The Assessment Network

Sharing assessment & grading strategies that help students learn

All Blog Posts (134)

Teaching More than the Notes and Rhythm by Mark Przybylowski

I came across this blog post on Twitter recently.  I think you'll enjoy it!

Teaching More than the Notes and Rhythm

Added by Scott Habeeb on May 6, 2019 at 1:42pm — 2 Comments

Fantasy Football and the Problem with Averaging

Obsessed with Fantasy Football

I have to confess something: I care way too much about Fantasy Football. Throughout the fall, I’m constantly checking my Yahoo Fantasy app, plotting my next waiver wire strategy, or looking online for updates about player injuries. I am addicted to Fantasy Football.

This year I was the champion of my Fantasy Football league. Actually, that’s an understatement. I smashed the…


Added by Scott Habeeb on January 14, 2019 at 10:30am — 4 Comments

Mastery Learning in Response to Intervention

I just finished watching a TED TALK by Sal Khan, founder of the Khan Academy. Sal was talking about mastery learning and the importance of building strong learning foundations before layering on additional information.

As I watched the…


Added by Mark Pennington on April 4, 2018 at 9:33pm — 2 Comments

Your Expertise is More Valuable Than a Formula: Provide Descriptive Feedback Rather Than Fractions

Which do you care about more - Learning or Grading?

Educators always answer that question with Learning.  And if you've spent much time on The Assessment Network, you know that our focus is to help educators use assessment FOR the purpose of learning - rather than to help ecucators figure out new grading systems.  

So while our goal is to explore best practices related to assessment so we can increase learning, the reality is that in order to do so we must spend some amount of…


Added by Scott Habeeb on April 4, 2018 at 2:00pm — 2 Comments

Getting Students to Buy Into a Focus on Learning

As educators we definitely care more about Learning than we care about Grading.  So it tends to frustrate us when our students seem to only care about getting a Grade. 

Do you ever wish you could redirect your students' focus to learning?  While it's not easy to do so, it's also not impossible.  Since most students will not unilaterally change their focus, we have to make sure that:

  1. Everything we do reinforces the fact that we value…

Added by Scott Habeeb on February 13, 2018 at 3:47pm — 1 Comment

1/10/18 Incorporating Assessment into Lesson Plans

At our 1/10/18 faculty meeting, teachers were asked to bring a recent and typical lesson plan with them.  Meeting in groups of 3 or 4, teachers shared the details of the lesson plans with each other.

Then a few thoughts were shared with the entire group about the relationship between Assessment and Pedagogy.  Sometimes we think of assessment as what happens after the pedagogy occurs.  The faculty was encouraged to think of assessment as part of the pedagogy…


Added by Scott Habeeb on January 15, 2018 at 9:10am — 3 Comments

Making Every Assessment a Formative Experience

If you've spent much time on this Network you are well aware that we promote the use of formative assessment - or Assessment FOR Learning.  Formative assessments are often compared/contrasted with summative assessments.  Typically, educators use the term "formative assessment" to refer to smaller checks for understanding and use the term "summative assessment" to refer to more larger assessments…


Added by Scott Habeeb on October 9, 2017 at 3:49pm — 1 Comment

Quit Focusing on Standards Based GRADING

Followers of this site know by now that Assessment FOR Learning is way more important than Assessment OF Learning.  In order to make sure our assessment and our feedback increase student learning, we need to communicate and assess in a standards based manner.

Many schools and school systems have begun their Assessment Journeys by focusing on Standards Based Grading Policies.…


Added by Scott Habeeb on April 6, 2017 at 3:39pm — No Comments

1/11/17 Applying SBL Philosophy

Three students in your class took a test that assessed 2 of your class's content standards.  Their scores are shown in the chart above.  Assume that a score of 20 for a specific standard is a score that demonstrates a high level of mastery of that specific…


Added by Scott Habeeb on January 11, 2017 at 11:00am — 8 Comments

LOOPING: Where AFL philosophy & SBL thinking come together!

This Assessment Network is dedicated to the concepts of AFL: Assessment FOR Learning.  In other words, the PURPOSE of assessment is for learning to occur.  It's impossible to maximize your AFL efforts if you don't assess based on content standards.  That's where SBL: Standards Based Learning comes into play.  

There's philosophy, and then there's Philosophy in Action.  When it comes to Assessment Philosophy in Action, it doesn't get any better than LOOPING.  This blog post will…


Added by Scott Habeeb on December 21, 2016 at 11:54am — No Comments

Practical Examples of LOOPING: AFL/SBL Philosophy in Action!

A recent post on The Assessment Network titled Redos and Retakes? Sure. But don't forget to Loop! received a lot of attention via social media and led to quite a few productive discussions.  Without repeating all that was already shared in that post, the basic premise was…


Added by Scott Habeeb on December 16, 2016 at 3:30pm — No Comments

It's Time to Take an Assessment Journey!

This network has tons of practical examples of Assessment FOR Learning, great insights into Standards Based Learning concepts, and even a bunch of Sports Analogies to help educators apply sound assessment…


Added by Scott Habeeb on November 16, 2016 at 2:00pm — 2 Comments

Redos and Retakes? Sure. But don't forget to Loop!

As the Standards Based movement has grown, allowing students to Redo assignments and Retake tests has become a rather common practice.  Blogs, articles, books, and workshops have focused on the importance of Redos and Retakes (R/R) and how to practically implement R/R at the classroom and school level.  Divisions, schools, and teachers have created policies that detail, rather specifically, the conditions through which students might R/R assignments.

The progression from Standards…


Added by Scott Habeeb on October 6, 2016 at 12:30pm — 2 Comments

An Assessment Analogy: The Thermometer v. The Thermostat

Why do you assess your students? A teacher's answer to this question reveals much about what that teacher values.  

For example, if a teacher's answers to the question center around determining a student's grade for a report card or transcript or around figuring out how much a student learned at the end of instruction, then it's obvious the teacher places a great emphasis on grading.

On the other hand, if a teacher's answers center around providing the teacher and the student…


Added by Scott Habeeb on February 27, 2016 at 10:33am — No Comments

A Letter to the Editor from Rick Wormeli

Recently, several letter writers to the Forest City Summit, an Iowa newspaper, have disparaged standards-based grading.  Specifically, they disparaged Rick Wormeli's work in that field.  As a result, Mr. Wormeli wrote a response to those letter-writers, and the newspaper agreed to run it.

While I am personally unfamiliar with the events in Forest City Schools, IA that led to these letters being written, public arguments like this over grading issues always cause…


Added by Scott Habeeb on January 18, 2016 at 1:23pm — No Comments

A Winning Moment: A Math Teacher Shares SBL Success

One of the great hurdles to moving toward a Standards Based approach to learning, teaching, grading, and communicating is the fact that our students have been conditioned to operate in a points based system.  They have been raised in a system that focuses more on earning points for grades than on standards based feedback focused on learning.

Educators and schools making the shift to SBL philosophies often develop strategies and plans for communicating SBL principles and…


Added by Scott Habeeb on December 8, 2015 at 1:30pm — No Comments

SBL Success: Things are moving in the right direction when students ask you questions like this...

As has been stated on this site before, traditional grading practices have led to a culture of "Quest for Numerator Points" in our schools and with our students.  Students have been trained and conditioned to care more about grading than learning.

We educators wish this wasn't the case, yet to complain about it makes as much…


Added by Scott Habeeb on October 11, 2015 at 9:39pm — No Comments

Standards Based Teaching and Learning After Year One

Recently, our friends at JumpRope asked Pawel Nazarewicz and me to share about our personal experiences with Standards Based Learning here at Salem High School.  We put some thoughts together which they turned into the blog post linked to this page.  

We hope members of this…


Added by Scott Habeeb on September 11, 2015 at 3:49pm — 1 Comment


Thank you to Catherine, the EDUTECHCHICK, for the following blog and Daisy Dyer Duerr for sharing it on Twitter.  Here are 10 great tools to add to your AFL toolkit. 

Added by Scott Habeeb on August 7, 2015 at 10:27am — No Comments

56 Examples of Formative Assessments

David Wees, the Formative Assessment Specialist for New Visions Public Schools, has created a Google Slides presentation with 56 practical examples of formative assessments to use in the classroom.  For anyone looking for ways to expand their AFL toolbox, this is a no-brainer.

The presentation can be found at this site: …


Added by Scott Habeeb on August 4, 2015 at 10:28am — No Comments

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