Category Archives: Assessment

Facilitating student reflection – #LL2LU

The primary and early elementary grades are a natural place to introduce reflection and instill in students the habit of collecting work that demonstrates evidence of learning and growth. (Berger, 281 pag.)

We learn by doing. As a faculty team, we continue to grow our understanding of intentional reflection and the impact on learning.

Deeper understanding is the result when learners think about their thinking.  The My Learning Portfolio process prompts students to think about their thinking when they select artifacts to archive, and as they capture their thoughts about learning experiences through reflection. (Mitchell, n. pag.)

Our young learners have 2+ years of entries in their My Learning Portfolios. For a glimpse of impact, check out Kathy Bruyn’s August post, Student Portfolios: It’s all worth it!.

               .

As students progress through the grades, it is important that portfolios and passage presentations evolve with them and challenge them in new ways.  (Berger, 281 pag.)

During our last professional development session, Marsha Harris (@marshamac74), rolled out our first draft of learning progressions and a vision of vertical alignment of teacher moves to facilitate student reflection and archiving artifacts.

Grade Learning Targets (Level 3)
3s/
Pre-K
I can document learning moments for my students.  I can show how I know students are learning using images and voice that reflect their strengths and interests.
K/
1st
I can offer opportunities for my students to make choices about their My Learning artifacts.  I can show how I know students are learning using images and voice that reflect their strengths and interests.
2nd I can teach my students to independently use My Learning to capture reflections through prompting into their portfolios that include voice and images/video.
3rd I can empower my students to curate their reflections into their portfolios with simple prompts for reflection that include voice, choice and images/video and I can offer pathways for my students to gain more independence for entering reflections in My Learning.
4th I can facilitate opportunities for intrinsic motivation where students become empowered and proactive learners, reflecting in My Learning with choice, voice and images/video.  I can introduce students to the RIP3 model for reflection.
5th I can facilitate opportunities for intrinsic motivation where students become empowered and proactive learners, reflecting in My Learning with choice, voice and images/video.  I can facilitate student use of the RIP3 model for reflection.
6th I can facilitate student use of the RIP3 model for reflection. I can empower my students to analyze and assess their growth as learners.  I can offer opportunities for students to produce reflective essays through a variety of media to tell their story a.k.a, their learning journey.

The corresponding learning progressions, collaboratively designed by our Academic Leadership Team (ALT),  serve as one way to reflect,  self-assess, and grow as a facilitator of reflection.

They exclaimed, “Look how little I was!” as they flipped through Kindergarten pictures of themselves and classmates. They watched videos of themselves talking in front of their First Grade peers. They chuckled at how they drew noses when they were in Kindergarten. They looked at photographs of their writing and saw how far they’ve already come. The energy in the room was evident– the purpose of online portfolios clear. (Bruyn, n. pag.)


Berger, Ron, Leah Rugen, and Libby Woodfin. Leaders of Their Own Learning: Transforming Schools through Student-engaged Assessment. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Portfolio Practice As Learning Model.” TRUE Learning. Rhonda Mitchell, 17 Jan. 2014. Web. 19 Dec. 2014.

Student Portfolios: It’s All worth It!” Kathy Bruyn. N.p., 29 Aug. 2014. Web. 19 Dec. 2014.

How do we use the December exam as formative assessment? (TBT Remix)

“For assessment to function formatively, the results have to be used to adjust teaching and learning; thus a significant aspect of any program will be the ways in which teachers make these adjustments.”
Inside the Black Box: Raising Standards Through Classroom Assessment Black and Wiliam

How do students reflect on their work?  What opportunities are offered to help students carry the essential learnings from first semester through second semester and/or into the next level of learning?

I’m interested and curious about different strategies and methods used to help learners process and reflect on their exam experience and the accumulation of what they know.  Since each learner will have different bright spots and strengths, what strategies are used to differentiate for intervention and enrichment?

We aim to get “in the weeds” about reflection and intervention.  We want every child to reflect on what they could demonstrate well and where they need additional help.  We do not want them to move to the next year with any doubt or weakness if we can help now.  But, how do we know who needs help?  We collect data, and we let our learners gather data.  We need to be informed; they need to be informed.  We are a team working toward the goal of mastery or proficiency for all learners.

Our process:

  1. Return the exam to the learner on the first day back.
  2. Have each learner complete the exam analysis and reflection form (shown below) to identify strengths and areas of need.
        1. Circle the number of any missed problem.
        2. Begin, and possibly complete, correcting missed problems to review the material and determine if any error was a simple mistake or if more help is needed.
        3. Write a reflection about strengths, struggles, and goals.
        4. Report results on our team’s Google doc. (This is a copy; feel free to explore and “report” data to see how it feels. You can view the results here.)
  3. Meet in team to review all results and analyze for groups to design and provide necessary intervention and additional learning experiences.
  4. All assessments 2nd semester will have questions from first semester essential learnings to offer learners the opportunity to show growth and to help with retention.

We would love it if others would share methods and strategies for helping learners grow from an exam experience.  How do students reflect on their work?

What opportunities are offered to help students carry the essential learnings from first semester through second semester and/or into the next level of learning?


How do we use the December exam as formative assessment? was originally posted on January 4, 2012.

Assessment of Assessment part 2 #LL2LU

Continuing to consider how we assess the quality of the assessments we use with our learners, I wonder what might happen if we take the time to learn more about and from the instruments and products of our work.

In Beyond the Common Core: A Handbook for Mathematics in a PLC at Work  written by Juli K. DixonThomasenia Lott AdamsEdward C. Nolan and edited by Timothy D. Kanold, they offer an Assessment Instrument Quality – Evaluation Tool and a High-Quality Assessment Diagnostic and Discussion Tool.

What if we, as a team, use similar tools to reflect and assess the quality of our assessments?

Last week, I began this conversation with one team to pilot a couple of items using their most recent assessment.  The draft of the first two items are shared in my previous post Assessment of Assessment #LL2LU. As strong, motivated learners, they asked about next steps and goal setting. (Wow! and Yay!!)

Here is a draft of the next two items I’ve selected  based on their request and desire to learn.

Balance of higher- and lower level- cognitive-demand tasks
What percentage of the assessment tasks are of higher-level cognitive demand? Have we, as a team, agreed on an appropriate balance?

Level 4
I can connect higher-level cognitive demand tasks to process learning progressions to support and motivate learning.

Level 3
I can collaboratively design an assessment that has the appropriate balance of age and grade appropriate higher-level and lower-level-cognitive-demand tasks.

Level 2
I can collaboratively determine the balance of age and grade appropriate higher-level and lower-level-cognitive-demand tasks include on our assessment.

Level 1
I can assess student learning using items identical to tasks completed in class.

Appropriate scoring rubric (points)
Are the scoring points assigned to each task appropriate and agreed upon by each teacher on the team? Are the point valued for every task clearly indicated on the assessment? Do our scoring rubrics  make sense based on the complexity of reasoning for each task?

Level 4
I can facilitate reflection and goal-setting for learners based on the areas of success and growth on the assessment.

Level 3
I can embed collaboratively assigned point values for each assessment item on the assessment.

Level 2
I can collaboratively assign point values to all assessment items prior to implementing the assessment.

Level 1
I can assign point values to all assessment items prior to implementing the assessment.

I am wowed by the engagement and interest in assessment and design. I am grateful for the time given and questions asked to help further my learning.

Co-learning in progress! More coming soon.


Dixon, Juli K; Adams, Thomasina Lott (2014-10-13). Beyond the Common Core: A Handbook for Mathematics in a PLC at Work™, Grades K-5 (Kindle Locations 720-722). Solution Tree Press. Kindle Edition.

Time, accuracy, speed, & precision (TBT Remix)

It is critical that we take a moment to review the emerging evidence on the impact of timed testing and the ways in which it transforms children’s brains, leading to an inevitable path of math anxiety and low math achievement. (Boaler, Jo)

Her name was Mrs. Hughes.  I can still hear her:

F … F … J … J … F … F … J … J.

Time, accuracy, speed, and precision were ultimately important in the typing class I took my sophomore year of high school.  I am glad that I touch-type.  At typingtest.com, you can assess your typing speed and accuracy.  Here are my latest results:

Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 11.31.17 AM

And, later in the day…

Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 6.02.14 PM

There are plenty of people that do not touch type, some hunt-and-peck.  Is their work some how diminished because they may need more time than a touch typist?  If not witnessing the time and effort, would the reader of the product even know whether the author was speedy or not?

Are accuracy and precision when typing more important than speed and time?  Wouldn’t it be better to take more time and have an accurate product than to be quick with errors?

This has me thinking about assessment, testing, and time.  In a perfect world, we want both speed and accuracy.  What if we can’t have both?  What if a learner needs more time to demonstrate what they know?  Do we really expect all children to perform and produce at the same speed?  Are we sacrificing accuracy and precision for the sake of time?  Should it be the other way around? Are we assessing what our learners know and can show or how fast they can think and work?

How important is it to complete an assessment
within a fixed, pre-determined period of time?

How might we offer learners more time to demonstrate what they know and have learned?

Time is the variable; learning is the constant.


Time, accuracy, speed, & precision was first posted on April 30, 2012

Boaler, Jo. “Timed Tests and the Development of Math Anxiety.” Web log post. Jo Boaler. N.p., 06 July 2012. Web. 09 Nov. 2014.

 

#HLTA: High-Leverage Team Actions

I’m reading Beyond the Common Core: A Handbook for Mathematics in a PLC at Work  written by Juli K. DixonThomasenia Lott AdamsEdward C. Nolan and edited by Timothy D. Kanold.

In their handbook, they offer tools that scaffold collaborative pursuit.   They identify 10 high-leverage team actions (HLTAs) to  impact learning and improve team work, instruction, and assessment.

What if we use this to set goals for our team and guide our actions in one team meeting per month/week/quarter? If we are not there yet, could we pick 1-3 and take concentrated action?


Dixon, Juli K; Adams, Thomasina Lott (2014-10-13). Beyond the Common Core: A Handbook for Mathematics in a PLC at Work™, Grades K-5 (Kindle Locations 3-5, 241-243, 273-279, 286-289, 300-302). Solution Tree Press. Kindle Edition.

Assessment of Assessment #LL2LU

How do we assess the quality of the assessments we use with our learners? Do we?

In Beyond the Common Core: A Handbook for Mathematics in a PLC at Work  written by Juli K. DixonThomasenia Lott AdamsEdward C. Nolan and edited by Timothy D. Kanold, they offer an Assessment Instrument Quality – Evaluation Tool and a High-Quality Assessment Diagnostic and Discussion Tool.

What if we, as a team, use similar tools to reflect and assess the quality of our assessments?

Next week, I plan to begin this conversation with at least one team and pilot a couple of items using their most recent assessment.  Here is a draft of the two items I’ve selected as a start.

Identification and emphasis on essential learnings
Are the essential learnings included on the assessment as  “I can . . .” statements, and are they student friendly and grade appropriate?

Level 4
I can collaborate with my team to analyze the assessment data from each learning target to plan for continued learning.

Level 3
I can embed learning targets in assessments for student learning, feedback, and reflection.

Level 2
I can display and use the agreed upon learning progressions during and after the unit to help students learn and grow.

Level 1
I can reach consensus with my team on the essential learning progressions for the unit and write them in student friendly and grade appropriate language.

Visual presentation
Do our learners have plenty of space to write out solution pathways, show their work, and explain their thinking for each item of the assessment?

Level 4
I can collaboratively agree upon and include the point values for each assessment item on our formal assessments.

Level 3
I can collaboratively design and implement an assessment that is organized, easy to comprehend, and has enough space to show both student thinking and teacher feedback.

Level 2
I can design and implement an assessment that is organized, easy to comprehend, and has enough space to show student thinking.

Level 1
I can implement an assessment that is organized, easy to comprehend, and has enough space to show student thinking.

I am curious about how our teaching team will assess their assessment. I am grateful for the engagement and interest in assessment and design.


Dixon, Juli K; Adams, Thomasina Lott (2014-10-13). Beyond the Common Core: A Handbook for Mathematics in a PLC at Work™, Grades K-5 (Kindle Locations 720-722). Solution Tree Press. Kindle Edition.

Making #LL2LU Learning Progressions Visible

From Chapter 3: Grading Strategies that Support and Motivate Student Effort and Learning of Grading and Learning: Practices That Support Student Achievement, Susan Brookhart writes:

First, these teachers settled on the most important learning targets for grading. By learning targets, they meant standards phrased in student-friendly language so that students could use them in monitoring their own learning and, ultimately, understanding their grade.

One of these learning targets was ‘I can use decimals, fractions, and percent to solve a problem.’ The teachers listed statements for each proficiency level under that target and steps students might use to reach proficiency.

The [lowest] level was not failure but rather signified ‘I don’t get it yet, but I’m still working.’ (Brookhart, 30 pag.)

How are we making learning progressions visible to learners so that they monitor their own learning and understand how they are making progress?

Yet is such a powerful word. I love using yet to communicate support and issue subtle challenges.  Yet, used correctly, sends the message that I (you) will learn this.  I believe in you, and you believe in me. Sending the message “you can do it; we can help” says you are important.  You, not the class.  You.  You can do it; we can help.

Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 1.21.17 PM

Self-assessment, self-directed learning, appropriate level of work that is challenging with support, and the opportunity to try again if you struggle are all reasons to have learning progressions visible to learners.

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 6.34.55 PM

Making the learning clear, communicating expectations, and charting a path for success are all reasons to try this method.Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 6.32.15 PM

In addition to reading the research of Tom Guskey, Doug Reeves, Rick Stiggins, Jan Chappius, Bob Marzano and many others, we’ve been watching and learning from TED talks.  My favorite for thinking about leveling formative assessments is Tom Chatfield: 7 ways games reward the brain.

As a community, we continue the challenging work of writing commonly agreed upon essential learnings for our student-learners.  Now that we are on a path of shared models of communication, we are able to develop feedback loops and formative assessments for student-learners to use to monitor their learning as well as empower learners to ask more questions.

By learning to insert feedback loops into our thought, questioning, and decision-making process, we increase the chance of staying on our desired path. Or, if the path needs to be modified, our midcourse corrections become less dramatic and disruptive. (Lichtman, 49 pag.)

Are learning progressions visible and available for every learner?

  • If yes, will you share them with us using #LL2LU on Twitter ?
  • If no, can they be? What is holding you back from making them visible?

Brookhart, Susan M. Grading and Learning: Practices That Support Student Achievement. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree, 2011. Print.

Lichtman, Grant, and Sunzi. The Falconer: What We Wish We Had Learned in School. New York: IUniverse, 2008. Print.