Sharing assessment & grading strategies that help students learn
This Forum Discussion began on 3/18/11 at the City of Salem Schools' Professional Development Day. Teachers who attended the session on The Heart of AFL discussed the core/key concepts of Assessment FOR Learning. They then worked together to create sample AFL professional growth objectives that they could use in their own classroom and/or that could be used by other teachers interested in incorporating more AFL strategies into their daily classroom practices.
While AFL activities can be isolated/specific lesson plans, AFL is most effective when it is woven into the fabric of the teacher's style and methods. Therefore, the goal for these objectives is that they be ones that could be used on a regular - even daily - basis as opposed to being used with a specific unit of study.
Below are four key slides from the Heart of AFL breakout session. The ideas in those slides should serve as the foundation for the growth objectives added to this forum.
In order to gauge students' connotative reading skill--which allows them to comprehend literature on more than a literal level-- I will, at the beginning of each novel study, choose a passage from the upcoming novel that provides rich characterization clues through adjective and adverb descriptors. Then I will
1. Read it out loud, and read it out loud again.
2. Ask 'treasure-hunt' questions that will lead students to adjective and adverb descriptors that reveal, subtly, character.
For example--find as many words as you can that describe Tom Buchanan's physical appearance at Nick's first encounter with him.
(So...they would write down words like...sturdy, hard, supercilious, dominant, arrogant, aggressively, enormous leverage, strained, great pack of muscle shifting, cruel.)
3. I will then ask students to write a paragraph characterizing Tom Buchanan--how does the author want the reader to perceive this character, based on the list compiled? The paragraph must be in their own words and include at least FIVE quotes from the paragraph blended into their own language. Include a prediction of what kinds of things Tom MAY do in the novel, based on the kinds of language used to describe him.
4. I will use the paragraphs to pair "weak" interpretive readers with stronger ones; they will work collaboratively the following day on a similar exercise to demonstrate team mastery of the skill (I hope!)
During the 2011-2012 school year, I will
1. have a daily do-now that will consist of questions that assess the key elements that the students learned in class the previous day.
2. review answers with students.
3. have students report to me the do-now's that they missed, giving me a record of where understanding is low and where reteaching needs to take place.
This will be evidenced by my collected do-now results and the students' do-now questions.
During 2011-2012 school year, my Do Now will be used to look back on what they learned the previous day and/or application question that shows true understanding of the material we're currently covering. I will include pretest on my website for student practice and self-evaluation.
My AFL objective for 2011-2012 is as follows:
I will provide a review sheet for my students two days prior to a quiz or test and ask them to assess themselves on that review sheet with a letter grade of A,B,C,D,F before leaving class. Students will tell me their grade before leaving class. On the next day as they enter class they will reassess themselves on the material when they enter the room. After reviewing the material the day before the quiz or test the students will again assess themselves and inform me of the outcome of their self assessment as they exit the classroom. It should point out to me and the students overall preparedness for the quiz or test and also point out specific weaknesses that need to be remedied.
Evidence of completion of this objective will be the reviews and the self evaluation made by the students.
For one of my AFL activities....
1. Students will observe a demonstration of a welding skill/activity.
2. Students will cut out two 4" x 4" steel plates.
3. One of these plates is used to check welder adjustment, practice on, make mistakes on.
4. Once these adjustments have been made, students practice the welds until the student and I are satisfied.
5. The second plate is welded on for the project. New plates can be welded again with no penelty.
6. When the project completion deadline has occured, a contest is held and all students evaluate each others projects, the projects are ranked and a prize is given out for the best welds
7. Later I evaluate each project for a grade.
An AFL that I chose was to use google doc presentations for students to record their finished ceramic artworks. This was used to help them see a finished work displayed in an artistic photograph, along with helping them get better skills and experience with google presentations, and also for final grades. I thought this worked well, but applying what I learned from that was too late, being that the presentation was made at the end of the semester. So, to use the assessment more meaningfully for me and for the students, I will re-adjust to implementing that from the beginning of the semester, creating a blank presentation, sharing it with me, then having the students be responsible for continually updating it with finished work. This will help them be more organized with the time needed to create, dry, fire, glaze, and photograph, re-size, and place in the presentation. This will help me evaluate thier continued progress, to help anyone less organized keep on track.
For the 2011-2012 school year, I will use a daily quiz as my do now, to assess what information students have mastered and which information I need to refocus my attention on.