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Math Teacher , high school , Atlanta , Georgia

This is an excellent Post. I

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This is an excellent Post. I think using a rubric and having the students knowing the expectations of the various levels of performance is critical. Therefore students/learners should be able to make their own self-assessment. Assessment should always make sense to the learner/students, authentic and have significant value. Also it must be a reliable and valid tool that is free from subjectivity.

This is a great post about

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This is a great post about assessments. With the common core standards and and the emphasis on data collection and teaching to the state tests, teachers today need to stay current on the new ways to assess students. Coming up with different strategies, such as creating a rubric to help you create a meaningful assessment, are great ways to help prevent burnout while helping your students reach their greatest potential. Vanetta, your comment gave me some creative juice about creating assessments that are unique to each students needs. Creating the same assessment but catering to the different needs will help to ensure success for all. Some students are visual learners, auditory learners, tactile learners, etc., so one test will certainly not fill all!

high school math teacher

I really liked a few things

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I really liked a few things talked about here. I like that you are honest about what assessment should be. I would say that I have a hard time making assessments that fit your questions though. I am a math teacher and I was wondering about how I could make the assessment inquiry based, communication of knowledge and the multiple modalities? I like that you talked about being transparent too. That was great. The assessments have to have meaning for the students. I think that is so important. Thanks.

I agree with so many of the

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I agree with so many of the points that have been made. Several assessments at my current school are used to monitor student achievement but I feel that they are not being used to their potential. Our school employs many first year teacgers and it seems we simply teach the teachers how to use the assessments and not how to interpret them. We find out which students need additional support but we don't apply appropriate strategies to aid them. Thank you for some really great ideas that I will be sure to share with out specialists.

Meaningful Assessments

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I really feel strongly about the importance of informing students about the value of assessment. All to often what teachers do in a classroom seems to be a mystery to students. Educating students about why this is an important process helps them to see the value of it. I have always appreciated a good rubric for my students. I have never considered using one for assessing my own teaching skills. Thank you for all the great ideas.

3rd Grade Inclusion Teacher

I came across this blog while

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I came across this blog while working on an assignment for a graduate class. I really enjoyed reading the post about assessment, and really agreed with a lot of the points that were made. I couldn't agree more that there should not be such a focus put on the results of high stakes testing as student achievement on these tests is only a snapshot of the student's ability. I also agree that assessment needs to be done everyday, and that the key to good assessment is using your results to drive your future instruction!

Additionally, I loved the rubric idea! I could definitely see how this would be attractive to students as they love to have a say or choice in the daily decisions being made in the classroom!

Meaningful Assessments

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The conversation we are all concerned about is creating useful data on students so that we can support their learning. Even more so, we are all concerned about performance based pay, which is again on the tables of those in charge. What is not realized is, like most of you stated, that formal testing is focused on a small amount of our very diverse student populations. This is not fair to teachers because you can't base a teachers salary on a melting pot of students, even high performing teachers have years when the success rate within their classrooms do not increase substantially.
Daily assessment is an ingrained part of our routines that we don't even realize we are doing through active monitoring of students as they work. By doing this, we can observe how the students are learning and what they may need to reach the expectations we have for them. While I am actively monitoring and talking with my students each day, I carry a notebook/clipboard around with the intent of noting what the students are thinking. This helps me understand who needs extra support and who is ready to be challenged further within that concept.
Unfortunately, we are faced with formal state assessments which require students to apply the concepts they have learned in different situations. On the positive side, those states who have adopted the CCSS will be providing opportunities for students to create meaningful learning in multiple situations through problem solving and discovery instead of direct instruction. If we are able to anecdotally observe our students with the end result in mind, we will have a better understanding of what they know and the depth of which they know it.

International Educator, Certified by the NBPTS | Educational Leader, Licens

Don't forget the formative...

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Some of the most authentic, meaningful assessment is formative. It is done by simply walking around, talking with students, and noting your conversations.

The conversation goes something like this:
- a sincere, specific complement about the work you see.
- something that you notice and wonder about.
- one thing the student can pay attention to, work on, improve. This is most highly effective by having students identify where they are on one aspect of the rubric and where they want to be. You coach them how to get there.

Janet | expateducator.com

3rd grade teacher

Meaningful assessments

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As I am working on an assignment for one of my masters classes, I am so glad I came across your post. Having only completed one year of teaching, I quickly came to realize how important meaningful assessments are in the classroom. I often wonder what assessments are of value to student achievement and which ones do not really matter. Too often teachers teach to all the high-stakes tests, and forget about the more important informal assessments that should be taking place in the classroom. The rubric to validate the meaningfulness of an assessments will be very beneficial to me this upcoming school year. I need to start creating assessments that allow for creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication as you had mentioned. Thanks for the insight into assessments!

Third Grade Teacher Burbank,Ilinois

I agree with many of your

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I agree with many of your points about standardized testing. It seems that we are relying too much on data and not enough on overall student growth. I also work in a district with a diverse population and many of those students don't do well on those types of tests and I feel that it often discourages them and makes them feel unsuccessful. While I agree that we need meaningful assessment, each region of the country is diverse and how can we compare apples and oranges? We need to focus on student growth overall, and not necessarily on a target percentage.

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