More on assessment

Nathan and I were just among 14 people who talked Alaska (and Wisconsin!)-wide on the AEIN network discussion on assessments. We’ve decided to contribute to a data base of assessment styles with rubrics. The first area we attack will be speaking assessments.

Just when you think you know what you’re talking about, others in a group can tweak it and improve it. Our little breakout group talked about using holistic rubrics over the course of a year (as Scott has been saying all along) and using the more specific ones on individual writing assignments more often. I think that’s what I just told Ruth I wanted to do more of–and then Nathan shared how he sits down with each kid to discuss the results of the more holistic rubrics once a quarter or so. Deb asked how to tie that to a grade, and Nathan said that wasn’t really the point–it was to help kids see where they’re moving ahead on the big scales.

This group meets for an hour every other Monday. If you’d like to join in, let me know and I’ll send your e-mail to the moderator. (I have your e-mail once you’ve commented–no need to put it into the message.) It’s not strictly TPRS, but it’s definitely a bunch of passionate educators.

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2 responses to “More on assessment

  1. One point I should probably clarify on the individual sit downs is that I only meet with my level two and up students. In my opinion the first year is so much about just building a solid base that almost all students need to focus on the same things, and as a result you have the “big picture” talk pretty much at the whole class level through the first year. Quite frankly, some people are still so solidly in their silent period during the first year that I don’t really have that much that I can say to them outside of the occasional free write at the end of the year.

    By the second year, however, I start to see much more differentiation between how people are doing and different strategies they are using, making individual conversations worthwhile for everybody.

    One thing I got out of my breakout group was that it might be interesting to start archiving some work from students occasionally for purposes of portfolios (longitudinal snapshots that demonstrate growth). For example, I think I’ll have all my classes record a verbal sample of some sort at the end of this year using the CLEAR dropboxes and then have them do it again next year at the semester break for purposes of comparing how they’ve changed over time. This IS output, of course, but it exists not to grade them but to provide a snapshot for a future self to look back on. We’ll see how it works.

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    • I think having that would be cool, too! It would be especially interesting if you could ask them to respond to a couple of questions that would stay the same each year, and you could then hear how those responses grow. Something like, tell me about school this year, and what are you going to do this summer?

      Then maybe you could give them a story strip that they would use each time. Wouldn’t that be fun??

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