Why (And How) Teachers Are Using Twitter

Oh, Twitter. You’re so useful for teachers. You connect educators so that they can share tools, tips and tricks, offer insight, and support one another. You bring your sexy social media-ness into the classroom to keep kids interested in what they’re learning when they think they’re actually (sort of) having fun instead.  That said, there …

Source: www.edudemic.com

Learning, Leading and Reflecting: 10 principles of formative assessment

10 principles of formative assessmentIn the latest issues of Educational Leadership, Carol Ann Tomlinson discusses the 10 principles that should guide the use of formative assessment.  Here is the shortened version for people who are on the run.

1. Help students understand the role of formative assessment.   One of the issues that our teachers are dealing with right now is how students may not take these assessments seriously.  The student response is typically, „Oh, I thought since this wasn’t graded I didn’t need to try.“ Grading hinders the use of FA, but that’s for another blog.  When we use formative assessment we need to thoroughly explain to kids what this is for and why.  
2. Begin with KUD’s. Tomlinson defines KUD as, „What is most important for students to KNOW,UNDERSTAND, and be able to DO as a result of the segment of learning.(p. 12)“ When using formative assessment I believe it is important to pinpoint and establish our learning intentions.  Do we talk about the lesson objective and do we write it on the board?  We need to talk about what it is we are trying to learn.   

Source: mikemcneff.blogspot.de

Assessment in the Classroom: Informing Teaching and Learning

By Chris Gareis and Leslie Grant, The College of William & Mary Formative assessment is getting all kinds of attention these days. Open any journal, attend any conference, or glance at any commercial publisher’s catalog, and you will find a plethora of articles, sessions, and off-the-shelf products. Of course, the idea and practice of using formative assessment as part of the teaching and learning process is not new. Michael Scriven is credited with describing the concept in 1967. We believe that assessment is an inherent element of the teaching and learning process; therefore, in our work with teachers and education leaders, we define formative assessment as the assessment of student learning integrated into the act of teaching (Gareis & Grant, 2008). There are innumerable examples of what formative assessment can look like in the classroom, such as the Socratic Method, Do-Now activities, Exit Cards, Thumbs-Up/Thumbs-Down, personal whiteboards, and many more instructionally based practices for determining the current understanding of students. There are also more formal (and often more reliable) means, such as using performance-based assessments and accompanying scoring rubrics, or administering pre- and post-tests of key knowledge and skills. It is not the instrument or technique that is, in self, formative. It is the teacher’s use of the student’s performance on the instrument or with the technique to help form the student’s learning that makes the assessment formative. As educators, viewing assessment as an integral component to instruction (and not solely as a summative indicator of learning) makes intuitive sense. So why does it need our attention? We conclude with a few, brief reasons. First, research during the past decade has increasingly confirmed that teachers’ formative assessment practices in the classroom can significantly contribute to improved student learning. Consider the findings of the Assessment Reform Group from England beginning in 1999. This research team found that students gain roughly the equivalent of one to two grade levels in learning in classrooms that use formative assessment practices effectively. Second, most teachers—veterans and novices alike—are not adequately prepared in the domain of assessment. There is strong evidence of this going back to Rick Stiggins’ work in the early ‘90s and continuing to the present day with recent reports from professional associations such as AACTE and CAEP. Third, we are all aware that we are currently in an era of high-stakes assessment and accountability that places increasing emphasis on external standardized assessments. In our experience, the prolonged and often pejorative emphasis on accountability assessments has wreaked havoc on teachers’ practical use of assessment in the classroom. To conclude, here is what we believe: Using assessment effectively in the classroom is inherent to good teaching, but, for a variety of reasons, classroom-based assessment practices are diminished and even misused in our current accountability era. Our aim is to help teachers and school leaders reclaim the use of assessment in the classroom as a means to inform teaching and, ultimately, student learning. If you would like to learn more, join us this summer at the 2014 ASCD Conference on Teaching Excellence. You can search for our session, Teacher-Made Assessments: Connecting Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Learning (1101/1401), on the conference app or here.

Source: inservice.ascd.org