The Assessment Network

Sharing assessment & grading strategies that help students learn

All Blog Posts (128)

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 4:26pm — 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 9:34am — 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 11:33pm — 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 10:30am — 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

Focused Formatives

I came across this blog by Cassandra Erkens recently from a link on Twitter.  I was reminded of 2 things:

  1. Twitter is an excellent resource for professional development and professional growth, and
  2. Formative Assessment - Assessment FOR Learning - just makes sense.

I love how Erkens provides practical ideas for implementing AFL strategies into a classroom.  More importantly, though, is how she helps teachers decide what to STOP doing in order to make…

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Added by Scott Habeeb on June 6, 2014 at 1:46pm — No Comments

AFL and Heart Monitors

Often, the most profoundly powerful concepts are simple at their core. AFL is such a concept.

Doesn't it just make sense? If we want young people to learn content or skills, we need to gather feedback - and help them gather feedback - on how their doing in relation to specific standards and then use that feedback - and train them to use the feedback - to guide learning.  

It's a lot like going to the doctor when you're sick.  You tell the doctor what's wrong…

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Added by Scott Habeeb on April 25, 2014 at 11:37am — No Comments

Angelina or Brad? Thoughts on external motivators and the classroom.

Ok - which would motivate you more... A chance to win a date with Angelina Jolie or a chance to win a date with Brad Pitt?

Weird question, right?  I was watching a TV discussion about Hollywood's "most beautiful couple", and for some strange reason, I saw an educational corollary buried beneath it.  

Here's the point: If you would be motivated by a chance to win a date with Angelina Jolie, then a chance to win a date with Brad Pitt probably wouldn't do much for…

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Added by Scott Habeeb on April 8, 2014 at 9:30pm — 1 Comment

Formative Assessment Infographic

Here's an excellent resource created and shared by Pam Jimison.  It's a great way to look at Assessment FOR Learning strategies.  What would you add to her graphic?

http://wjuedtech.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/formative-assessment-infographic/

Added by Scott Habeeb on March 24, 2014 at 10:34am — No Comments

Is the FBI Academy "Real World Enough" - aka There are Redos in the Real World

Disclaimer: I know next to nothing about being an FBI agent, training to be an FBI agent, or anything at all related to the FBI...

Recently I had a conversation at church with a friend who is a former-English-teacher-turned-FBI-agent.  We were discussing a David Baldacci novel i was reading at the time about the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team.  My friend recommended a book by FBI Special Agent Christopher Whitcomb entitled…

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Added by Scott Habeeb on February 23, 2014 at 8:41pm — No Comments

AFL as an Afterthought = Extra Headaches

I recently observed a wonderful Geometry class at my school taught by Helen Price.  There were quite a few techniques/strategies she used - from good use of direct questioning to giving students control of their learning to creating a positive culture - that would be worth sharing with others.  However, what really stood out to me was how well she incorporated AFL into the fabric of her planning.  It worked well.  As I watched her class I was reminded of the fact that AFL can't be an…

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Added by Scott Habeeb on December 18, 2013 at 5:31pm — 1 Comment

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