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Resource Teacher

So true

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A student’s level of understanding cannot be measured by a test fit for all. Project based learning helps, webquests and others; but some kids get tripped up by those too. I had this little guy who the teachers claimed had a low IQ--whatever that means. He failed every test even though he seemed to be able to do the class work. When working with him one on one, I found him to be very quick at grasping concepts; he could not only reiterate what he learned, but often he could think deeper about what he was learning. However, this student did not make it past his sophomore year in high school. "School was not a good fit for him," some would say. Sad. I truly relate to this post and agree we need to broaden our definition of understanding in education.

As I was reading this

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As I was reading this article, it reminded me of when I was in high school. I would study and study for a test and still get a B and would walk away thinking "But I know this stuff." Sometimes just giving students a paper and pencil test, doesn't give them the opportunity to show us what they really did learn. Yes, it is important they are learning the main objectives and standards, but why limit them to just those. Allow students to show and demonstrate what they have learned instead of using so many "snapshots" to form a grade.

High school social studies teacher

I find it so hard to take

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I find it so hard to take these "snapshots" of learning in a high school classroom. There are too many students that have become professionially silent, making it tought to drag any information out of them. In the end I usually get the same few students who repeatedly volunteer information and responses.
I try to track learning throughout units with a little quiz here or an assignment we go over as a class so that discussion takes place. This helps me to get a little more feedback. I would like to discover other ways to check learning progress as well.

Kindergarten teacher from Minnesota

I often find myself asking

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I often find myself asking the same question when teaching my little learners. I feel as though the students who have a good handle on things are the ones who answer my questions when we do discuss what we have learned or take "snapshots"(even if they aren't the ones I call on!) So then I am left wondering about those students who may not quite have a firm grasp on the concepts. I guess I am wondering what other ways can I consistantly measure comprehension and understanding for those students that I am not quite sure about when we take snapshots throughout the day.

"Snapshots"

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As I was reading I was thinking about students in my class, wondering if they truly understand what I am teaching at any given time throughout the day. I am a kindergarten teacher and I try to take "snapshots" of knowledge throughout the learning process with many formative assessments throughout a unit. As a teacher of young learners, I need to constantly assess what students know and understand so I can make sure lessons taught are of value.

I teach math and I feel that

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I teach math and I feel that understanding is very important because the chapters continually build on each other. If they didn't understand the first chapter, they probably won't understand the next one. They will be playing catch-up and falling behind the whole year. I believe that one test does not show true understanding. I like that you said to use numerous and a variety of assessments. I try to use both formative and summative assessments. I feel it is very crucial to know what the students understand before you give them their "final" test on the material.

It was so nice to see a blog

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It was so nice to see a blog entry that broke it down for me. Educators put countless hours into putting together assessments. The communities perspective plays a part in the outcome and reflection of the data from assessments. I feel that we are starting to trend towards assessing more than one way with students. I look forward to the future of assessing students and feel that we are going to have more authentic and valuable assessments of learning.

Second grade teacher from Minneapolis, MN

Thank You

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I’ve often wondered what it truly means to understand something. As a second grade teacher, I tend to agree with your point that “know” and “understand” are often used interchangeably. My students will often say, “I already know that!” When it comes time to assess them, I find that they don’t completely understand how or why something works. Thank you for addressing the Facets of Understanding and the Knowledge Domain. These guidelines will help me to better assess understanding in my classroom, and will help me create more effective assessments of learning.

Finally a new Hierarchy of Learning

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The addition of understanding as a personal, individualistic, and unique addition to Bloom's Taxonomy is fabulous. We are incorporating it immediately!

first grade teacher from Chula Vista

learning habits tell all

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When push comes to shove, when I assess what my students "know" it has more to do with learner habits than what is proved on a test. Students who demonstrate strong habits of mind are active listeners, explore ideas through dialogue and debate, and take the initiative to try and learn more. Unfortunately, the majority of my students do not have understanding as a goal. Getting students to have the motivation to understand is a tough battle. My students hear each other but don't really listen to each other. It is a daily focus to practice paraphrasing and clarifying what another has said. Poor communication skills reveal how little interaction students are having with their parents. Since we cannot change the home, we need to place listening and speaking for understanding at the top of our agenda K-12.

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