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Assessment For Learning: Elementary. NESA Spring Educators Conference April 2, 2011. Damian Cooper (905) 823-6298 dcooper3@rogers.com. Session Outcomes. Review the research base behind current assessment directions

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Assessment for learning elementary l.jpg

Assessment For Learning: Elementary

NESA Spring Educators Conference

April 2, 2011

Damian Cooper

(905) 823-6298

dcooper3@rogers.com


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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


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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?



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Mission: excellence from ALL

Range of Competent Achievement


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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


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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


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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.


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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


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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.


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Differing Assessment Purposes

Assessment for Learning

  • Tryouts

  • Practices

Assessment of Learning

  • Games

  • Playoffs


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But we must begin with the question, “What constitutes essential learning for students in the 21st. century?”


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“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


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Stage 1: Identify targeted understandings


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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.


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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


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“…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


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Stage 2 learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.”: Determine appropriate assessment of those understandings


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Stage 1 learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.”: Identify targeted understandings


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Stage 2 learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.”: Determine appropriate assessment of those understandings


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Assessment learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.”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


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Diagnostic Assessment learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.”

  • 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.


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Grade 1. learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.”


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Time to “Talk About Assessment” learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.”

  • 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?


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Using Assessment Data to Differentiate Instruction learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.”

  • 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 …


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Purposeful Grouping of Students learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.”

  • 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”


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Using Assessment Data to Differentiate Instruction learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.”

  • 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


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Differentiating Instruction learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.”

  • 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.


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Differentiating Assessment learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.”

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


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Tiered Assessments learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.”

  • 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.


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Tiered Assessments learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.”

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


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Tiered Assessments learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.”

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.


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Tiered Assessments learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.”

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.


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Tiered Assessments learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.”

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.


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Reporting to Parents learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.”

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


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Time to learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.”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?


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Time to learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.”Talk About Assessment

  • What is your assessment of Kim’s instructional & assessment practices?

  • +?

  • -?

  • Interesting?


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Components of Assessment for Learning learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.”(Black & Wiliam, 2003)

  • Oral questioning

  • Marking as feedback

  • Peer and self-assessment

  • Formative use of summative tests


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Components of Assessment for Learning learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.”(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


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Components of Assessment for Learning learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.”(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?


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Time to learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.”Talk About Assessment

  • To what extent are these 6 “Look For’s” evident in your classroom or school?


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Assessment learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.” for Learning: am I already doing it?

  • Do I routinely share learning goals with my students so they know where we are heading?


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Math Class learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.”

  • 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.


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Assessment learning is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.” 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?


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Most students can hit the target if they can see it clearly and it stays still for them.

Rick Stiggins


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Clear Targets and it stays still for them.

  • 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


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Using Rubrics in the Classroom and it stays still for them.

  • 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?”


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Assessment and it stays still for them.for Learning


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Assessment and it stays still for them.of Learning


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Time to and it stays still for them.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?


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Assessment and it stays still for them. 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?


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Math Class and it stays still for them.

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.


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Music Class and it stays still for them.

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?


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Self and Peer Assessment and it stays still for them.

  • 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


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Time to and it stays still for them.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.


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Assessment and it stays still for them. 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?


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Provide tons of feedback … and it stays still for them.

  • 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


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Provide tons of feedback … and it stays still for them.

  • 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


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Commitment to Action and it stays still for them.

  • 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?