I have just two gems from our coaching group the other day (in which we started by discussing assessment).
We were trying to figure out how to fairly assess structures in free writes. Victoria said that she’d asked Susie about this issue, and Susie said that if you want to assess something you’ve been practicing in class (third-person singular, use of subjunctive, case endings, etc), just tell the kids you’ll be looking for examples of that in their writing. Tell them about how many times they’ll need to show they can use it correctly to get an A.
Next, Victoria said a class management idea has been floating around the lists that helped her with pagames. When a kid is talk-y, put the class mascot or a stuffed animal on his desk. When another kid is disruptive or off task, move it to that desk. The kid who has the animal at the end of the class is the one who loses five points and can make it up with an essay.
Victoria says this is working like a charm. It’s fun, gets the message across, and there’s only one set of five points to record.
And the plus side is…now students are working that animal into stories!