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What DOES Meaningful Assessment Look Like in Action

Page history last edited by Bill 7 years, 3 months ago

What DOES Meaningful Assessment Look Like in Action?


Direct link to this resource collection:  http://bit.ly/MCFeb2015


One of the simplest truths about school improvement is that meaningful assessment means everything.  But just what does meaningful assessment look like in action?  And more importantly, how can classroom teachers make meaningful assessment doable on a daily basis?  Those are the kinds of questions that participants in this short conversation led by full time classroom teacher Bill Ferriter will wrestle with together.  




Slides for Today's Workshop

Slides - PPT

Slides - PDF


The file above contains the most recent version of today's session slides.  Feel free to download them if you like to follow along on your desktop.  





Activity - Surveying Your Current Assessment Reality

Handouts - PDF


One of the core practices in classrooms where students make the most learning gains is formative assessment.  Bob Marzano's research has shown that timely and directive feedback is the second most important school-level factor for improving student achievement.  John Hattie argues that "the simplest prescription for improving education must be dollops of feedback."  And Mike Mattos believes that until we get to a point where mastery is tracked by student and standard, we have no real chance of effectively intervening on behalf of struggling students.  Use the survey linked above -- which was developed by Solution Tree assessment expert Kim Bailey -- to reflect on the current state of the formative assessment practices in your building.  


Additional questions to consider:


  • How frequently are students in your classroom/school given timely and directive feedback about their progress towards mastering essential skills?  What are the challenges that make providing timely and directive feedback to students difficult in your classroom/school? 
  • How effectively are teachers tracking progress towards mastery of essential skills by student and by standard in your school?  What are the challenges that make tracking progress by student and standard difficult in your classroom/school?
  • Are teachers on your learning team or in your school generally open to the notion of formative assessment?  If giving timely and directive feedback was doable, would teachers embrace the practice? 





Activity - Assessments as Critical Friends



When presenting on professional learning communities, session presenter Bill Ferriter likes to use the image below to ask audiences to consider the kinds of behaviors and actions that separate critics from critical friends.  The simple truth, however, is that depending on how they are applied, school-based assessments -- classroom tests and projects, district benchmarks, end of grade exams, school report cards -- can be either critics or critical friends for the students in our classrooms.  Spend a few minutes brainstorming the characteristics of assessments that can serve as critical friends in the lives of our students.  Then, share your thinking on the Mentimeter linked above.  








Activity - Tracking Student Progress with Mastery Connect



Developed by a team of former educators, Mastery Connect's goal is to make formative assessment -- measuring progress by student and by standard in a timely fashion -- doable.  The free version of the tool allows teachers to create, administer, score, record and report the results of 10 question assessments that are tied either to state standards or to the Common Core in minutes using nothing more than the webcam of your computer or a web connected device.  In this activity, session presenter Bill Ferriter will introduce participants to the role that Mastery Connect is playing to redefine his assessment practices.




Additional Resources - Exploring Data Analysis Tools and Tricks

Data Meeting Template 

Protocol for Data Meeting 

Structuring Team Data Conversations 


While Mastery Connect can make collecting and reporting assessment data easy for any teacher and/or learning team, truly learning from and acting on assessment data depends on teams who have clear protocols and practices in place for looking at data together.  Assessment experts Kim Bailey and Chris Jakicic have put together a simple template and protocol for conducting data meetings that can help teams to talk about results in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect, and session presenter Bill Ferriter has put together a Structuring Team Data Conversations document that works to guide teams to the same end.  Review these documents to see if they could play any role in the work that you do with collaborative peers.


Questions to consider:


  • Do your learning teams currently have tools and/or practices in place to guide their conversations about student learning data?  How is that influencing -- either positively or negatively -- the work that they do on behalf of students?
  • What is it that you like the best about both data conversation templates?  Which data conversation template is likely to be the right starting point for your learning team?  Why?  
  • If you were to make changes to either of these data conversation templates, what would those changes be?  Why would those changes be important for your teachers and your learning teams? 




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