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Building Confidence in Students, One Child at a Time

Excellent Post! It was great

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Excellent Post!
It was great to read your views about assessments. Assessments should always be given importance, and students must realize its significance. I totally agree with you that transparency is important. Teachers should make students understand the value of assessments, only then will students perform well. Just a suggestion, shouldn't we add weekly test in assessments, so that students give more importance to it?
Thanks a lot for this post! I think ill use it for my own students.

I really enjoyed reading your

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I really enjoyed reading your personal views on meaningful assessments. I think it is so difficult to create meaningful assessments and I liked your ideas that you have. I think the example of the rubric was particularly helpful when thinking about how to assess if an assignment or task was meaningful. I plan on using it as a reference throughout my year and assignment planning. I also like how you survey your students and get their feedback. I think that is incredibly valuable. I look forward to sharing the 4C's with my colleagues this fall.

First grade teacher from Minnesota

In my experience, I have

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In my experience, I have found that most of the assessing I do in my classroom is informal. We do take math test directly from our curriculum, but I have been very unhappy with those. I have wanted to make changes to those tests and am finally doing that this year. It is so important to know that the assessments you give students are truly giving you the information you need about their learning. I do love rubrics and have been trying to use those more often with my first graders. They love to know what they need to include in a writing assignment and love the responsibility of checking to make sure they included it. I really like the idea of asking the students to assess the assessment. I think it gives them some responsibilty in making sure the assessment is appropriate. I am so glad there is so much information out there to help. Thank you for the article and the great information.

Teacher, Writer, and Artist

THE BEST ASSESSMENT ...

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... the words you choose when you personally meet with a parent in describing their child at school. The power of what you say can alter the future.

www.adixiediary.com

Good ideas!

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I like the idea of using a checklist when designing assessments, and I think incorporating the four C's not only benefits the students but it benefits us teachers as well. It validates our assessments and gives them a sense of meaningful purpose. So to often students do not have much of a say in their learning and I think this really turns them off and gives them a negative attitude about school. Focusing the assessments on skills students must use in their future helps them tremendously as they get older. You're right - students can look up facts on google anytime. Heck, teachers use google all the time to look up facts. And I think you nailed it on the head - how can we get our students communicate the content in a way that is meaningful to them? That is where you checklists/rubrics come in to play. Great article. Thanks for posting it.

First teacher for Redmond, Washington

Assessments

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Having rubrics is so important for student success! I didn't learn that until a few months into my first year of teaching, and once I started using rubrics I was amazed by the success of my students. My district has a very intense rubric for grading writing, which can be overwhelming to students. Many students get it back, and search for a grade (1, 2, 3 or 4) and don't understand that they are graded in each strand. I realized there was this gap, and taught my students the rubric and then had them practice on anchor papers. I was amazed how much harder they were on the anchor papers than the district was. Once they were confident in grading other papers, I had them start grading themselves. I would have them grade themselves in yellow, and I would grade them on the same rubric in blue. The things we agreed on then turned green, and then students could see if they were too hard on themselves or too easy. Students loved seeing how well they did, and then they understood what they needed to do to truly improve their writing.

Second grade Dual Language Teacher

My district implements a

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My district implements a curriculum in which most assessment is informal. We use informal observations, portfolios, and running records to track the academic growth of our students. When it comes time to take the standardized tests, our students freeze up because they are not experienced in taking these types of assessments. Because of this, they tend to not do well on state tests. We have recently adopted the CCSS and I look forward to using these standards to guide my instruction. Along with these standards, I will develop assessments that will help me to monitor student growth.

Assessments

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I am currently working on my Master's and found this post about assessments very informative. Using a rubric for students no matter their age is very beneficial. My oldest son was in 6th grade last school year and his communication arts teacher used rubrics in the grading of their papers. As a parent I found this helpful when helping him with his homework since it let us know exactly what she was looking for. Now that I am back in school I find it helpful for myself since my instructor uses a rubric for assessment. I learned that I need to follow the 4C's, creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication, when creating assessments.

Elementary teacher from Columbus, Ohio

I really enjoyed your points

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I really enjoyed your points on meaningful assessments. You are right about students being able to bubble in with a #2 pencil, yet that doesn't really show us what they know. Nor does it really show us the student's overall growth.
I like to use rubrics myself, because then the kids know right up front what is expected of them and they can "choose" their grade. I had never thought about letting them pick some of the items that are on the rubric. I like the idea that it gives them ownership of the assignment themselves.
As others have said not every student does well with standardized and formal tests, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they don't know the material. By giving them informal assessments-observations, discussions, etc, you can actually see what they have learned.
When I was a student what I remember the most where the class projects, the hands-on activities and the units. I don't remember the things that were on the tests.
Thanks for including the 8 questions that you use to set up your criteria.

Math teacher from Ohio

Wonderful article.

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By not allowing yourself to have non-meaningful assessments, you are truly raising the bar. Every assessment should have to pass this test. It's too bad that standardized testing practices have not caught up with authentic learning experiences. Technology is leading the way toward more meaningful assessment experiences for students that will someday take these experiences from classrooms like yours to an overall strategy for all educational assessment. Thank you.

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