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.
During the 2011-2012 school year, I will:
1. Create a checklist for each unit (from state curriculum guide) where students can identify the topics that they feel they know versus the topics they need to study. This will be given a few days before a test so that they may focus their study time. A guide for entire year will be provided at beginning of the year and stored in the classroom for daily use.
2. Utilize daily quizzes to continually review material throughout the course of the year.
One of the most effective aft methods I have used is to do a review game the day before the test. Students get in groups of two or by themselves and I ask anywhere between 18-25 sample questions of similar material that is going to be on the test. Students answer these questions off the overhead and then we go over them seeing what score they earn. I explain any problems students want explained. This not only gives me a good idea of what they know, but more importantly, it gives them an idea of their current readiness for the test and what topics they need to study before the test the next day. Winners of the activity get a few extra credit points on the test. It is a laid back and enjoyable activity and really seems to help the students and myself find their strengths and weaknesses.
Ideas for 2011-2012
Implement journal writing into warm-ups. Example topics: "Write a letter to a student who was absent yesterday describing what we learned." or "How does the Cartesian coordinate system relate to a world map?" or "Write an analogy describing the relationship bewteen a square and a rectangle."
Integrate K-W-L(-H) charts into instruction and revisit them at the end of a unit. [K - What we already know about a topic; W - What we want to know about a topic; L - What we learned about a topic (to be completed after intruction); H - How we could find out more information about the topic (other resources - textbook, YouTube, MASH, etc.)]
Students will receive feedback on practice before taking a quiz or test. This feedback will allow me to gauge individual and class performance in addition to providing students with individualized direction.
It requires extra "grading," but I have found this easier since points are not assigned!
Prior to a graded assessment, I will provide students with a math problem similar to those on the assessment. After students have had time to work the problem, I will provide them with the solution to the problem, an explanation of what components of the solution I'll be looking for, and a rubric that will be used to grade their solution. Students will use the rubric to grade themselves and submit their solution and score. I will use these to discuss with students individually how to improve their score on the upcoming graded assignment.
As a strategy for garnering the maximum participation and feedback from students (regardless of whether they brought pencil and paper to class or not), I will have them answer several DO NOW questions at the start of class through the TI Navigator. Responses are immediate and can be kept anonymous. Incorrect responses can be used as a springboard for discussion and review. The same tool can be used thoughout the lesson as a check for understanding and at the end of the lesson for a summarizing activity.
During the 2010-2011 school year I have implemented the following AFL strategies:
Using rubrics which exactly describe the expectations of the assignments. Followed by guided practice, observation of performance, and followed by an eventual graded final product, after mastery. We repeat as necessary until each skill is completed. A shop class has more flexibility when it comes to allowing more time as needed, however our end result must be a job completed properly as our assigments roll out the door and go back to customers. The ultimate goal for my students is for them to master each skill to such a level that they could teach that skill to other students.
The following objective was created and shared by a Salem High School PE teacher:
Periodically, students will be requested to formulate questions that accent their strengths and weaknesses each class. Toward the end of class, each student will write 2 to 3 questions regarding the class objective that will be used the next class as a means of connecting the current and preceding classes.