What does assessment look like in your classroom?

Recently, I’ve been reading about the different forms of assessment that teachers are asked to carry out. From here, I have been reflecting on what assessment means to me as a future educator.

I believe that assessment is “the process of identifying gathering and interpreting information about students’ learning. The central purpose being to provide information on student progress and set the direction for ongoing teaching/learning.”

FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT

The main purpose of formative assessment is to shape teaching/learning, to enable educators to ascertain students’ current understandings and to monitor progress against learning goals.

Examples of Formative assessment techniques:

Specific, targeted goal setting. Student goals are recorded in the front of their exercise books or on cards that can be referred to during lessons.

Self and Peer Assessment. Students consider two positives and one area for improvement in a piece of work, this could be a taken a step further to encompass the Think/Pair/Share technique.

Student Reflection Journals. Student reflection on their learning, whether on paper or in digital form such as a blog post, is a great way to monitor understanding.

DIAGNOSTIC ASSESSMENT

The main purpose of diagnostic assessment is to identify cognitive, social, emotional and physical needs and to draw on students’ prior knowledge.

SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT

The main purpose of summative assessment is to evaluate resources and teaching strategies.

Examples of Summative assessment techniques:

• National Testing

• End of Unit Tests

• Rich Assessment Tasks (particularly in Mathematics)

• Rubrics, with criteria contributed by students

• Physical samples of student work and digital examples, collected and collated evidence of student understandings to assess against learning objectives.

What I’m really interested in is the different ways that teachers collect, collate and use the assessment data they have. This way of thinking is cleverly encapsulated in the WHERETO anagram for Quality Teaching.

W- Ensure that students understand WHERE the unit is headed and WHY.

H- HOOK students in the beginning and HOLD their attention throughout.

E- EQUIP students with the necessary experiences, tools and knowledge.

R- Provide students with numerous opportunities to RETHINK big ideas, REFLECT on progress, and REVISE their work.

E- Build on opportunities for students to EVALUATE progress and self-assess.

T- Be TAILORED to reflect individual talents, interests, styles and needs.

O- Be ORGANISED to optimise deep understanding as opposed to superficial coverage.

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2 thoughts on “What does assessment look like in your classroom?

  1. This is a question I have been looking into- trying to collect data, not use for statistical purposes but also to better reach out to students. One thing I like is doing mock quizzes, worth a classwork grade instead of an actual quiz grade. The students take the mock quiz like a pop quiz- they aren’t warned, and they work alone with no notes or anything. Typically these take majority of the class period (if not all), and are tougher than I would make the test. I give them involved problems that require not only general knowledge but critical thinking, something which I see many kids unable to do. The next day, I sit them with people who performed similarly to them (differentiation) and I go around table to table working with groups of students because each group will have the same questions. I use these to tailor lessons to individual’s needs, diagnose where weaknesses may be, and see what needs to be covered. I handle regular quizzes the same way, except they aren’t “pop” quizzes. I think differentiation is important because it allows you to pinpoint student’s weaknesses and handle students in groups of 3 or 4 instead of a class of 35.

    By the time we get to tests, I have a good idea about where the class is at and I know which students understand various portions of the content.

    • I couldn’t agree more wholeheartedly.

      It is certainly food for thought, as we need to find out where students’ strengths and weaknesses are and give them additional support if need be. It will be a challenging task none-the-less, however if educators stay focussed it will be achievable!

      Personally, I have seen too many students both gifted and on the autism spectrum find it hard to adapt to a normal classroom whereby everyone does the same work. Giving the same work to all is not effective teaching in my opinion, as essentially all you are really trying to do is make a name for yourself by saying: “Look I have achieved getting all my students on the same playing field”- when in reality what they are doing is causing dramatic effects on those student’s futures and education.

      @ Thoughtstothewise I don’t know whether or not you have seen my post about PLANE- but there are few discussions held on that website that detail exactly what we have been discussing. You may be interested to take a look.

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