Some of my favourite conversations with like-minded colleagues focus on assessment. It truly is at the heart of what good educators do. I love having those hallway conversations which provide deeper meaning or spark an idea. This morning, as one of our students, who happens to have ASD, was singing his morning song, his educator shared his thorough knowledge about science topics. She went on to share that the best way to assess that science strength is through oral assessments ~ those all-important conversations. As the conversation continued, she also shared that when she is assessing his comprehension of a text, she has him draw a picture, instead of having him write out his responses. What a gift it is for that student, to have an educator who truly understands the power of differentiating assessment strategies
On numerous occasions this year, we have shared this graphic as a visual reminder about not only the triangulation of assessment strategies, but that when personalizing those strategies, assessment could and by rights should look different for different students. We want to ensure that we are setting our students up for success.
A couple of weeks ago, as two educators were planning, I happened to pop by their room. A conversation about rubrics ensued and I shared that as a part of my current reality of supporting a junior class, I was about to experiment with a single point rubric, which included a Glow and Grow column.
As an aside, I am currently using Glow/Grow as the framework when providing feedback to candidates following interviews.
I recalled that years ago, when teacher moderation was the latest professional learning, we would spend ½ a day deliberating on the wording within a four column (very wordy) rubric. I can remember lengthy discussions about whether we should use “rarely, occasionally, almost always” or “complete understanding, substantial understanding, some understanding.” It was our best thinking at the time, but I am not sure that it hit the mark when it came to providing students meaningful feedback.
When we label ourselves as reflective, life-long learners, it comes with a commitment to always question our practice and to be open to evolving it.
I love that the educators that I get the privilege of working with are constantly questioning their practice, bravely evolving their thinking, and exploring new ways of assessing students, with the intent of helping them move along their learning continuum.
How has your assessment practice evolved?
Come write with me….