Reporting on Learning – Back to Designing Great Learning Opportunities in the First Place…

“If we do what we’ve always done, we will get what we’ve always done.”
~Adam Urbanski

Assessment and reporting has undergone huge changes in the past years, and especially since I was a new teacher and “assessment” was merely doing report cards. How things have changed…

Assessment has and must continue to become part of our daily work, rather than just an “event” in November, March and June. It is not unidirectional from teacher to student to parent, but is intended to build the learning during the process rather than only provide feedback at the end when the work is already complete.

Pre-work – Assessment becomes part of our pre-work in creating innovative and excellent learning opportunities for our students. Student are creating and discussing what great work will look like before they do it, so the end goals are clear. They need to know what constitutes great work in order to create great work, helping students understanding where they are going to go…

During the Work – Students, parents, teachers, staff, community members and experts all have a role to play during the learning and in providing feedback throughout the process. Students will gain skills, knowledge, understanding through working together and helping each other, rather than a competitive process where the teacher is my only audience. Each grade community in our school is creating a Legacy Art project that will live at Keeler School. Their authentic audience will be students, teachers, parents and guests to the school for years to come, not just their teacher. Knowing that, students will work harder to create better work, but need time to discuss, share, and push each other into better places…

After the Work – There is much more to this than just report cards. This is all around improving student achievement. Schools will need to deliver descriptive, constructive feedback on the student’s learning and achievement. The assessment reporting should include student and peer reflection, tools like Student Learning Plans in IRIS and Individual Program Plans, telephone connections, Parent-Teacher Conferences, oral conversation, appointments and emerging meetings, and include textual, technological, and face-to-face communication. This work would be all working to answer that ages old question – “How is my child doing at school?” and “What is important to help my child grow and develop?” This work must be strength-focused, be inclusive of student voice, and help students to see where they are in their learning and to where they are headed to next… Essentially, no parent should ever be surprised at anything on the report card…

Changing practices around assessment provides the biggest impact we can have on personalizing student learning. We have seen it, we now know it, and our work is now developing how to continue to make assessment a more seamless endeavor around enhancing student achievement, not just reporting on it!

Work hard, learn tons!
D

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5 Responses to Reporting on Learning – Back to Designing Great Learning Opportunities in the First Place…

  1. Grade 5 says:

    We looked at how we are going to celebrate the end of our Social Studies unit. The grade fives will be putting a personal spin on “A Part Of Our Heritage” TV commercials. Making some of those historical moments come alive on the big screen. We are going to be very busy!!

  2. The admin team spent the afternoon working on planning for 2013-14 and set up for when we return in August, as well as looking at how to best support professional learning as we head toward the end of June.

    We also examined the PD survey that Keeler staff contributed to through the online document. The feedback was extremely helpful and very interesting as we look at how to improve and engage in professional learning for 2013-14.
    D

  3. Bent says:

    I was able to meet with the music team and hammer out a few more details for the residency next year. I was then able to work with the grade 2 team on their art project. I then looked at my ELL groups and designed some activities to fit areas that we are working on.

  4. Lien, Sandi & Claire says:

    The grade 1 team took our kids out for a nature walk to survey our school environment looking and sketching living and non-living things. We then discussed the needs of plants, how seeds are transported, how living things interact with each other. Students were able to connect real world objects to their own experiences coupled with their background knowledge.

  5. Brandy Eagleson says:

    Today we discussed our measurement project that we will be doing over the next few weeks. We will be incorporating the smart board and hands on activities to help the students learn about measurement. We also discussed our Eric Carle book study where the students are going to write and illustrate their own Eric Carle book.

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