Tagged “Assessment”

ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Setting the Standard for Standards-Based Grading

Post submitted by Whole Child Blogger Matt Swift

At ASCD's Fall Conference in October, educator Mary McDonough used a variety of techniques while explaining the importance of formative assessment in standard-based grading. During her session, "Formative Assessment: Linchpin for Standards-Based Grading," McDonough had attendees share their own experiences and discuss the topic amongst themselves and presented a slide show with everything from detailed instructions to cartoons that related to her presentation. The discussion was lively, and the audience was engaged with the large amount of information they were receiving, but it all came down to one important point:

"It's good for learning," said McDonough of using formative assessment and standards-based grading. "And it's good for the students."

Read more »

ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

From Differentiated Instruction to Differentiated Assessment

Post written by Douglas B. Reeves, founder of the Leadership and Learning Center in Salem, Mass., and author of ASCD books on educational leadership. Connect with Reeves by e-mail at DReeves@LeadAndLearn.com. This post was originally featured in ASCD Express.

For all the ink that has been spilled regarding the issue of differentiated instruction, little has been said about differentiated assessment. There is no doubt that students come to school with a variety of backgrounds and learning needs, and Carol Ann Tomlinson (Tomlinson & McTighe, 2006) and others (e.g., Stefanakis & Meier, 2010; Fogarty & Pete, 2010) have documented the importance of the issue and the potential success of the results.

The devil, as always, is in the details, and as Schmoker (2010) recently noted, some teachers find the demands of creating different lessons for the learning needs of each student overwhelming. Here are some practical ideas for busy teachers who want to meet the different needs of students while managing the demands on their already busy schedules.

Read more »

Klea Scharberg

Free Webinar: Feed-Up, Feedback, and Feed Forward

Nancy Frey

Join educator, author, and Whole Child Podcast guest Nancy Frey for an exciting free webinar on making formative assessment come alive.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 7:00 p.m. eastern time
Register now!

Read more »

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Assessment 101

Download Podcast Now [Right-Click to Save]

The reality in the United States right now is that we focus extensively on test scores and far too little on the whole child. We then choose one-size-fits-all fixes based on those test scores while ignoring solid research about the infinite ways kids learn and children develop. The true measure of students’ proficiency and readiness for college, career, and citizenship must be based on more than just their scores on any state standardized reading and math assessments. It has to be based on valid, reliable information from multiple sources.

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we're taking a look at the meaning and purpose of assessment; the different types, including formative and summative, standardized and subjective, and informal and formal; and how assessments are used to monitor student progress, provide timely feedback, and adjust teaching-learning activities to maximize student progress. What should we know that assessments can’t do for us? What should we think about when we look at that data, assess its meaning, and decide how to use it for future planning? You'll hear from

  • Nancy Frey, professor of literacy in the School of Teacher Education at San Diego State University and coauthor of several ASCD books, including The Formative Assessment Action Plan and Checking for Understanding: Formative Assessment Techniques for Your Classroom.
  • Tom Whitby, adjunct professor at St. Joseph's College and founder of #Edchat, which has been recognized with an Edublog Award for the Most Influential Educational Twitter Series.
  • Peter DeWitt, principal of Poestenkill Elementary in New York, consultant for the International Center for Leadership in Education, and author of the Finding Common Ground blog for Education Week and the upcoming book Dignity for All: Safeguarding LGBT Students.

Follow host Molly McCloskey and our guests on Twitter @Molsmcc, @NancyFrey, @tomwhitby, and @PeterMDeWitt and share your thoughts on assessment. In January's episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we will continue the conversation by looking at what the future of assessments should be.

How do we demonstrate our high expectations of students—and ourselves—through our curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices?

Klea Scharberg

Throughout December and January: Assessment

We focus extensively on test scores and far too little on the whole child. We often choose one-size-fits-all fixes while ignoring solid research about the infinite ways students learn and children develop. The true measure of students' proficiency and college-, career-, and citizenship-readiness must be based on more than just their scores on state standardized reading and math assessments.

We shouldn't simply teach to the test. We need to teach for understanding, and assessments are tools to gauge that understanding. When used effectively, assessments can facilitate high levels of student achievement by providing ongoing information about students' grasp of key concepts and how to enhance their learning to help them meet or exceed academic requirements. States, districts, and schools should provide a more comprehensive picture of student achievement through multiple assessments of and for learning. Join us throughout December and January as we take a look at how assessments can serve a whole child approach to education and inform—not drive—school improvement efforts.

Read more »

Molly McCloskey

A Whole Child Approach to Education and the Common Core State Standards Initiative

A whole child approach to education is defined by policies, practices, and relationships that ensure each child, in each school, in each community, is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. It engages all stakeholders—educators, families, policymakers, and community members—in defying the "percentage proficient" culture of too many school reform efforts, to focus on each child. And it further raises the bar of accountability beyond narrow, single-issue "improvement" strategies to efforts that reflect the broad array of factors influencing long-term success rather than short-term achievement.

Read more »

Klea Scharberg

Improve Student Learning Through Teacher Effectiveness

Virtually every study that has examined the role of the classroom teacher in the process of educating students has come to the same conclusion: an effective teacher enhances student learning more than any other aspect of schooling that can be controlled by the school.

But that doesn't mean blaming teachers for low test scores. Starting tomorrow, ASCD's Fall Conference on Teaching and Learning focuses on how schools can support teacher effectiveness in a balanced way that addresses all of the factors research indicates improve student learning. Follow the conference learning online with Conference Daily and join the conversation on Twitter through the #ascdfc11 hashtag.

Read more »

Klea Scharberg

How to Informally Assess Student Learning

Assessing students in modern and diverse classrooms can prove daunting for educators. Ensuring that students understand the curriculum and are keeping up in the classroom is important for them to receive a high-quality education.

Rethink assessment based on the unique needs of each student with ASCD Express.

Read more »

Share |

Blog Archive

Blog Tags