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Assessment For Learning: Elementary. NESA Spring Educators Conference April 2, 2011. Damian Cooper (905) 823-6298 [email protected] Session Outcomes. Review the research base behind current assessment directions

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assessment for learning elementary

Assessment For Learning: Elementary

NESA Spring Educators Conference

April 2, 2011

Damian Cooper

(905) 823-6298

[email protected]

session outcomes
Session Outcomes
  • Review the research base behind current assessment directions
  • Examine the importance of metacognition, feedback, and self and peer assessment.
  • Understand the critical role played by “assessment for learning” in providing students with the information they need to improve
  • Learn about research-based “assessment for learning” strategies that are proving to be effective in improving student learning
  • Share with colleagues how these strategies may be appropriate to my own classroom
time to talk about assessment
Time to Talk About Assessment
  • Identify for yourself your #1 issue or concern about classroom assessment at your school.
  • Share your concerns at your table.
  • Which of these are shared by the majority at your table?
mission excellence from all
Mission: excellence from ALL

Range of Competent Achievement

slide6
Instruction

Students bring different knowledge & experience to school

Students learn at different rates

Students learn in different ways

Assessment

Not all students are able to demonstrate their learning in the same way

Not all students respond the same way to test pressure

Some students need more scaffolding than others

If the new goal of education is success for all, then we have no choice but toDifferentiate Instruction & Assessment
research on effective assessment
Research on Effective Assessment
  • The provision of effective feedback to students
  • The active involvement of students in their own learning
  • Adjusting teaching to take account of the results of assessment
  • Recognition of the profound influence assessment has on motivation and self-esteem
  • The need for students to be able to assess themselves and understand how to improve

Crooks, 1988; Black & Wiliam, 1998

the big ideas of classroom assessment
The Big Ideas of Classroom Assessment
  • Assessment serves different purposes at different times: it may be used to find out what students already know and can do; it may be used to help students improve their learning; or it may be used to let students, and their parents, know how much they have learned within a prescribed period of time.
assessment for learning
Assessment for Learning

“Assessment for learning is any assessment for which the first priority in its design and practice is to serve the purpose of promoting students’ learning. It thus differs from assessment designed primarily to serve the purposes of accountability, or of ranking, or of certifying competence.”

Black, Wiliam et al. 2004

assessment of learning
Assessment of Learning

“Assessment of learning includes those tasks that are designed to determine how much learning has occurred after a significant period of instruction. The data from such assessments is often used to determine report card grades.

differing assessment purposes
Differing Assessment Purposes

Assessment for Learning

  • Tryouts
  • Practices

Assessment of Learning

  • Games
  • Playoffs
slide12
But we must begin with the question, “What constitutes essential learning for students in the 21st. century?”
backward design program planning
“Backward Design” Program Planning

Stage 1: Identify targeted understandings

Stage 2: Determine appropriate assessment of those understandings

Stage 3: Plan learning experiences and instruction that make such understanding possible

Wiggins and McTighe, Understanding by Design

assessment of learning15
Assessment of Learning

“Assessment of learning includes those tasks that are designed to determine how much learning has occurred after a significant period of instruction. The data from such assessments is often used to determine report card grades.

slide16

When the classroom culture focuses on rewards, gold stars, grades, or class ranking, then (students) look for ways to obtain the best marks rather than to improve their learning. One reported consequence is that, when they have any choice, (students) avoid difficult tasks. They also spend time and energy looking for clues to the “right answer”.

“Inside the Black Box”, Black & Wiliam, 1998

slide17

“…assessment which is explicitly designed to promote learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.”

Assessment for Learning: Beyond the Black Box, 1999, University of Cambridge School of Education

assessment for learning21
Assessment for Learning

“Assessment for learning is any assessment for which the first priority in its design and practice is to serve the purpose of promoting students’ learning. It thus differs from assessment designed primarily to serve the purposes of accountability, or of ranking, or of certifying competence.”

Black, Wiliam et al. 2004

diagnostic assessment
Diagnostic Assessment
  • Engage students with a hook: “If you won the lottery…”
  • Activate prior knowledge
  • Assess current skills and understanding in 3 ways:

-through written work

-through performance assessment and observation

-through oral assessment: questioning, conferencing, discussion, etc.

time to talk about assessment26
Time to “Talk About Assessment”
  • Discuss this 3-way model for diagnostic assessment:

-how closely does it align with your current practice?

-how does it differ?

-what elements of this model could be adapted to your own class?

-what challenges do you anticipate?

-how might these be solved?

using assessment data to differentiate instruction
Using Assessment Data to Differentiate Instruction
  • Examine the data from diagnostic assessments to group students according to their strengths and needs
  • Use mini-lessons followed by practice to address these needs
  • Identify individual students who are most “at risk”
  • Use a combination of groupings to increase understanding …
purposeful grouping of students
Purposeful Grouping of Students
  • Heterogeneous groups to provide support and to consolidate new learning
  • Homogeneous groups to deepen learning and to provide specific instruction to struggling learners
  • Flexible grouping to ensure all students work in their “zpd”
using assessment data to differentiate instruction29
Using Assessment Data to Differentiate Instruction
  • Schedule time to conference with individuals or small groups of students who need the most support
  • Plan this time strategically as a routine part of your instruction
differentiating instruction
Differentiating Instruction
  • Teachers need to fully understand accommodation, modification, and substitution
  • To develop skills, simplify the content e.g. Simpler texts, less depth/breadth, etc.
  • To master content, present using a different mode suited to student’s strengths e.g. Graphics, audio, video, manipulatives, etc.
differentiating assessment
Differentiating Assessment

Must be within student’s “ZPD”

Keep consistent for all students

May be adapted to be within student’s “ZPD”

  • Content standards: learning outcomes
  • Performance standards: rubrics/checklists
  • Student products & performances
  • Assessment conditions
tiered assessments
Tiered Assessments
  • Design task @ grade level, to demonstrate proficiency, independently
  • Adapt or modify task to increase challenge: less structure, more choice, greater sophistication, etc.
  • Adapt or modify task to reduce challenge: more structure, less choice, less sophistication, etc.
slide33

Tiered Assessments

Tiered Assignment: Grade 5 Science Strand : Life Science: Human Body

Enduring Understandings: students will understand how the different body systems are interconnected

Essential Skills: research, organization, communication

Overview of Task:

Students will select a specific disease of the human body to research. They will present their findings using one of several presentation media. The research and presentation task has been tiered to suit different strengths and needs of students

Assessment Criteria: a common rubric is provided for all versions of the task.

Research: posing questions, locating and using resources to answer questions, organizing materials to answer questions

Communication: selection of appropriate medium, clarity of material, quality of product presented, ability to respond to questions

Content: accuracy, depth, vocabulary, level of understanding

slide34

Tiered Assessments

Tier One Task: (designed to provide evidence of proficient achievement at grade level)

The teacher provides a list of possible diseases to be researched. (alternatively, students may select their own disease to research). The teacher provides a list of presentation methods, including written report, oral report, Powerpoint presentation, etc. Students are provided with templates that guide them through the research process, as well as templates relating to each of the presentation methods. Students work in pairs, assigned by the teacher, to support each other as they conduct research, organize their findings, and prepare their presentations.

slide35

Tiered Assessments

Tier Two Task: (designed to provide an additional level of challenge)

Students work as a group to brainstorm the following: range of diseases they will research; all possible sources of information; range of media they will use to communicate their findings. They will serve as resources for each other throughout the project, collaborating as necessary to accomplish the task.

slide36

Tiered Assessments

Tier Three Task: (scaffolded task designed to provide struggling students with an appropriate level of challenge)

Students work under the direct supervision of the teacher. Using one disease, she works closely with students to model each step in the research process. Following each modeled step, she has students complete the same step independently, using a second disease that she has selected. She repeats the same modeling/independent work process for each step in the preparation of students’ presentations. The presentation medium is tailored to each student’s profile.

reporting to parents
Reporting to Parents

Learning outcomes

(incl. IEP ref. if applicable)

Rubric levels

Anecdotal comments

  • Grade level at which student is working
  • Achievement level at which student is performing
  • Degree of support provided
time to talk about assessment38
Time to Talk About Assessment
  • To what extent are the preceding descriptions of instruction, assessment and reporting for diverse learners consistent with current practice in your school or classroom?
time to talk about assessment39
Time to Talk About Assessment
  • What is your assessment of Kim’s instructional & assessment practices?
  • +?
  • -?
  • Interesting?
components of assessment for learning black wiliam 2003
Components of Assessment for Learning (Black & Wiliam, 2003)
  • Oral questioning
  • Marking as feedback
  • Peer and self-assessment
  • Formative use of summative tests
components of assessment for learning wiliam 2007
Components of Assessment for Learning (Wiliam, 2007)
  • Clarifying learning intentions and sharing criteria for success
  • Engineering effective classroom discussions, questions, and learning tasks that elicit evidence of learning
  • Providing feedback that moves learners forward
  • Activating students as owners of their own learning
  • Activating students as instructional sources for one another
components of assessment for learning cooper 2007
Components of Assessment for Learning (Cooper, 2007)
  • Do I routinely share learning goals with my students so they know where we are heading?
  • Do I routinely communicate to students the standards they are aiming for before they begin work on a task?
  • Do I routinely have students self and peer assess their work in ways that improve their learning?
  • Does my questioning technique include all students and promote increased understanding?
  • Do I routinely provide individual feedback to students that informs them how to improve?
  • Do I routinely provide opportunities for students to make use of this feedback to improve specific pieces of work?
time to talk about assessment43
Time to Talk About Assessment
  • To what extent are these 6 “Look For’s” evident in your classroom or school?
assessment for learning am i already doing it
Assessment for Learning: am I already doing it?
  • Do I routinely share learning goals with my students so they know where we are heading?
math class
Math Class
  • Learning Goal: You will demonstrate that you understand the relationship between the numerator and the denominator in a fraction.
  • At the end of the lesson, Linda points to the poster on the classroom wall and asks her students:

What did you learn in this lesson today?

  • Their exit slip is to answer on a “leaf” and post it on the “knowledge tree”

Linda told me that the most effective AFL strategy for her has been to write the learning goal for each day’s lesson on the board.

assessment for learning am i already doing it46
Assessment for Learning: am I already doing it?
  • Do I routinely share learning goals with my students so they know where we are heading?
  • Do I routinely communicate to students the standards they are aiming for before they begin work on a task?
slide47
Most students can hit the target if they can see it clearly and it stays still for them.

Rick Stiggins

clear targets
Clear Targets
  • Clarity of curriculum standards
  • High quality assessment tasks
  • Rubrics to describe what quality looks like
  • Checklists to enable students to monitor their own progress
  • Anchors to show students what quality looks like
using rubrics in the classroom
Using Rubrics in the Classroom
  • Use a rubric analytically to provide feedback to students when conducting diagnostic or formative assessment
    • I.e. focus on the indicators and don’t worry about the overall level
  • Use a rubric holistically for summative evaluation purposes
    • I.e. Ask, “What set of indicators best describes the student’s overall performance at this time?”
time to talk about assessment57
Time to Talk About Assessment
  • As you view Jackie’s class, consider:

-what are some of the potential pitfalls in assessing this task?

-how is Jackie’s use of a rubric similar to or different from your own practice?

assessment for learning am i already doing it59
Assessment for Learning: am I already doing it?
  • Do I routinely share learning goals with my students so they know where we are heading?
  • Do I routinely communicate to students the standards they are aiming for before they begin work on a task?
  • Do I routinely have students self and peer assess their work in ways that improve their learning?
math class61
Math Class

Pete has his students use “Traffic Light” signs at the start of a lesson on equivalent fractions, decimals and percentages to assess prior knowledge.

Teacher: Do you know what the word “equivalent” means?

Students show either the red or green side of the “traffic light” in response.

He orally checks a sample of the “green” responses to see if they do, in fact, understand the term.

music class
Music Class

Students had been practising in groups of 3, playing a 3-part jazz composition. At the end of the lesson, each group performed and the teacher required peers to assess what they heard. Here is some of the conversation:

Rachel: Holly went too fast.

Sam: You all need to listen more to each other.

Teacher: Now, who hasn’t given any feedback yet? Tam, tell Emma’s group how they did, and remember to be specific.

Tam: Emma’s fill was really good. Everyone was in good time.

Teacher: Are you sure about that, Tam? (Tam hesitates….)

Michael, what did you think about Emma’s group?

Michael: They all started out together, then Freddy seemed to get lost, but then they finished together.

Teacher: Good feedback, Michael. Emma’s group, do you agree with what Michael said?

self and peer assessment
Self and Peer Assessment
  • Assessment for learning ONLY
  • Requires training

and modelling

  • Focus assessment

on what was taught

  • Begin with short sessions
  • Needs to be part of your routine
time to talk about assessment64
Time to Talk About Assessment
  • With your colleagues, discuss current use of self and/or peer assessment in terms of purpose, frequency and design in your classroom or school.
assessment for learning am i already doing it65
Assessment for Learning:am I already doing it?
  • Does my questioning technique include all students and promote increased understanding?
  • Do I routinely provide individual feedback to students that informs them how to improve?
  • Do I routinely provide opportunities for students to make use of this feedback to improve specific pieces of work?
provide tons of feedback
Provide tons of feedback …
  • Oral & written feedback tell students how to improve – marks DON’T
  • Establish classroom routines that create opportunities for teacher & peer feedback
  • Provide feedback ALONE on formative assessments; do NOT include marks
provide tons of feedback67
Provide tons of feedback …
  • Needs to cause thinking: don’t provide the “answer”
  • Must not be evaluative
  • Must direct students towards improvement
  • Must make reference to specific quality indicators (a rubric or checklist)
  • Must include an expectation that it will be implemented
  • Must include strategies for checking that it has been implemented
commitment to action
Commitment to Action
  • Spend a few moments reflecting on today ….
  • What was your most significant learning?
  • What specific actions do you plan to take immediately and/or between now and June 2011?
  • Who will be involved?
  • What results would you like to see from these actions?
  • How will you assess the effectiveness of these actions?
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