Meta-reflection for Standard 5: Assessment

Attached is a sampling of Kaitlin’s growth portfolio that shows her progress in backward number sense and numeral identification. The first table in this document is Kaitlin’s initial assessment of these skills and is followed by intervention assignments as well as follow-up assessments of both her backward number sense and numeral identification skills.  These artifacts illustrate her exceptional growth in these mathematical concepts. This artifact satisfies standard 5: Assessment: Assesses students’ mastery of curriculum and modifies instruction to maximize learning.

Student Growth Portfolio

Below is a direct link to all artifacts that I feel have implications regarding assessment.

https://oswook.wordpress.com/category/standard-5-assessment/

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Playing Hit the Target!

“Students can hit any target that they can clearly see and doesn’t move.”

Stiggens reiterates throughout his essay that student confidence is an essential component of success in learning. In order to aid in student confidence a goal cannot be a mirage that is constantly wavering. If this is the case hope begins to diminish when the student realizes that the goal will forever be untouchable and out of reach. “This requires that we ensure that all students believe that success is within reach if they keep trying” (DuFour, 73).

Many people throughout the discussion mentioned the importance of self- assessment and clearly stated and written learning objectives for both the teacher and the students to refer to as a strategy to improve student confidence. In my classroom, I provide an end-of-the-unit self assessment at the beginning of the unit in order for the students to see where they are and where they will be going. They take this assessment at the end of the unit as well so they can see how much they have improved. This is a huge confidence builder.

Someone in the discussion mentioned concepts we discussed in a previous course about teachers being leaders and not the dictators of learning; teachers are the sharers of knowledge, not the keepers of knowledge. I was thinking that a simply way of executing this personae is to do investigations and explorations and being forward with learning objectives. Another way could be the use of charts. I use charts to write learning objectives for all to see. Using a chart students are then given guiding questions they can use to guide their independent work. Then, after independent work we can come back together and discuss and chart our learning further. In the end, the chart has our goal, guidance, and the results of student learning all on one piece of paper! This takes me back to our discussions surrounding the Nine Characteristics of High Performing Schools and how important it is to have a clear and shared focus not only between staff but between staff and our students! Before, I wasn’t thinking this was a characteristic regarding anything but staff; boy was I wrong!

Stiggins also discussed the importance of synergy between formative and summative assessments in order to build student confidence and promote achievable competence. Assessment FOR learning promotes the growth toward the goal by informing students of where they are and how to get to the goal.  Assessment OF learning verifies their learning.

In the end, we must nurture confidence in our students so that they can say, “I am not there yet, but I know where ‘there’ is, and I’m on my way” (DuFour, 78). And, “I’m not there yet, but I am much closer than I was and, if I keep trying, I am going to get there” (DuFour, 79).

Instructional Strategies: Environment, Interest, Inquiry, Assessment

Creating meaningful learning experiences begins with the learning environment. “The teacher-arranged environment [is] an active and pervasive influence on the lives of children and teachers throughout the school day. In the processes of teaching and learning, the physical environment…provides the setting for learning and at the same time acts as a participant in teaching and learning” (1999). Not only is the arrangement integral to the success of students’ behavior and academic independence but the culture and community that is developed through collaborative efforts between the teacher and the students is also an essential component. The instructional strategies addressed in this paper foster effective and nurturing learning environments that promote cooperation and inquiry. To read more Instructional Strategies

The Wiki Way of Learning

As much of what I am learning throughout the Curriculum and Instruction Program is centered around the educational theory of constructivism-I appreciate the ‘wiki way of learning’. That is, the communal construction of knowledge.  Humans are innately social beings so we, as educators, must nurture that characteristic and shy away from a more competitive model.

I also clung to the idea that there cannot be a construction of knowledge that aids in understanding and mental growth if individualism is not nourished. For instance, as stated on page 138 of this article, “Collectively, teachers and students benefit from a shared collaborative document that could not have been built without unique contributions from different authors,” and continues by stating that, “…it is a mode of thinking and acting that requires individuality in order to be a collective experience” (2009).

Going forward with the ‘wiki way of learning’, and not having many resources in my classroom to work with currently, I am going to attempt this collaborative knowledge idea on bulletin boards. This will be a place where new learnings, elaborations, thoughts, feelings, and questions can be posted, in linguistic or nonlinguistic representations, surrounding a particular idea or concept that is aligned with the current unit of study. I would contribute to the collaboration as well to monitor understanding and clarify as needed. This will also be used as a formative assessment tool that will continuously provide information about students’ growth of knowledge.

Also, each Friday or so, the class and I could have a group discussion surrounding the ideas and thoughts posted on the bulletin boards and come up with a group generated summary that would be pasted on the classroom blog or website. This way, “…knowledge is formed by the individual as a process rather than a product that is presented by them. Being a process, knowledge is always ‘in formation’ rather than ‘already formed’ (2009).

Ruth, A., Houghton, L. (2009). The wiki way of learning. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 25(2). 135-152.

Growth Portfolio in Mathematics

Attached is a sampling of Kaitlin’s growth portfolio that shows her progress in backward number sense and numeral identification. The first table in this document is Kaitlin’s initial assessment of these skills and is followed by intervention assignments as well as follow-up assessments of both her backward number sense and numeral identification skills.  These artifacts illustrate her exceptional growth in these mathematical concepts.  Student Growth Portfolio

Assessing Fluency: Is There a Better Way?

Fluency has yet to enter the spotlight in reference to good reading instruction. However, we expect our students to pass multiple fluency tests throughout the school year regardless of the absence of explicit fluency lessons. School districts throughout the country rely on the fluency standards the Dynamic Indicator of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) assessment provides and yet the DIBELS’s only fluency task is speed.  Assessing Fluency Using DIBELS Tests

Theory of Multiple Intelligences

This paper focuses on the importance of integrating the multiple intelligences, defined by Howard Gardner, while planning instruction in order to more effectively teach all students. This paper demonstrates knowledge regarding standard 1 specifically. Theory of Multiple Intelligences