Assessment Guiding Instruction & Presenting Evidence of Learning

Making Classroom Assessment Work – Chapters 7 & 8

When students come up with their own forms of assessment, it helps direct them into what they need to be doing. This also makes it easier for teachers because instead of telling your students what they need to do for you, it makes it more of a team effort in regards to what is important to every specific student and their needs or wants.

When we were trying to create a rubric in class on Thursday night as a group, I found it really challenging to create a rubric for something I didn’t necessarily know what the end result is supposed to be. I understand that we are supposed to be coming up with the rubric therefore we are essentially creating the project, however in my mind I am so set in my way of reading a rubric and having it already set out for me about what the end result needs to look like, therefore I am not used to having choice. I honestly didn’t know last night what I wanted in the rubric because I was so focused on what it was supposed to look like to Rhonda.

On page 66, Davies discusses the idea about adding ideas to class lists and rubrics as their skills increase. I think this is a great idea because creating a rubric can be very challenging or overwhelming when first starting out, so after looking at it a few times it could be beneficial to add things once students have a more clear understanding about what they actually want on the rubric. Giving the list or rubric to students after they create it will help them see and remember what they wanted in the project.

I also really liked Davies suggestion about after giving the students the rubric they created, as a check in during the project or assignment, have them highlight each word or phrase that was true or completed in their project at that point. (Davies, 67) This is a good way of quickly assessing your students to see what point they are at in the project.

This is also a way of accomplishing more differentiation in your classroom. Davies suggests on page 67 that most students should work towards all of the criteria, however a student with an IEP, they maybe could choose one out of the four areas of criteria to focus on instead of all. Then throughout the year, perhaps they can increase the focus areas depending on their progress.

Davies starts off chapter 8 by discussing how important it is to let your students know they have succeeded by their evidence of learning. This motivates them to keep trying and know they are on the right track. Having evidence of learning is so important because it is a visual trail of their learning. It can be really easy to involve your students in this process as well because if you just get your students to sign and date something then they can put it in their folder or bin and sort it at a later date. Perhaps once a month you can take a class to just organize their work so it doesn’t become so overwhelming at the end of the term. This will help disorganized students if you take time to do it together and it will also be more likely to be in one place if you keep it in the classroom instead of expecting them to carry it around with them.

In the end, it depends on your students and their learning needs to determine what type of evidence of learning they need to be creating over time. This is a great way of providing evidence of learning. If you are continually putting together a portfolio, if a parent ever wants to see what their child is working on currently, you always have something to pull out and show and explain what is going on.

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One thought on “Assessment Guiding Instruction & Presenting Evidence of Learning

  1. Tessa, I appreciate your discussion of some of the complications of creating rubrics with students, and some possible adaptations. I also felt uncertain during the process of creating our rubric in class, as I had trouble visualising the end result. I liked the suggestion you noted from the textbook (Davies, p. 66) about scaffolding students to become increasingly involved in creating rubrics so that they can build their skills and understandings, rather than expecting them to jump in to creating an entire rubric. This also reminded me of our Gallagher textbook: in chapter seven, Gallagher says that when he collects student drafts, he leaves two comments for each student, and also creates a running list of the class’ errors. After that, he works with students to create a rubric with three foci in three categories, specific to the class’ needs. He uses models to help them determine what qualities would meet or exceed expectations. After that, he has each student fill in the bottom two columns of their rubrics according to his specific comments. This way, each student has an individualised rubric with individualised foci. I think this could be another great way to scaffold students into creating rubrics and learning to self-monitor. I think the key here, as you highlighted from Davies (p. 67), is using the rubric throughout the creation process; our guest speaker in our last class spoke about the success he had in using the assessment rubric with students throughout their drafting processes. This way, they have a focus in revising their products.

    Davies, A. (2011). Making Classroom Assessment Work (3rd ed.). Courtenay, British Columbia: Connect2learning.

    Gallagher, K. (2006). Teaching Adolescent Writers. Portland, Maine: Stenhouse Publishers.

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