Every teacher should know at any given moment where their students stand in regard to state standards, state assessments, or even the “final”. We need to focus on our students’ learning progress and how we can help the students to improve from where they are to where we expect them to be. Waiting until the end of the year for students to take a pre-state assessment and then cramming down not-learned concepts make no sense.
When we start with the end in mind (Covey and Understanding by Design), we identify the precise learning we expect of the students and we create assessments that measure not only the end product but the many steps in their progress toward the learning. These mini-formative assessments help us to know at any moment where our students stand in terms of the end assessment. By using a technology as simple as a spreadsheet, teachers can keep track of their students’ formative assessments, give students new strategies to use to be successful, and, after much practice, re-assess the students to see growth. Student learning is about continual growth toward the end learning. If we want students to achieve the end learning goal, we need to constantly assess their progress and provide new strategies for success.
Do you know where your students’ exact progress right now in your course toward the state standard or assessment?
My new book, Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.
My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.