Assessment is such a crucial part of teaching. How do we know where students are at if we don’t allow for genuine, authentic assessment?
As members of MJDS’ 2nd assessment team (our first cohort began last year and continues to meet this year), a group of MJDS and Augustine Prep teachers meeting monthly, we’ve had ample opportunity to learn and tinker with new assessment approaches such as…
- Visible Thinking
- In our first assessment team meeting this year, we focused on visible thinking. A framework for enhancing classroom learning and aiding students in developing routines and understanding of the content.
- Thinking routines
- In our December meeting, we focused on how these learning routines can be simple structures, such as reading from a text and answering the questions at the end of the chapter, or designed to promote students’ thinking, such as asking students what they know, what they want to know, and what they have learned as part of a unit of study. (Via: Thinking Routines)
- How to best align standards to classroom assessment
- Our January meeting allowed us time to really dig into our learning standards, and find ways for them to authentically connect to assessment.
- How to enrich retrieval and transfer
- Recently we talked about how best to develop retrieval and transfer of content and skills in our students. We learned that many students (and adults!) struggle with the ability to retrieve information and transfer it to different areas of life. If what we are teaching can’t be pulled out of our students brains to apply to new learning, what is the point? We are trying to use more consistent practices in our classes to ensure the development of both retrieval and transfer skills.
- Retrieval Practice
Learning these strategies and having time to plan them during our assessment team meetings has allowed us to transform the learning and assessment in our classrooms. We have established thinking routines in our rooms, we have spent time looking at our standards and aligning our lessons and assessments to those standards, and we have been using retrieval practices as a way to help our students remember the content at a higher level and build upon it.
We feel so lucky to have the opportunity to be a part of this ongoing learning experience. We can not wait to learn and share more as we continue to grow and collaborate, just like our students.