The Assessment Network

Sharing assessment & grading strategies that help students learn

One of the tricks of staff development is finding ways to apply ideas/strategies/concepts to the many different departments and content areas that make up a school. That's one of the goals of this Ning - to document ways to use AFL in many different settings. For example, there has been a PE example, a World Language example that could apply to any content course, a Social Studies rubric, an English rubric, a World Language example (really a vocab example), an example from a Marketing class, and a Math example. In addition there have many other examples that could apply to any class or that speak to the underlying philosophy of AFL.

However, there is one part of the typical school setting has not yet been addressed well by this site - the School Counselor. So let's address it....

Regina Meredith is a school counselor at Salem High School in Salem, VA. National Board Certified, innovative, hard-working, positive, and caring, Regina is everything a school could look for in a counselor. (Also, she's excellent with fluff!) But could she apply AFL to the position of school counselor? Yes...

Regina has developed an AFL Chart that she uses with certain students. One of the goals of AFL is to get students to use feedback/data to guide their own learning. Often a teacher might find this a difficult goal to reach with certain students. Certain students believe that their lack of progress is the teacher's fault or is an unavoidable reality over which they have no control. In a classroom full of students, this child is often a difficult one for the teacher to reach. This student probably needs some one-on-one attention. In steps the counselor...

This past year Regina had 3 students with whom she used the chart you see below. She regularly met with them on an individual basis and had them set goals and analyze their progress. She had them document their efforts to improve and seek out evidence of improvement. In doing so she at the least had the opportunity to plant important seeds for future growth. She got students to begin to realize the relationship between their effort and their progress. At best she was able to get students to truly take ownership of their progress.

So is this AFL? You bet it is. Students are analyzing their assessment data to guide their instruction. Would a classroom teacher be able to do this with a student? Definitely. However, for that harder to reach child, this is a great opportunity for the school counselor to step in and play a productive role in helping a student succeed.

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