to students explain their thinking and express their learning verbally.

    #6 – This is something I had started a few years ago but I see now how I can improve it by making it a weekly “check in” and limiting the quantity of questions. I have found that in the past it took some students the entire class to complete and now I have an idea of why. It relates to #9.

    #7 – I have struggled at times to get units completed and have recreated assessments to address only those topics that we had actually gotten to in the unit rather than rush to squeeze it all in with very likely minimal student learning and understanding.

    #8 – I absolutely love this one and intend to make sure that any assessments I give be cumulative. My weekly check-ins will address information from prior weeks and before as I am hoping to do a lagged practice/HW set up with my content. I definitely want to add more problems from previous units of study to keep students thinking about those prior topics over and over.

    #9 – As a former special education teacher and a co-teacher of special education students this one is tough to swallow as many student IEPs require the student to have study guides and review before assessments. They are expected to be informed of all that the assessment will address. So many of today’s students expect to be prepared fully for assessments through the use of review days/games, study aides, notes, etc. I am not sure how this would be received in my building. I do understand the principle behind it for sure and now see that my thought of having students use their notes on assessments to help them complete the concepts accurately with reminders if necessary is not actually helping my students to develop permanence of their learning. I believe that this year I will definitely allow students access to their notes for practice but that in order to assess their understanding in a more accurate manner I need to have those notes, hints, and help not be acceptable. I can now understand how the mini check in #6 can only take half the class as it is only 4-6 questions that if they know they can complete and if they don’t understand still, they will leave blank or just make something up without a reference to look back to. I will need to foster the understanding that it is completely 100% okay to not know something YET and that we will keep working on it so that they can get it eventually.

    #10 – I love the way that this is worded and presented. I am going to strongly consider adjusting the wording on my syllabus before the year starts to identify assessments as tools for learning and that my expectation is that they will work to improve their learning through additional work with the concepts.