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Education Consultant

Thanks for this great

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Thanks for this great article! I find it crucial to assess the process as well as the product. When using 21st century skills and project-based learning, it's important that students value the work they are doing along the way. I used checkpoints and self assessments to help students develop value and meaning to their own process. I also used peer assessments, which provides students with the opportunity to observe the process of others and how it differs from their own. Creativity and innovation are key to success in today's society. I stress the importance of not just achieving a goal, but the wonder of learning along the way.

High School Math Teacher

I spent over four years

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I spent over four years studying assessment. I could not stop learning about assessment. I may still work on it this year. Here are some things that I learned through this intense study:
1. There is a difference between teaching to a test and teaching a test. The key word is to. When you teach a test, you are basically teaching exactly what the test will be. For example, you show released test questions to emphasize this is what they are going to see so they need to "know it". You may also do a lot of test taking strategies like plug it in or elimination. In contrast, when you teach to a test, you design the learning experiences so that students can successful show their understanding no matter what the test is.
2. The most important feedback is not what a teacher tells students but what students tell teachers. So many times we have students take tests so that we can "tell" them something, i.e., their grade or how far they are from passing the state test. However, the real point of assessment is the information students are "telling" us as educators. It is them telling us how we need to adjust our instruction.
3. Assessment is like a box of chocolates. You need a variety. This was stated during a training I completed. It is a very true statement of what we in education need to do in regards to assessment. We need to have overwhelming evidence to show what a student knows and is able to do with what they know.

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