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.

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