Insights on Using Assessments Thoughtfully
March 2014 issue of Educational Leadership explores the many ways teachers can use assessments to help students learn. Articles in this issue look at how educators can use assessments thoughtfully to help students move forward.
In her "Perspectives" column, Editor-in-Chief Marge Scherer notes that it's not a revelation that teachers' daily assessment practices improve learning more than standardized tests. She writes
From building relationships to delivering a lesson that is challenging, engaging, and, sometimes, entertaining, teaching is very much a performance art that must be practiced on one's feet. Formative assessment presents another challenge—and requires sophisticated but quieter skills: observation, questioning, reflection. Teachers' daily ongoing practice puts the pieces together—and this practice has more potential to improve learning than all the high-stakes tests put together. It's no revelation, but something we have known all along.
Articles in the issue include
- "The Bridge Between Today's Lesson and Tomorrow's" by Carol Ann Tomlinson
Ten principles for using formative assessments wisely.
- "The Right Questions, The Right Way" by Dylan Wiliam
"No hands up" and other ideas to help you elicit evidence of students' thinking.
- "When Students Lead Their Learning" by Ron Berger
Student-led conferences involve students in analyzing their own growth.
- "Helping Students Climb the Common Core Staircase" by Harvey F. Silver and Matthew J. Perini
Strategies for preparing students to meet the challenges of the new assessments.
- "The Case for Confidence" by Tom Schimmer
How to lessen anxiety and increase your students' willingness to try.