The Assessment Network

Sharing assessment & grading strategies that help students learn

All Blog Posts (134)

Father Sues Over Daughter's Zero Grade - A Case Study in Assessment and Grading

The article below appeared in the York Daily Record from York, PA on July 10, 2015.  It was written by Angie Mason who can be reached via email at amason@ydr.com or on Twitter at @angiemason1.  I don't know if I've ever read…

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Added by Scott Habeeb on July 16, 2015 at 9:30am — No Comments

AFL: As Basic As Taking Off Your Coat

Instructional practices based on the philosophy of Assessment FOR Learning (AFL) just make sense.  End of story.  To not practice AFL is to ignore how people learn.  There really isn't room for debate as to whether or not one should practice AFL.  Such a debate would be more appropriately titled "Should Teachers Care About Whether Or Not Students Learn: Yes or No."

I was reminded recently of AFL's centrality to learning when I met with Erik Largen for his summative evaluation.…

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Added by Scott Habeeb on June 15, 2015 at 9:46am — No Comments

A Math Teacher Shares Her Students' Thoughts on Standards-Based Grading

I love hearing from teachers who are diligently trying to put ideas into practice and who then open and honestly share their experiences.  In this post, Kristin Manna, a 1st year math teacher from South Carolina, shares what she learned from her students.  

I'm sure she'd love your feedback after you read her post!…

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Added by Scott Habeeb on May 31, 2015 at 4:15pm — No Comments

Dean Smith, the Tarheels, and AFL in Action

The February 23, 2015, edition of Sports Illustrated, included Alexander Wolff's moving tribute to Dean Smith, the former UNC Men's Basketball coach who passed away on February 7.  As a Demon Deacon and a Hokie, I've never been too fond of the Tarheels'…

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Added by Scott Habeeb on March 4, 2015 at 5:00pm — No Comments

The End of the Quest for Numerator Points (aka Let's Stop Using So Much Math)

Math.  Some people love Math and some people hate it.  Some excel at it naturally while others struggle mightily.  Some see it as a clear universal language, but for others it is is the embodiment of the Tower of Babel.  Some see its usefulness, some do not.  Some are indifferent, some are passionate.  Some are scared of it, some are excited by it, and others plod along doing their best to understand it.

While Math usually elicits a…

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Added by Scott Habeeb on January 20, 2015 at 1:30pm — No Comments

5 Fantastic, Fast Formative Assessment Tools from Vicki Davis

"I thought I could read my students' body language. I was wrong. As an experiment, I used Socrative when I taught binary numbers. What I learned forever changed my views on being a better teacher."

This quote from Vicki Davis, author of the Edutopia article linked below, is essential.  As teachers we NEED formative assessment - or Assessment FOR…

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Added by Scott Habeeb on January 19, 2015 at 12:34pm — No Comments

Grading in 3D from Pawel Nazarewicz

Salem High School Math teacher, Pawel Nazarewicz, has been using the JumpRope grade book this year as part of a pilot in our school division.  (The division, as a whole, uses PowerTeacher from Pearson's PowerSchool.)

Our division and school are also exploring how the principles of Standards-Based Learning - as part of our ongoing Assessment FOR Learning journey - can increase student learning.  Pawel, who never shies away from thinking outside the box, has found JumpRope to be a…

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Added by Scott Habeeb on January 12, 2015 at 3:26pm — No Comments

"This I Believe" from Ken O'Connor

If you are looking for some Assessment FOR Learning principles for discussion and reflection, check out this following blog post from Ken O'Connor.  

As educators, we must be in a continuous state of professional growth through personal reflection.  No matter how long you've been in education, this process is greatly aided by contemplating the ideas of others.  

Ken O'Connor's ideas have been well thought out and well-researched. My guess is that for many of you they will be…

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Added by Scott Habeeb on January 7, 2015 at 8:34am — 1 Comment

An AFL Lesson from Bayern Munich Football (Soccer) Club

Because Assessment FOR Learning principles are the basic principles of how people learn anything - from learning to walk to doing Algebra or from driving a car to writing an essay - I often find examples of AFL in everyday life.  Here's an example I came across when reading the November 17, 2014, issue of Sports Illustrated.

Grant Wahl wrote an article entitled, The Toast of Munich, about Bayern Munich, one of Europe's great soccer clubs.  In writing about their relatively new…

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Added by Scott Habeeb on November 24, 2014 at 10:33pm — 2 Comments

Response to an Email Question about Late Work, Grading, & Responsibility

This past year I was asked to lead a workshop on the topic of Assessment FOR Learning for a school division's teachers.   

Teachers, tired from a long and full day of teaching/wrestling with children, filed into an auditorium for the "wonderful opportunity" of hearing me speak for about an hour and a half on the topic of formative assessment.  

The topic of grading came up - as it always does when…

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Added by Scott Habeeb on November 16, 2014 at 9:30am — 5 Comments

Exit Slips

I like the idea of exit slips not only to check for understanding but to have another opportunity to make contact with each individual student....

Added by Anna Armstrong Dyer on October 22, 2014 at 3:18pm — No Comments

Ideas for AFL/SBL Exit Slips

One of the most common types of assessments used in the AFL classroom is the Exit Slip.  AFL teachers find this type of feedback helpful as they assess how successful their lessons are, as they gather data for differentiation purposes, and as they seek to better meet student needs.

The following picture is one used by a teacher at Salem High School.  She actually found it on Pinterest - one of the world's great educational resource depositories for sure!  Take a look at the exit slip…

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Added by Scott Habeeb on October 22, 2014 at 12:00pm — 16 Comments

SBL Language grading

I find it interesting that I am described as being "particularly scathing" about the the use of A-F grades because what I have said many times is that the symbols are less important than what they mean. Scott, I agree that what you describe is a lot better than traditional grading because you have a profile of your daughter's achievement in French. My difficulty with what you describe is twofold; one, for three standards the grade is based on one score and because of luck, chance and…

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Added by Ken O'Connor on October 17, 2014 at 6:00am — 4 Comments

AFL Teachers Reporting Progress in an SBL Method (using PowerSchool)

Great teachers are constantly on a journey.  It's a journey toward professional growth, toward perfecting their craft, and toward better meeting the needs of students.  Salem High School Spanish teacher, Paola Brinkley, like so many Salem educators, exemplifies a teacher on this sort of journey.

For the past several years, Salem High School has been focusing on using assessment for the purposes of learning - rather than just for the purpose of…

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Added by Scott Habeeb on October 16, 2014 at 10:00pm — 3 Comments

Vermont Standards Based Learning Collective

There are some exciting things going on in the Northeast these days with Standards Based Learning.  Here is a link to a phenomenal list of SBL resources from the state of Vermont.

http://vermontsbl.weebly.com/resources.html

Thanks to the following educators for putting this together:…

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Added by Scott Habeeb on September 5, 2014 at 9:30am — No Comments

The Monday spelling pretest. It's as American as apple pie. Each of my three sons routinely scored 20/20 on the Monday spelling pretest throughout elementary and middle school. They were required to …

The Monday spelling pretest. It's as American as apple pie. Each of my three sons routinely scored 20/20 on the Monday spelling pretest throughout elementary and middle school. They were required to “study” and “practice” these words with an obligatory worksheet, crossword puzzle, or write-the-word-ten-times assignment. They were then tested on these same words on Friday. They learned zilch about spelling from this instructional practice.

Fair to say that this common instructional…

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Added by Mark Pennington on July 19, 2014 at 6:22pm — 3 Comments

Standards Based Learning and Grading

This network is dedicated to promoting outstanding assessment practices - the kind of assessment practices that help students learn as opposed to simply documenting what they do or don't know.  These types of practices are known as Assessment FOR Learning (AFL) strategies - an appropriate name since they are assessment strategies that lead to learning.

One set or type of AFL strategies are those that fall into the category of Standards Based Learning…

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Added by Scott Habeeb on July 13, 2014 at 10:30pm — No Comments

An Overview of Standards Based Learning from @CVULearns

This website is dedicated to promoting outstanding assessment practices - the kind of assessment practices that help students learn as opposed to simply documenting what they do or don't know.  These types of practices are known as Assessment FOR Learning (AFL) strategies - an appropriate name since they are assessment strategies that lead to learning.

One set or type of AFL strategies are those that fall into the category of Standards Based Learning (SBL).  SBL strategies are…

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Added by Scott Habeeb on July 10, 2014 at 11:30pm — No Comments

Grade Like A Torpedo

Today, as I was reading one of my new favorite books, Teach Like A Pirate by Dave Burgess, I came across a metaphor that I'm sure will stick with me.  It's the metaphor of the torpedo.

In his chapter "Ask and Analyze,"  Burgess shares a story he read in Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell…

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Added by Scott Habeeb on June 23, 2014 at 1:56pm — No Comments

Student Self-Assessment

If you've read much on this Assessment FOR Learning site you're aware of the 4 components of The Heart of AFL.  One of those key components is that students will use feedback to guide their own learning on both a short- and long-term basis.  

This concept often causes educators to roll their eyes as they think to themselves, "No student of mine ever asked for feedback to…

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Added by Scott Habeeb on June 17, 2014 at 1:00pm — No Comments

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