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Third Grade Teacher Burbank,Ilinois

Heather, you had many great

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Heather, you had many great points on making assessments authentic. I find that high stakes testing and how it is not authentic. Your rubrics are great tools for teachers to use to reflect and evaluate the types of assessments that we give. Your points about how the Common Core will create more authentic assessments is very true, but at the same time, how will that translate into the new type of testing associated with the Common Core Standards? It has always been my goal not to teach to the test, but sometimes I find that difficult being a third grade teacher. Any additional ideas on how to make assessments meaningful and reflect my students true ability, without the bubble letters?

ESL/Testing Coordinator NYCDOE

I thoroughly enjoyed reading

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I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog. This really hit very close to home. With the New York City Board of Educations very recent transition into the Common Core Standards, I was able to relate to the 4c's and the relationship they have to bringing real life into the classroom. I look forward to seeing in the near future how the formal assessments will begin to reflect the CCLS. I can't express how important it is for schools to give meaningful assessments both on the formal and informal levels. Data is a buzz word these days which are beginning to define teachers and their effectiveness, which I totally disagree with. The reason why I disagree is because the assessments that we are giving are not meaningful and are created with biased perspectives. Our schools are rich with diversity and these tests are there to only cater to one type of child, the self-taught child. This does not benefit our children or show proper growth measures of our students. In turn, these tests negatively represent our teachers, which leads them to possible burnouts.
I hope in the near future the people running our schools will see this and be able to empathize with our views. At the end of the day we are the ones who know them best.

Fourth grade teacher from Fayetteville, North Carolina

You have made some very good

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You have made some very good points regarding meaningful assessments. I believe in ongoing assessments and prompt feedback. The 4Cs are crucial in assessing any students; as we should always be mindful of each learner that we are presented with every year.
I am a believer of allowing students to express themselves in what ever method they are comfortable with; thus bringing out their creativity. We are bombarded to give assessments that are only geared towards the success of a few students. What about the other learners, who are vocal, tactile and mathematical. I have a very diverse group of students working with; so I try to assess each of them accordingly. Just as how you mentioned that we should engage with the students during assessments and not just the standard paper test.

I really appreciated your

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I really appreciated your criteria for creating a meaningful classroom assessment. Your eight questions provide a focus for making assessments worthwhile to the teacher and students. I was not familiar with the Common Core's 4Cs. Communication, especially, is an area that I feel we lack on in so many assessment formats. In today's world, it is especially important that students can share their thinking in a clear and concise way. Thank you, also, for the examples of the rubrics you use. I love the idea of allowing my students to rate the assessment on the same rubric I will give feedback on. This, in itself, creates a more authentic assessment piece. You've given me some great ideas for updating assessments in my classroom.

1st Grade Teacher

I came across your blog post

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I came across your blog post via my online graduate course. I found it very interesting. I recently completed a beginning teacher program. During one module, I researched and implemented different asessment techniques. It helped me to create meaning assessments for my students by acessing several modalities, and providing choice and differentiation. I am excited to see the changes that Common Core is bringing because it will allow students to demonstrate their knowledge in ways in which they are more comfortable.
I am interested in your comment that asessment should be everyday. This is a little intimidating to me. Would you mind expanding on this?

Special Education Teacher from Olean, New York

Meaningful Assessment

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I certainly enjoyed reading your blog. In today’s schools, assessment is a huge factor in what teacher’s do. As you said, I believe it is critical to allow different formats of assessment. With varied formats, students of all learning styles and learning preferences are able to succeed and feel good about their work.
Still, it is important to make assessment meaningful. One way to make assessment meaningful is to follow through. By following through I mean that once an assessment is complete one must interpret the data and do something with it. After an assessment in my classroom I change groupings or content depending on the needs of the students. If a student “gets it” I will not leave them with a group of students that need additional supports, and vice versa. I work with 2nd and 3rd grade special education students. Instruction in my classroom thrives around groups and centers. However, my groups and centers are continuously changing throughout the year based on assessments (formal and informal).

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