The Assessment Network

Sharing assessment & grading strategies that help students learn

Scott Habeeb's Blog (119)

Using AFL to Overhaul Your Grading System

Members of this AFL Network will appreciate this article (link at end of blog post) written by Laurie Amundson and published in the November 2011 edition of Ed Leadership.  


Laurie Amundson is an elementary teacher.  A majority of our members are high school educators which could mean that some tweaking of her practices would be in order.  For example, some of the assessment she does of…


Added by Scott Habeeb on November 3, 2011 at 4:30pm — 1 Comment

AFL Communication and a Self-Assessment Rubric for Math

Educators exploring ways to practice AFL in their classrooms will often find some parents and students a little confused as to exactly why teachers are doing what they're doing.  Unfortunately, over the years schools have conditioned people to view grades as summative in nature.  Many parents and students do not understand how to use feedback from a score or grade in part because they have not been given the opportunity to do so.  The feedback they received wasn't formative - it wasn't…


Added by Scott Habeeb on October 28, 2011 at 11:30am — 4 Comments

Using a Review Sheet in an AFL Manner

Over the past several school years as our school and division have focused on Assessment FOR Learning as a primary professional development topic, I have consistently noticed the following:

When I witness or hear about an excellent and highly effective teaching practice, essential components of Assessment FOR Learning are present.

 I know that might sound like too…


Added by Scott Habeeb on October 18, 2011 at 2:00pm — 1 Comment

Seven Practices for Effective Learning

Check out Seven Practices for Effective Learning from the November 2005 edition of ASCD's Educational Leadership.  This is a great description of how to use assessment to promote learning.



Added by Scott Habeeb on September 21, 2011 at 9:27am — No Comments

New Terminology: Scoring v. Grading

After studying Assessment FOR Learning pretty intensely for the past few school years, I am now beginning to think that we might do ourselves a favor if we would change some of our terminology.  Specifically, I think it's time to stop using the words "grading" or "grade" as often as we do and replace them - at times - with "scoring" or "score".


You don't have to go very far down the AFL road to realize that traditional grading practices often get in the way of our attempts to…


Added by Scott Habeeb on September 6, 2011 at 3:30pm — 14 Comments

Grading (as it relates to AFL)

Grading and assessment are two distinct yet overlapped topics.  This site is dedicated primarily to assessment - the getting and giving of feedback that helps teachers adjust their teaching and students adjust their learning.  However, it is impossible to talk about assessment without occasionally discussing grading.  Therefore, grading posts and resources pop up on this site from time to time.  As a way to help members find these resources, this blog post has been created as to serve as a…


Added by Scott Habeeb on July 3, 2011 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Of batting averages, grading, and MVP seasons...

While assessment and grading are two distinct topics, they often intertwine.  Occasionally something comes along to remind us that poor grading practices can end up negating effective assessment practices.  That's why Allen Iverson is on this site - to remind us that we need to give and assess practice, but to remember that when we do so, we're just…


Added by Scott Habeeb on July 3, 2011 at 3:15pm — 5 Comments

AFL, Art Class, and Failure Management

Sometimes you pick up little nuggets of wisdom when you least expect it...


I'm sitting in a hotel room in Williamsburg, VA.  Tomorrow is the start of the annual VASSP conference.  I ate dinner at Sal's Ristorante (lasagna - not bad, but not great) and decided to read a little before going to bed.  I picked up one of the books that I've been reading lately, John Ortberg's If You Want…


Added by Scott Habeeb on June 26, 2011 at 9:30pm — 2 Comments

AFL Presentation at VASSP Conference

If any members of this Ning are going to be attending the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals annual conference this week in Williamsburg, I would invite you to attend my presentation on The Heart of AFL.  It will be on Tuesday, June 28 from 1:30-2:30 and will repeat from 2:45-3:45.  Here is a …


Added by Scott Habeeb on June 26, 2011 at 3:13pm — No Comments

Don't forget the power of SPIN!

Sometimes - or maybe all the time - perception is everything.


We have all realized this at some point or another in our lives.  We have said something, written something, or done something with a positive purpose in mind only to see it have the completely opposite effect due to the way it was perceived.  Perhaps no where is this more true than in the classroom.  Students watch what we do through various colored lenses.  As a result, our actions are often not perceived the way…


Added by Scott Habeeb on June 16, 2011 at 2:16pm — No Comments

The Pre-Test: A simple but EFFECTIVE AFL strategy

My daughter's 7th grade English teacher at Andrew Lewis Middle School uses a time-tested easy-to-apply simple AFL strategy that motivates my daughter to work, helps her to learn, and ensures that her grade is an accurate reflection of that learning.


Every Monday the students are given a pre-test on that week's spelling words.  If the student spells 100% of the words correct on the pre-test, then the grade is recorded in the teacher's grade book, and the student does not have…


Added by Scott Habeeb on May 13, 2011 at 7:47am — 3 Comments

AFL Article in Virginia Educational Leadership

Is anyone in your school looking for an easy-to-understand primer on AFL?  Check out this journal article recently published by the VASCD in Virginia Educational Leadership - Spring 2011:

Added by Scott Habeeb on April 5, 2011 at 8:59am — 4 Comments

An Elementary AFL Activity that Applies to All Levels

One of exciting things I've come to realize about AFL is that so many teachers are already practicing it in their classrooms.  To become a more "AFL-ish" teacher usually doesn't require making major changes in practices.  Instead it's usually a matter of focusing one's intent and purpose.  When this happens, it seems that what we find is that the best classroom practices tend to be AFL in nature.  When one's mind is focused on AFL purposes, it becomes much more likely that these best…


Added by Scott Habeeb on March 14, 2011 at 3:47pm — No Comments

Student Success Prerequisite: Hope

This blog post is a reprint of an article originally published on Education Week.…


Added by Scott Habeeb on March 3, 2011 at 2:32pm — 1 Comment

The 2x10 Method - Building Relationships with Students

The 2 x 10 Method: Building Student Relationships One Kid at a Time

January 10th, 2011, By: Diane Trim in Articles, Classroom Management

This has been reposted from Inside the School. Click…


Added by Scott Habeeb on February 25, 2011 at 8:34am — 3 Comments

Communicating AFL to Students and Parents

Many of the posts on this Ning have dealt with how to communicate with students and parents about AFL practices.  Let's face it, just like AFL concepts are new to many educators, they are definitely new to many students and parents.  It's important to properly communicate with students and parents so that they understand what we we're doing and why we're doing it.  This increases the likelihood that they will benefit from your AFL methods.


As additional resources for…


Added by Scott Habeeb on February 13, 2011 at 10:00pm — No Comments

Interactive AFL Faculty Meetings

For the past several years at Salem High School we have focused on assessment for the staff development portion of our faculty meetings.  The Assessment Network has played an integral role in those faculty meetings.  The Forum feature has enabled us to make our discussions more interactive and collaborative as well enable us to archive our activities for future use.


This blog post is…


Added by Scott Habeeb on February 13, 2011 at 9:00pm — No Comments

The Philosophy of AFL

This AFL site has grown to the point where that it now contains many different blogs and discussion that get to the heart of the philosophy of AFL.  In order to most effectively implement AFL strategies into the classroom, it is helpful to have a strong understanding of the overall philosophy and goals behind AFL.  These ideas are scattered throughout the site. To make this site easier to navigate, this one blog will include links to all of the blogs and posts that deal with the philosophy…


Added by Scott Habeeb on February 12, 2011 at 11:00am — No Comments

Students understanding the value of assessment - nice to see!

Recently I spent a few minutes in the classroom of SHS Marketing teacher Michelle Kovac.  Her Marketing students had just turned in projects that day.  


When I came into the class the students were in the process of evaluating similar projects turned in by last year's students.  Mrs. Kovac had given her students a rubric when they started the project.  Now she was having them use that rubric to assess…


Added by Scott Habeeb on February 12, 2011 at 10:29am — No Comments

AFL Flashcard Review

It's pretty common for a teacher to finish a lesson and still have a few minutes left until the class period ends  Here is an extremely easy and practical way to turn those remaining minutes into a meaningful AFL opportunity.  

Instead of allowing students to sit and talk quietly until the bell rings, these few minutes can be used as a chance for the teacher to assess his or her students so that the teacher and the students know how well content was mastered that day - and so that…


Added by Scott Habeeb on January 18, 2011 at 2:28pm — 4 Comments

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