Making Classroom Assessment Work response (CH 7 and 8)

Chapters seven and eight of Making Classroom Assessment Work involve both assessment of learning and involving students in their own learning.  Assessment for learning is important because it “teaches students, while helping them learn how to assess their way to success” (Davies 63).  By working as a class to set criteria for what we are doing is a way to involve students in both their learning and assessment, in turn encouraging student accountability.  Chapter eight discusses involving students in their own learning by allowing them to gather their own evidence in support of it.  This is important because “when students are responsible for assembling the evidence [of learning], they have more opportunities to figure out whether they are on track” (Davies 77) and gives them the opportunity to get help.

These chapters connect to The Classroom Experiment videos we watched this week as well.  In these videos a school in England implemented some controversial ideas into a classroom.  I loved the red, green, and yellow cups, and the whiteboard ideas but had difficulty accepting the comments not grades rule; particularly as it was implemented in this school.  I like the idea of using less grades and more feedback in my classroom, but my main concern would be involving the parents in the process.  As our schools get more and more diverse we should acknoledge the fact that some cultures prize grades and that parents might not understand when their child has no grade to show them.  In the videos they only involved the parents towards the end of the experiment and I believe that if they went to the parents first the parents could put their childs minds at ease regarding the new rules.  Davies comments on the importance of teacher-parent communication when she says “You may not be marking or grading work in ways parents expect.  Let parents know that you are continuing to assess all student work” (Davies 78).  Without this communication both parents and students are left confused and uninvolved with the assesment process.

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