ECS 410, Uncategorized

Making Classroom Assessment Work response (CH 3 and 5)

Chapters three and five of making classroom assessment work although on different topics, share some common beliefs. Chapter three begins by discussing the theory of backwards design and that “When teachers and students know where they are going, they are more likely to achieve success” (Davies 25). This model of assessment is important because no two kids will come into class on the same level, but as a teacher your job is to support all students so that eventually reach the same outcome, and if you don’t know what that outcome will be you cannot accurately and equitably help students reach that goal. In chapter five Davies discussed collecting evidence in order to represent student learning, and the idea that “the amount of ongoing evidence needed to effectively plan daily instruction varies from teacher to teacher” (Davies 51) and from student to student. In both chapters Davies discuses the idea of involving the class in their own assessment students don’t know what they are to learn and what it can look like, they are handicapped and their success is at risk” (Davies 28).

The article “Backward Design” furthered the ideas presented by Davies and put the focus of backward design on “design[ing] curriculum and instruction that facilitate understanding, retention, and generalization” (Sands and Pope 6). Both the Davies chapter and this article It also focused on why this model of assessment is important, because no two kids will come into class on the same level, but as a teacher your job is to support all students so that eventually reach the same outcome, and if you don’t know what that outcome will be you cannot accurately and equitably help students reach that goal. The backwards design approach works well with the current outcome based education system here in Canada, as we already know the goals that we need to work towards, they are mandated in the curriculum. Knowing these outcomes, but having the freedom of designing how to best get your students there is one of the best parts of being a teacher.

Advertisements
ECS 410

Making Classroom Assessment Work response (CH 1)

Assessment is an important aspect of the teaching profession and chapter one of Making Classroom Assessment Work does a good job of providing a baseline for new teachers. Assessment is the “gather[ing of] information about student learning that informs our teaching that helps students learn more” (Davies, 1). Since student learning is the most important aspect of assessment the chapter encourages both assessment for learning and student involvement of assessment as key factors in student engagement and student improvement

In my ELNG 351 class we’ve recently discussed assessment for learning in relation to high/low stakes writing. As an English major I like the idea of using low stakes writing assignments throughout the year to prepare students to write a larger paper; which is something I did not experience in high school. This type of assessment for learning allows students to explore their own writing while also working on the technical writing skills learned in class. This style of learning is beneficial to students because “it is when students do something the second and third time that they come to understand” (Davies, 7). Allowing our students the time and space to explore their own learning using this kind of assessment makes them accountable for their own learning and encourages their investment. Another thing that encourages student accountability is creating assignment rubrics with the class as it “increases student learning” (Davies, 3) which reminded me of a text I read in my ELNG 351 class that suggested “[having] students write a cover letter or writers log to hand in with the…final version” detailing what they were proud of, what they struggled with, etc. This would allow me as the teacher to give more specific feedback and allow the student involvement in how they are being assessed.

Elbow, Peter. (1997). High Stakes and Low Stakes in Assigning and Responding to Writing. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, no. 69.