Make Math Moments Academy › Forums › Full Workshop Reflections › Module 6: Long-Range Planning and Assessment to Make Math Moments That Matter › Lesson 6-6: Effective Assessment Strategies to Promote Learning, Not Labeling › Lesson 6-6: Questions
AdministratorMay 1, 2019 at 12:13 pm
Share your questions, comments, concerns, and thinking about the assessment strategies shared in this lesson.
MemberJuly 7, 2019 at 9:00 pm
I am really excited about assessment by learning goal. I have already created a table for my first unit, just to get it clear in my mind. As you know, I am a huge proponent of assessment for learning not labeling; I don’t have to give grades at my school, so all of my assessments are for information, to help me know what’s being understood and what isn’t. By keeping this detailed record, I’ll be able to give much better feedback to the students and parents. Thank you!
MemberJanuary 3, 2021 at 10:59 pm
The ideas fit in well with what I’ve learnt from Peter Liljedahl’s new book ‘Building Thinking Classrooms’.
I want to set up an assessment plan so that students have multiple opportunities to demonstrate learning (spaced out over the school year) – I will be able to do this by spiralling the content and assessment.
I already provide descriptive feedback that is timely and relevant to the learning, providing next steps. I have avoided giving grades/marks/scores for a couple of years. I try and involve the students in providing feedback as well.
I liked the idea of providing opportunities for students to re-address struggles from tests and quizzes using student-initiated conversations or presentations to demonstrate their new learning. This puts the onus on students and means that the door is not shut once the test has or quiz has been given. It makes way for learning to happen all through the year.
I like this idea ‘assess by learning goal or standards-based grading’ as it allows students to have the opportunity to make progress over the year rather than event-based assessment.
Assess using conversations, observations and product instead of limiting evidence to student product such as tests or quizzes – yes, this is something I aim to use more this year. I will look at setting up a grade book spreadsheet that provides room for evidence of each concept. I think I will use a shorthand recording system (like I saw in Peter’s book) to show whether the concept was shown individually, within a group, with help from the teacher/another student, as a conversation or observation. If the concept was shown within a group, I would want to see it shown again in another situation such as individually.
Shorter more frequent assessment with fewer concepts (4-6 questions each week) – yes, I agree with this. There is nothing worse for students and teachers than having to sit/mark a long test. If the assessments are more frequent and shorter, they are more likely to be used to progress learning.
Evaluate and report on the progress of student learning even if a unit of study has not been completed. Yes, spiralling the content will help with this as even if all concepts have not been covered as intended, they will have been covered to a surface degree.
Use cumulative assessments (involve some content from earlier in the year) – use the information to reintroduce learning goals that have not yet been learnt. This is something new. I think it is a more accurate way of gathering assessment data as it is more about what the students have learned rather than crammed for.
Eliminate review days and study guides (this will provide accurate assessment data) – assessment to promote learning. Yes, I agree with this, too. This change will mean that the consolidation part of the lesson needs to be done very well so students are clear about what they have been learning and how what they have been learning connects with previous lessons.
Brand assessment for learning, not for labelling students with a grade – totally agree.
AdministratorJanuary 4, 2021 at 3:13 pm
Sounds like a lot of ideas here resonated! Love that you’re diving into Peter’s book. I had an opportunity to review it for Peter before it came out and I’m now doing a book talk with educators in my district. Great to read AND re-read!
If you were to look at all of these ideas that resonated, what is one that you think you might be able to put into practice now and what is another that might take more time / reflection / planning?
MemberMarch 16, 2021 at 7:40 pm
Wow Melanie! You really have incorporated both Peter Liljedahl ideas and Kyle’s & Jon’s effective assessment strategies into a well thought out plan that sounds great for your classroom. I plan on keeping your post for reference as I plan for my own classroom and continue to read and reread “Building Think Classrooms”. I think this video and what I have read from Peter really resonates that my assessment practices need to change to promote learning and not labelling.
MemberFebruary 23, 2021 at 1:59 pm
I am sold on the idea of using conversations, observations and product for assessment. I have struggled with how to keep daily notes on student progress – still working on that. I’m predicting the biggest struggle will be to convince colleagues (and parents) that this different assessment method benefits the students – but I believe the evidence and outcome will ultimately prove the value.
AdministratorFebruary 24, 2021 at 6:30 am
@rhonda-offield Here’s a couple of tips I’ve been working on: You don’t need notes on every kid every day. Choose students to touch base with that you haven’t seen evidence from. 2. Most teachers observe and have conversations with students daily – that’s not new. What’s new for folks is being comfortable using those in their grades. We have to almost just give permission to ourselves that we CAN do it.
MemberMarch 7, 2021 at 11:19 am
The video refers to blogs posted below regarding assessing by learning goal. I am having trouble finding those links. Could you please direct me to them? Thanks.
MemberMarch 11, 2021 at 1:27 pm
It took me a few years before I started to make my assessment cumulative, and I have felt that was a great way to understand student learning throughout the year instead of one small snapshot on all my learning goals. The one idea that I will start doing from your ten will be to give feedback and not assign a grade. I see that I spend a lot of time providing feedback, but it is ignored once the students see their label or grade for the assessment. I think the feedback is very important because it will give the students a way to grow instead of accepting where they are.
AdministratorMarch 12, 2021 at 6:20 am
Would love to hear how it goes!
MemberMarch 22, 2021 at 5:07 pm
My Assessment Plan:
I have started to spiral my curriculum to allow students a chance to re-address their struggles.
I introduced Mastery Mondays to give an opportunity to consolidate their understanding and to respond to feedback and show their understanding.
I have been using observations and conversations for a while to assess students. I always have my spreadsheet handy to jot down observations and progress of learning.
I am not a fan of review days and I have been guilty of cramming a unit to fit it in to do an assessment before the end of term. In fact we are running out of time this term but I am resisting the urging to simply get it done. I really want to teach properly so that students can gain a true conceptual understanding.
MemberMarch 23, 2021 at 1:07 pm
My assessment plan:
Start with spiraling and classroom culture. Spend June and July of out 11 month school year introducing interesting tasks to both get a baseline for me and for students to see what they already know, to introduce some basics of the year together, to introduce the tasks that we will come back to later in the year as we gather more tools and to develop a culture of noticing, wondering, sharing and growth.
As we go through the year, I will have specific standards that I will intend to spiral each unit with. We will end each Mon, Wed and Fri with an Exit Ticket assessment that will not be skill from that day but the previous week (lagging) and not just the skill from the unit but from a previous unit. It will be short (1-4 questions) because there will be many.
For each, I will record a 1-5 on the standards based grading system we use privately for my records but will share my comments. I really like the spreadsheet you shared before for this. Then I will ask students to self assess with a “Still working/Got it/I could teach this.”
I will also include skills that students struggled with in future lessons either embedded in the new content or on monthly “game days” before re-assessing.
On progress reports, I will show students how many times we have assessed that skill rather than an overall score and they will respond with “I need a jump start to grow more in this skill/I am growing in this skill/I have mastered this skill”
MemberApril 16, 2021 at 10:40 am
I really liked the idea of keeping a learning goal spreadsheet open so I can update each student’s mastery of a learning goal right after conversing with them.
MemberApril 16, 2021 at 5:19 pm
I like these ideas and see how it creates a learning environment instead of a demoralizing or competitive one. My first focus, and a good exercise as a new teacher, is to focus on the learning goals. The students and I all need to know them and what success looks like. One challenge is to figure out all of the relevant learning goals that a math task may include.
MemberApril 22, 2021 at 5:56 pm
Hey what a huge information in just one video. I’ll begin with some questions.
I’ve seen in the your assessment sheet that you put a grade in every learning goal. How do you do it without putting a grade in some items?
I use to do not put marks in the fiscal works of the students, I put just indications. You have remembered me that I have to put more positive information. But in classroom or moodle I assess by a rubric related to the teaching goals and dimensions that we have work in that activity. So students could have and idea about in which goals they are fine and in which goals they are not. But They have a grade of each activity and for the different dimensions. For me it is difficult to change grades at least in dimensions because that’s how we make the final reports. I need new ideas.
How do you do to get moments to assess goals in class? For me it seems like impossible. What I use to do is to make student do videos explaining why some part of activity was wrong and how can they do to do it well, some times it works fantastic but some others they make videos explaining wrong information then if I have time I give them some feedback to help them readdress their thinking and they make another video. But some times, like now I have more then 70 videos to watch, I’ll not have time to give the feedback at the time it has to be done.
I will definitely drop out of test review classes. They have always cost me a lot and have never been of much use for anything. Thank you for helping me make that decision.
As I assess the learning golds in different activities, the final grade for the gold and for the dimension is an average. Normally In my 10<sup>th</sup> grade class the students believe that if they improve their work they can have a better assessment and so that will meant they are improving their learning. So for the ones of 10<sup>th</sup> grade, my formative style of assessment is working. But I do not have this good feedback from the ones in 8<sup>th</sup> grade, my style of assessment it is not working at all with them I will think about it, I will think about the 10 assessment strategies and I’ll see what can I change.
AdministratorApril 23, 2021 at 7:11 am
Assessment is challenging – as the length of your wonders would confirm. We do our best to maximize class time for students doing math – problem solving, purposeful practice, etc and minimize the amount of time we are doing the talking.
As for the spreadsheet – everyone has a different approach. Our sheet doesn’t include a mark for any type of average, median, mode etc unless we fill in a value. So if we don’t want it to be included in any sort of summary, we leave it blank.
Now, @jon uses fresh grade and I’m not currently in a classroom, but I’d be using our district platform Edsby to do the same thing.
Hope this helps as you keep on this journey!
MemberJune 9, 2021 at 5:01 pm
Will you please give me a copy of the assessment gamification Google Sheet?
MemberJune 18, 2021 at 11:49 am
I am familiar with most of these strategies and my favorites from the list were the following: Provide multiple opportunities for demonstration of learning, readdress struggles, assess by learning goal and make assessments cumulative, provide opportunities to demonstrate understanding through discourse, and have shorter more frequent assessments. What I am most excited about creating for next year are cumulative assessments. I have always wanted to come up with a system where I was constantly teaching and assessing students on previously taught lessons but struggled with how to implement it. After the spiraling modules along with this assessment module I feel like I am ready to take this step and put it into action. I already use bits and pieces of most of these strategies, but now I feel like I can put it all together and have a continuous flow of spiraled units and assessments.
AdministratorJune 21, 2021 at 6:46 am
We’re glad this gave you some insight. We also have a full course on assessment in the Academy if you’d like to dig deeper.
MemberJune 21, 2021 at 3:52 pm
The no review idea is a bit out of my comfort zone, although I understand why you have included it. I guess I have always considered it helping students prepare (perhaps because it helped me as a student?). Assessing throughout rather than with larger tools that can make or break kids is going to be a really important goal for me.
AdministratorJune 23, 2021 at 9:31 am
We were totally in the same boat with the no review days as you. That is until we started with the smaller assessments. Once we started with those we realized we didn’t need the review days. You’ll definitely want to do what you feel is right for your students!
MemberJune 26, 2021 at 4:43 pm
I’m going to look over some of the extra materials (morning work / number talks) that I use and ID what learning goals/standards are in these sets. I have used these materials before and have never thought about using them as an ‘assessments towards standards’ grade. But I think this might be a real way that I can start. I love the idea of providing feedback on goals – I do that with my work with reading … it makes total sense to do this with math too. Thanks so much for your clear strategies to help me start thinking about how to make this work. For me, starting with these “extra” materials is a good place to start – it’s a small step but it could have been rewards. I like that idea.
MemberJuly 1, 2021 at 9:56 am
My district requires a Mid and End of Module Assessment that must be scored and inputted for individual class, building and district planning and reporting. After watching this video I am rethinking how I will assess while still meeting the demands of my district. I will start with providing my students with only feedback on their assessments instead of a specific grade. The computer generates a color band that shows students who have no mastery, little mastery, some mastery, mastery of the problem. I will share the color bands and show students how they move along the color bands as progress instead of a numeric grade. We are required to score the Mid and End Module Assessments but it does not say that we must give it all at the same time but just when the assessment needs to be inputted. So I will use the questions from the assessments as part of a weekly cumulative assessment. Each week I will provide 1 or 2 questions from the current assessment along with questions from previous assessments. This will allow me to see the growth across the unit and pivot or change my teaching plans as needed. It will also allow me to see if students are retaining previously taught materials. This will provide students multiple opportunities to show their learning as I will recycle questions from previous units which will allow me to see growth as students try the problems again.
Finally I would like to set up my grade book by standards instead of just by assignments. This is something I will need to look at more closely and see how others have done it.
MemberJuly 2, 2021 at 6:00 pm
These tools for assessment will ensure a better understanding for both myself and the students. I plan to begin regularly documenting notes from conversations and observations with all students. I can see the benefit of having cumulative assessments.
AdministratorJuly 3, 2021 at 7:59 am
Glad to hear it! Let us know how it goes and if you notice any positive effects!
MemberJuly 8, 2021 at 4:27 pm
This section gave me a lot to think about as I determine how I will set up my assessment plan for next year. My district has required common unit assessments (given during a set 5-day window) in the past but is looking at allowing us to forgo these this year and assess as we see fit for units so long as our students take a common mid-term and final. I think I am leaning toward the shorter, more frequent assessment at this point, but am still formalizing the details.
The difficult part for me is setting something up that will benefit the kids, promote their continued forward progress, and that I will have the time to implement with fidelity.
MemberJuly 9, 2021 at 4:19 pm
As heard in the podcasts, deciding to transition to problem based instruction and standard based assessment answers the 10 strategies outlined in this post. If I am changing my assessment practices to reflect the soft skills (4 Cs) I value in the classroom, I need to provide students more timely feedback to grow them. Additionally, there would be no point in offering actionable feedback unless students had multiple opportunities to reassess. Therefore, making just the change in assessment provide the need and opportunity for actionable feedback.
Also, if I value student collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication I need a more holistic approach to assessment. I believe my district requires clear and comprehensive rubrics for projects and I can make the unit test a part of that grade. Even if I have to set strict due dates in my district for assessments, I have choice in setting those dates to make them reasonable.
Additionally, I believe I can break a longer test into smaller chunks, 4-6 questions each week, because if the district requires a standardized unit test by grade level, there isn’t any documentation telling when and how I need to deliver the assessment. In following these assessment practices, there isn’t any reason to rush grades because I can either record that assessment the following 9 weeks or use other components to create a grade and use the full spectrum of assessment data to record the final grade.
Among the strategies presented in this talk I think cumulative assessments will be the easiest because I think for my PLC group, I could convince them of their value. In my district PLCs create a common assessment. Providing timely feedback with regularity with be harder because I need to think about the district approved technology I can use in my district and how students can archive/organize their daily work. Google Classroom has some limitations I think. Student access to those assessments and their overall view of their master are important aspects of students self assessment. For example, Seesaw is available in my district.
AdministratorJuly 13, 2021 at 7:53 am
I really like how you’re sharing how to take what you’ve learned here and work that into how your district operates. I think a lot of other teachers are in your same situation and will benefit.
MemberJuly 11, 2021 at 2:30 pm
I have to keep two different types of assessments separate in my mind.
The first is the mandated district assessments that are given on or by a very specific date that is preset. Individual teachers don’t have control over when or how these are administered. You simply have to do them, and push through curriculum to be ready for them.
The second type of assessments are those that I use for student grades in the gradebook. These are the ones that I can make shorter and more frequent, with thoughtfully spiraled items on them. Many times when I give an assessment, I will separate the one grade into two or even three grades. For example, if the strand is number sense, in the grade book there could be an ordering grade, a place value grade, and a grade for comparing.
I love having conversations with kids about their responses on assessments. Sometimes just giving them the chance to talk to me about it, they can see their own mistakes. The simple statement, “Tell me what you were thinking here” can open up the most wonderful conversation in which I can give the student a second chance (or more.)
MemberJuly 18, 2021 at 4:35 pm
Since we are in the same school, I think you summed it up rather nicely. This upcoming school year will be my second year teaching and my first time to teach first graders. So I’m not sure what assignments will look like other than the required district assignments Terri discussed. I do like giving students another opportunity to show their thinking. When my oldest daughter was in elementary school, she struggled with testing. The funny thing is that she was able to verbalize her thinking be teaching other students how to do the math! If only her teacher was able to replace the her grade with her actions. Students and others like me and my daughter struggle with testing. If given the opportunity to physically model and verbalize to our piers, our chances of success drastically increased.
MemberJuly 17, 2021 at 11:20 pm
When it comes to the 10 strategies discussed in this video, I am on board with some, have questions about some, and am hesitant about some.
As long as I can remember, I have provided multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning, but I haven’t landed on a method that seems to work to have students take advantage of the opportunities. Usually the students that could benefit the most from it are not the ones using those opportunities. “Retakes” typically involved students having to put in some type of effort to determine what their mistakes were and how to correct them, before I allowed them to demonstrate that they have deepened their understanding. To show that they had put in some type of effort, I would ask them questions about where they got off track on the original question and what they need to do to get back on track. If they weren’t sure, I would work with them to help clear up the misconceptions. After that, I would have them work through a few problems with me before giving them a question to complete on their own to demonstrate their understanding. Students only had to complete problems they missed, instead of taking the entire quiz or test again, and they were told their grade would not drop if they did worse. I like the idea of using conversations or presentations, initiated by the student, to demonstrate their deeper understanding. My fear is that even fewer students will take this opportunity.
Some parents have pushed back regarding test retakes, but I explain it to them equating what students are doing with assessments in math is like being able to take your driver’s license exam until you pass, and most get behind it after that.
I am mixed about the depth of the feedback given to students. When I started teaching, I used to provide quite a bit of detail about where students made mistakes, but that felt like I was doing all of the work and thinking, with students doing very little. I then took a course on assessing student’s work, and it suggested that your feedback should be in the form of thought-provoking questions connected to errors and misconceptions, so I shifted to this type of feedback, as well as pointing out successes. An example for this type of feedback was similar to marking the step where work was wrong and making a note, “Why did you divide by 3 in this step?” or “Did you use your calculator?” For both of these types of feedback, I included some form of a grade for the test. I saw a majority of the students only checked the grade and about the same percentage of students doing retakes.
Last year, due to COVID and the way our schedule was set up, my teaching partner and I switched from Unit Tests to quizzes every week that pertained to what we were working on that week, which was usually one or part of one learning goal. We would then assess the results, using them to determine if we needed to re-address struggles. The one thing we didn’t do with these quizzes was make them cumulative; we only had one quarter to complete a semester of content within a 103-minute block schedule that met daily.
Since we were also using these quizzes for our weekly data team meetings which required us to separate the quizzes into three categories, I decided to change how I was scoring them, looking at the depth of understanding demonstrated. The scoring rubric I used is adapted from Robert J. Marzano’s “Complete Scoring Scale (0-4 including 0.5),” which is explained in his book, Classroom Assessment & Grading That Work, ©2006, pages 50-58. Using this method of scoring made it much easier for me to assess their understanding compared to having points assigned for each question. For solving equations, a student could have the final answer incorrect because of a mathematical error, but have everything else correct (using their incorrect values) and still receive an overall score of 3 or 3.5, depending on the complexity of the questions. I have each rubric score equal to a score on a 10-point scale in order for the grading program to provide more accurate information.
I would also put feedback like I had been doing. I did not have any complaints from students or parents when I made this switch, however, it did not increase the percentage of students doing retakes. I am thinking that this next year, I need to make the switch to only providing feedback, without writing their score. I am also considering having students use the scoring rubric to assign their own score based on the feedback provided. I haven’t figured out all of the details yet for what this would look like.
Eliminating review days and study guides will be more of a challenge for both the students and myself.
I have some questions about Strategy 7, evaluate and report on progress of student learning. It was stated in the video to make sure parents know grades are always changing based on new learning and forgetting learning. The goal is to provide the most accurate picture of each students’ strengths and weaknesses. How is this information presented to parents? If a student achieves at a high level for a learning goal and others haven’t done as well, requiring that it be placed on a future assessment, does the student who did well have to complete the related questions? If they do, what happens if they do quite a bit worse? Does the original score figure into the student’s grade along with the latest score? Do you have multiple scores in your grading program that result in an average score at the end of the grading period?
AdministratorJuly 18, 2021 at 8:26 am
@lori.plate Your wonders/concerns on assessment are very valid as this is a big piece for our students/parents and us math teachers.
That’s why we built another course just on assessment so we could address these concerns and dig deeper. Since you’re an Academy member you’ll want to jump over there next. Head to your COURSES tab in the menu and then scroll down to Assessment For Growth. We’re looking forward to chatting more over there.
MemberJuly 19, 2021 at 1:05 pm
I like the idea of the weekly, spiraled “Check-ins” as one opportunity for students to produce a formal product for assessment. I can see how keeping these short and focused on student learning for growth can be particularly beneficial in promoting a growth mindset and moving away from assessment for the purpose of labelling.
I am transitioning to a new grade level (8th grade from 5th grade), so I know have a lot of work to do to make sure I really know the curriculum and standards. My district and school administration has a high number of mandatory assessments, but I can see how keeping the main focus on assessment for learning rather than labelling is at the heart of this.
I am interested in the spreadsheet that Kyle mentions in the video as a tool for tracking my teacher observations, and student conversations. I have made some progress with technology over the last year, but this remains an area of growth for me.
MemberJuly 19, 2021 at 10:32 pm
Over the last 12 years, I have tried many different ways to give makeup or retest opportunities. Some years, I gave retests and other years I gave opportunities to complete test corrections (orally or in writing) for additional points. I have always believed that students learn at different paces and would be willing to work with students at any point in the year, if they felt that they better understood material from past lessons. I would have students meet me after school and explain what they know about the test material. I asked them to show me any problem that they felt confident in solving. I would prompt them to show me how to solve more complex problems. What was missing in my past practice was standards-based assessments. During the pandemic, I created rubrics to grade a test or quiz that related to the development of the standard and less about the number of questions answered correctly. I am excited to create a spreadsheet of standards. I hope it is easy to update.
MemberJuly 25, 2021 at 5:12 pm
The ten effective assessment strategies will be weaved into my course description. This will be necessary to hold all stakeholders; teacher, student, and parent accountable.
The strategy that scored the highest point with me is the feedback. Providing a timely and relevant descriptive feedback has so much values, it begs the question, why not?
Who doesn’t like second chance? If second chance is great, third time, they say is the charm.
Oftentimes conversation, observation, and wonderings of students is enough to demonstrate engagement, and possible understanding of the concept.
MemberJuly 26, 2021 at 5:03 pm
This is the part that scares me the most.
I like the idea of using i can statements as assessment labels, rather than calling them tests or quizzes. I let students do multiple retakes, but they are essentially reguesses for most students which is not effective at pushing their learning.
I don’t have a plan yet, but I have some ideas to start with.
AdministratorJuly 27, 2021 at 7:10 am
Consider doing some sort of screening process before doing any form of re assessment. If you’re just printing off a full assessment and letting them try, then it does become a “re-guessment” instead of a re-assessment. Students should be able to articulate what they’ve done to address their struggle and you could almost ask them “on the fly” to show you what they know.
MemberJuly 29, 2021 at 12:53 pm
Many of these strategies were ideas that I started to play around with this past school year, and I have noticed a huge difference in student mindset and learning. I have found providing multiple opportunities, on smaller assessments, with chances to re-attempt a learning goal to make the biggest changes. Students are now more willing to keep trying to improve rather than shutting down after each assessment.
In looking at this list, I would say eliminating review days would be my next step. This is something I have struggled with in the past, because while I no longer provide a study guide, I have still had students self-construct one in the review class prior to any written test.
Overall, I am quite happy that I am in the location where I am because I can find a way to adapt these so that all can be implemented within the school/district guidelines. When I reflect on past teaching experiences, I would have a very restricted ability to implement most of these strategies.
AdministratorJuly 30, 2021 at 7:39 am
Looks like you’re well on your way! It’s a natural progress to change assessment practices once you’ve changed your lesson delivery practices.
MemberAugust 1, 2021 at 2:01 pm
I am very happy to see that a lot of what I already do can be easily tweaked to move right along into this framework. I am very excited to start implementing this into my routine. This completely aligns with my pedagogy and seems to really make sense that it can absolutely benefit my students.
MemberAugust 1, 2021 at 8:32 pm
Are there examples of questions you use in Freshgrade to determine when a student has met a particular standard? I wanted to do something similar.
MemberAugust 1, 2021 at 8:36 pm
When implementing standard-based grading how do you make sure students can take a task they are doing and match it to a learning target in Freshgrade. I worry if I leave students to upload work on their own, they will fail to connect what they are doing in class with the standard-based grading activities in Freshgrade. Let me know if you need more clarity.
AdministratorAugust 10, 2021 at 9:26 am
Most times we steer our students towards which lessons go with which targets if they can’t see it themselves. We get much more detailed about this in the Assessment For Growth Course in the Academy.
MemberAugust 2, 2021 at 2:36 pm
1. I thought I was doing my students a favor by not giving them a lot of tests but only giving them one assessment at the end of a grading period. I can see that this was a mistake. I see now that students learn from assessments, and they need to have regular assessments to help them pull information from memory to reinforce it. I will find more ways to give assessments on a regular basis and help my students understand that this is part of the learning process.
2. I love the idea of giving feedback without a grade. There have been many times that I write feedback on students’ papers only to have them look at the grade and discard the paper. No learning happened there.
3. I have always given students opportunities to re-do work, but the idea of different ways to do that was very helpful. I especially liked the idea of using conversation.
4. I need to let the students know what the standards are and let them keep track of how they are doing at achieving the standards.
5. Assessing through conversation seems like a great way to make sure that the students really understand the concepts, rather than if they can guess the right answer.
6. As mentioned in #1, giving more frequent assessments will help reinforce the concepts and can be specific about what is being learned.
7. It seems that keeping track of the standards that have been learned can be a good indicator to the students of what they have learned, and can help them see their progress.
8. So many of the concepts we use in mathematics build on each other, so making assessments cumulative makes a lot of sense. Some students forget the last unit as soon as you go on to the next one when they don’t realize that these things are connected. This fits well with spiraling, too.
9. I love the idea of getting rid of review days. I have really struggled with them anyway. Hopefully, by doing smaller assessments more often, students will be better prepared for assessments.
10. The whole idea of doing smaller assessments more often needs to be promoted to the students as a part of the learning process. If they understand this, they can feel more comfortable with them and use them as an opportunity to grow. In my class, I plan to encourage this attitude and teach them the science behind it.
MemberAugust 4, 2021 at 12:08 pm
I wonder about mindset – what Carol Dweck describes as “growth” vs. “fixed” mindset and math – and the connection to the approaches promoted in this course and the power of “yet”…
(click on the apparently empty box, below, for a useful graphic)
MemberAugust 5, 2021 at 2:17 pm
I added a Word file since I couldn’t copy and paste on here today.
MemberAugust 9, 2021 at 11:44 am
This is a lot! My system is not on board with standards-based grading, and so I am trying to think about ways that I can implement the idea of it while still using the LMS that we use and giving grades as I have to.
AdministratorAugust 11, 2021 at 7:01 am
No sweat. Doing something informally can also help – despite the formal reporting looking a bit different. Something as simple as a spreadsheet can do the trick that is shared with students.
MemberAugust 9, 2021 at 5:13 pm
Shorter more frequent assessments is my plan for this year. Eliminating Review Days and Study Guides will freak out my returning students, and I will have to create/review for Mid-term and Final Exams.
I like to do short 1:1 quizzes with my students — they pick a random card, and must solve that problem on Whiteboard, explaining their steps. For my new students, the first one is terrifying, but when I write 10/10 on top of the whiteboard, they walk back to their desks smiling, and it encourages their classmates.
AdministratorAugust 11, 2021 at 7:02 am
Love this. Please do keep us updated on how the 1:1 interview idea works. Our podcast episode with Marilyn Burns coming up in the next few weeks will be a great fit for you!
MemberAugust 10, 2021 at 1:26 pm
I’m excited to work with some members of my district in moving to a more standards based grading system. I feel this not only allows for multiple solution types but shows students it really is about progression. In a “regular” grading system a specific solution style was often graded more favourably than others, this will allow more voices to be heard.
AdministratorAugust 11, 2021 at 7:03 am
Fantastic goals here. Your district will surely benefit from your efforts.
If you think the Academy would be helpful for other district members, we have really good district wide site licensing terms available. Let us know!
MemberAugust 17, 2021 at 7:36 pm
For vocab we use formative and summative assessment instead of assessment and evaluation. Timely feedback is something I have struggled with in the past, especially when it is highly individualized. I appreciate the “clear, concise, and actionable”. The idea of giving feedback without a grade was interesting. At my school we encourage different types of assessments like projects, tests, and performance tasks. We also allow students to resubmit all these forms of assessment in standards-based grading. On projects I have co-created rubrics with the students so that they know what is being assessed and we can discuss why. I also have them assess themselves and then leave space to add my own comments.
MemberAugust 18, 2021 at 9:37 am
I really like the focus to be on the learning expectation and to use that information to guide the assessment. I would like to have more details of how you set up your grade book, like do you have the goals then do you include each of the expectations, then the students names? Do you record the quizzes that you give weekly in this area or is that separate? I have been doing weekly quizzes for a while, using some of the past concepts and some new ones. I like to do that so that the students have more opportunities. I will be continuing this practice. I am excited to have a new teaching partner that is on the same page about using these strategies to move forward. We both agree on the forward-thinking. My new spark of curiosity strategy is using the cumulative assessments since they can be more project/interest focused.
MemberAugust 18, 2021 at 4:45 pm
I am a board math consultant K-11, so seeing all of these ideas just makes me want to get right back into the classroom and teach again! Everything is connected (planning, instruction and assessment/evaluation) so it takes a good depth of understanding to see how they all fit together.
I really like the spiralling idea from the previous module (3 days) on say number sense, 2 days on proportions, 3 days on area/perimeter etc. I feel like that would be nice to use in a Standards Based Assessment model with more frequent and smaller assessments. It would help cut up the ideas and allow certain standards to stick out and be purposeful in problem solving.
It would also lend itself nicely to naturally allowing students to demonstrate certain standards say days or weeks later because when we re-do a problem on number sense for example, it may have a new idea mixed with the one we explored earlier so the teacher can now observe evidence of growth in both a new concept and the old one and does not need to give a “re-test” to change the assessment evidence of that specific standard. Plus we are connecting more ideas together.
In Quebec we have a Competency called “Solves a Situational Problem.” These type of problems by definition require concepts from multiple strands for the student, so they are a nice way to spiral naturally and can also be used to connect the ideas together with the spiralling strategy suggested above.
I like all of the 10 suggestions. #9 for review days seems iffy at first, because I always felt those days were time to just re-align our understanding, but now I’m wondering if that created false sense of understanding and I was even promoting cramming on tests by allowing review days. I still would like to understand what #3 -Providing opportunities for students to re-address struggles looks like from an organizational standpoint. i.e. are they choosing problems based on where they sit with the standard to demonstrate evidence and making their “own test package” for example and placing that evidence in their portfolio. I don’t think this has to be done in silence. Can students work at VNPS as well and by conversation explain their new understanding? How do we schedule that into a block? I still have lots to think about.
But all in all this top 10 list is very helpful and I see the merits in all of the suggestions. Thank you.
MemberAugust 19, 2021 at 8:50 am
I really like this list, I have been struggling with ‘relearning to reassess’ for the past few years, wanting to give students a chance to relearn and then reassess. Initially it was the whole assessment reviewed and practiced and discussed then a whole new test. Last year my colleague and I started focusing on just the areas of struggle…definitely more efficient but still we weren’t happy.
I believe this list will really help me [us] help more students demonstrate understanding. I really want to add more of #5, I need more conversations but quality conversations and taking notes of the discussion. I also really feel #9 is a great IDEA, BUT we have mid-year and end of year assessments/exams. Nervous about not having a review plan for these high stakes exams BUT I’m going to be spiraling my grade 8 math curriculum this year so hopefully this will help me with #9.
I have a screenshot of all 10 and am sharing with my teaching partner, we have been discussing/planning for the upcoming school year, both of us are excited about the changes and are hopeful for our students! 🙂
MemberAugust 19, 2021 at 1:05 pm
There is a confusion about “Assessments” and “Evaluations”
I tell my students that when I refer to something as an “Evaluation” that’s when they know it counts for marks.
I believe Quizzes and Exit-cards and Homework are what carry the label of “Assessments”.
In my markbook – what I use to create the Report Card mark is:
Units made up of Strands
In every Unit there are Evaluations that carry the label of the Overall Expectations for each Strand.
The Evaluations (Tests and Assignments) contain what I consider the Detailed Expectations
So, I have to re-evaluate how I collect the Evaluations, How to Comprise the various small evaluations into One mark that carries the title of the Overall Evaluation because I like the Organization of my Markbook.
I suppose Google Classroom can help me do that, and is visible to the parents too if they want to see it. But, how to I differ from the Assessment and the Evaluation in this case? What and How much do I collect? I’m still grappling in my mind about the confusion embedded in those two words “Assessment” and “Evaluation”
Maybe, I collect all the Assessments, and use a Personal Judgement about the Overall when I record in the markbook. Find a way to make the Evaluation, maybe, Rubric Style as a Portfolio for whatever is collected. This could definitely work with Spiraling. Disorganized a littlebit on the student’s end, but organized through my eyes.
Maybe I could give them pages to use, to see the organization.
What do you think? Let’s see what I can come up with.
AdministratorAugust 20, 2021 at 8:13 am
@velia.kearns I think we need to trust our professional judgement more (after we have observed / collected enough information). You might want to check out the Assessment For Growth course next inside the Academy. It’s a FULL course that extends and teaches the ideas presented in this lesson.
MemberAugust 19, 2021 at 10:16 pm
I do think that weekly quizzes with frequent feed back is better. I think NOT doing reviews before them will be a bit of a shock for them and for me. Also, including more chances to retake a quiz and learn from it will also be a shock.
I am interested in doing some feedback that is only qualitative and not quantitative but I’m not sure how that would go. I’m wondering about a weekly summary of feed back like that Emailed to the students and parents so that they can see specific feed back? We do use Google classroom so it would be simple matter of copy and paste.
I do think that a quiz that is limited in time so that it doesn’t take the entire math period is a better idea. I would want to make sure I include material from previous weeks in addition to the current week. These changes along with some differences in lessons would be pretty big changes and that might be what I start with for this year.