Hello Everyone! I am an Algebra 1 teacher for a cyber school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My biggest challenge is implementing an effective assessment system. I am currently using a standards-based grading approach. I have a rough draft model that represents how I might want to implement it; however, I need input from other teachers on how I can improve it. I am also curious to know the models that other teachers use to assess their students. Here is my current model:
I normally begin introducing a topic with a 3-act math task, a visual writing prompt, a notice and wonder or a Desmos activity. After a class discussion and we work on some examples (to build procedural knowledge), it is time to provide an assessment to see where the students are at with regards to that particular learning goal. I give each student what I call a “learning goal assessment”. The assessment contains 1 or 2 open ended problems and are completed in a program called OneNote (digital notebook). Students are required to show and explain their work. The assessment is given in class and they have as much time as they need to complete the assessment. When students complete the assessment, they are then given the rest of the class period to complete level up tasks on prior learning goals. I have been using open middle problems (www.openmiddle.com) for the level up tasks. During the next two evenings, I review each of the students learning goal assessments and provide either a check -, check or check + based on the work they displayed. If a student’s work is incomplete, they receive a check -. If a student’s work is complete but has not shown proficiency, then they receive a check. If a student earns a proficient rating they receive a check +. As I review each of the student responses to the learning goal assessment, I write down any common errors or misconceptions that I see. I usually need two evenings to review all the students work. At this point I don’t assign a grade in the gradebook. The following class period I take all the students who received a check – or a check and we discuss the learning goal assessment using the common errors and misconceptions to reteach the concept. For the students who received a check +, they work on their level up tasks on prior learning goals (to get mastery status). Once the class period concludes the students who received a check – or a check are required to fix the learning goal assessment and submit it in the LMS for further review. If everything looks good then they are permitted to begin working on their level up tasks. So, here are some questions I have:
• It is impossible to leave individual feedback for every single task that students complete. Do you feel that taking a quick look at each students work, jotting down common errors and misconceptions and using that to reteach is an effective strategy? I am not writing down every mistake students are making, but I feel that each student will be able to take what they learn from this and fix their mistakes.
• What should I do if students are absent when I giving the class a learning goal assessment? My game plan was to have the student complete the learning goal assessment after school hours and then provide them the class link (live classes are recorded and can be viewed later) to the review.
• How many levels should I have? Here is what I have right now. Each learning goal assessment is worth 10 points.
0 = student did not complete the learning goal assessment or is incomplete
5 = student completed the learning goal assessment but did not achieve proficiency
8 = student displayed proficiency on the learning goal assessment and is now ready to complete the level 2 task
9 = student completed the level 2 task and after teacher review is ready for the level 3 task
10 = student mastered the learning goal.
• Do you think it is appropriate to leave individual feedback on level 2 and level 3 tasks? I think this is more manageable than having to leave individual feedback on the learning goal assessments and all the level up tasks.
I think I am going to end here and see what everyone has to say. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I am looking forward to using my experiences to help others who may need some ideas on other class challenges.