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Archive for the ‘Assessment and Evaluation’


Observation and Anecdotal Notes – Record Keeping Made Easy – Assessment & Evaluation 0

Posted on July 18, 2013 by Natasha

BUZZWORD: Triangulation (Conversations – Observations – Student Products)

This is a great way to summarize our job as educators.  We will have meaningful conversations with our students, listen to the vocabulary they use during peer to peer conversations, and prompt them to think deeper and more critically about their learning.  We will observe how they approach new, routine, independent, partner, group, and class tasks.  We will watch as they think out processes, make mistakes, and get messy.  We will assess, evaluate, and provide descriptive feedback on all the products that they pour their heart and soul into.

Most importantly, we will track and record it all.

But how?

CONVERSATION:

What methods do you use to track students? Old fashion pen to paper?  Technology application?  Comment below, on Facebook, or Twitter.

https://www.google.com/search?as_q=teacher+assessment+and+evaluation&tbs=sur:fc&biw=1280&bih=569&sei=M_3mUfr4FKaDywGT24HgBQ&tbm=isch#tbs=sur%3Afc&tbm=isch&q=teachers%20teaching&revid=1889124126&ei=Av_mUdJirobJAbO4gKAM&ved=0CAsQsSU&bav=on.2,or.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=40a59d8e4f21729c&biw=1280&bih=569&bvm=pv.xjs.s.en_US.QXiTEk6XjhM.O%2Cpv.xjs.s.en_US.QXiTEk6XjhM.O%2Cpv.xjs.s.en_US.QXiTEk6XjhM.O&facrc=0%3Bteachers%20teaching%20kids&imgdii=_&imgrc=_

photo via CreativeCommons

EXPERT OBSERVATION:

Conferencing and reporting are changing

Knowing What Counts Conferencing and Reporting Second Edition

Knowing What Counts Conferencing and Reporting Second Edition

“The process of conferencing and reporting is changing from a teacher-directed, end-of-term event to a collaborative ongoing process designed to support learning.  Many educators and parents/guardians not recognize conferencing and reporting are taking place when

        • students show and talk about work samples with someone at home
        • parents look at their daughters website and respond to her by pointing out their favourite parts and asking questions
        • an uncle comes to view a nephew’s portfolio during a portfolio afternoon and writes a note telling three things he noticed about the work
        • students invite their former kindergarten teacher to a poetry performance where they demonstrate their skill
        • student, parents, and teacher meet to look at student work and to set new goals

Parents, students, and teachers are identifying conferencing and reporting practices that effectively communicate and support student learning.”  (Knowing What Counts: Conferencing and Reporting: Second Edition – K.Gregory, C.Cameron, A.Davies, 2011)

Teacher Comments

Growing Success: Government of Ontario

Growing Success: Government of Ontario

“In writing anecdotal comments, teachers should focus on what students have learned, describe significant strengths, and identify next steps for improvement. Teachers should strive to use language that parents will understand and should avoid language that simply repeats the wordings of the curriculum expectations or the achievement chart. When appropriate, teachers may make reference to particular strands. The comments should describe in overall terms what students know and can do and should provide parents with personalized, clear, precise, and meaningful feedback. Teachers should also strive to help parents understand how they can support their children at home.”  (Ministry of Ontario Document, 2010)

PRODUCT:

Observations/Anecdotal Notes

Download a copy of Natasha’s Observation and Anecdotal Notes Blackline Master over at her TeachersPayTeachers Store.

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Long Range Planning: The Lounge Podcast: Episode 9 4

Posted on July 25, 2012 by Natasha

We’re back with another great episode of The Lounge Podcast.  We were extremely lucky to have Lisa Dabbs from Edutopia.org and Edutopia’s New Teacher Connections Group Facilitator Skype in for the show.  She was able to enrich our conversation, give us lots of great tips and web 2.0 tools, and advise us where to start when it comes to Long Range Planning.

Cursive Calendar - photo by: Your Secret Admiral

photo by: Your Secret Admiral

I think it’s safe to say that this topic is very important to think about at this time of year (and as the school year goes on…after all, we consider plans to be working documents).  We all agreed how valuable and powerful the act of collaborating with a grade/division team plays in the process of long range planning and how successful backwards design/mapping can be when creating strong plans.

Listen in to hear our conversations about long range plans, curriculum, split/combination classes, backwards design/mapping, web 2.0 tools, staying organized, Post-It Notes, Pinterest, Evernote, Twitter, Live Binder, and more!

Find Lisa on twitter, Wednesday nights at 8:00pm EST for the New Teacher Chat (#ntchat).

This is by far one of my personal favourite podcasts yet! Huge thank you again to Lisa Dabbs for joining us…it was a pleasure to have you on, and we hope you’ll come back to continue the discussion another time.  Andrew and I really appreciate all that you are doing for new teachers.

SHOW NOTES

Each episode features three segments:

  1. Topic Discussion
  2. Quick Tip for Tomorrow
  3. The Rookie Resource Bank

Topic: Long Range Planning

photo by: Pedro Vezini

photo by: Pedro Vezini

Quick Tip for Tomorrow: Something you could do the next day in class with little or no prep and is applicable to most grade levels.

  • Andrew: About Me heads
  • Natasha: SMARTboard attendance
  • Lisa: One Little Word (http://goo.gl/NbNHO)
The Rookie Resource Bank: any electronic, print, or event resource that we found helpful in our first few years of teaching.  Of course, these are all applicable to all teachers.
Quick Shout Outs
  1. We will be working this summer to develop some content – what would you like to read about? Email or send us a tweet.
  2. Please join our discussions on Facebook.com/TheRookieTeacher
  3. We are also spending time gathering some great ideas for the classroom on Pinterest (http://bit.ly/rookiepins)

Like what you’ve heard? Have more questions? Contact us:

Rookie Teacher Online

We are always looking for ideas, feedback, tips and tricks of the trade.  Find us on Twitter @RookieTeacherCAFacebook.com /TheRookieTeacher.  If you are looking to get involved with our team, please contact us!

Thanks for listening. Join us for our Summer Podcast Series. Topics included will be: More about AQs, Classroom set up, the first day of school, Applying for Jobs, Setting up your Day Book, Developing classroom routines for your first month of school.

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Communicating in Math 1

Posted on February 10, 2012 by Michelle

Why is communication important in mathematics?

Communication is an essential piece in the learning process – it provides students an opportunity to justify their reasoning or formulate a question, leading to gained insights about their thinking. In order to communicate their thinking to others, students must be given authentic tasks to reflect on. Through cooperative learning, students can learn from the perspectives and mathematical processes of others. Further, they can learn to evaluate the thinking of others, building on those ideas for their own assessment.

Check out this Scholastic webinar on “Connecting the Literacy and Math Challenge”.

Teaching Strategies for Mathematical Communication

1. Math Word Walls

The purpose of the Math Word Wall [MWW] is to identify mathematical language that students need to understand and use. If they are unfamiliar with this vocabulary, they will struggle to effectively apply strategies in the problem-solving process and will have difficulty communicating their thinking with others.

♦ Introduce math vocabulary using relevant objects, pictures and/or diagrams. Visuals are KEY!

♦ Clearly explain word meanings and make connections frequently

♦ Do not teach math vocabulary in isolation — use open-ended questions to helping students understand mathematical ideas and model how to use mathematical terms correctly.

Check out these MWW resources – ideas for math walls and mathematics word wall

2. Children’s Math Literature

Using literature in math can spark students’ imaginations, helping to dispel the myth that math is dull, inapplicable, and inaccessible. Reading about math can help reach at-risk students who struggle in the mathematical process, opening their minds to the ever-present phenomenon in their world that is math!

  • Integrate the curriculum — teach mathematical concepts and skills through literacy
  • Helps to motivate and engage students in problem-solving experiences connected with real world
  • Addresses different learning styles and helps to promote an appreciation for both math and literature

Check out these resources for teaching mathematics through literature –

Math in Children’s Literature

Living Math Book List

Children’s Math Literature

Math Book List

Children’s Literature in Mathematics

 3. Writing in Math

When students are encouraged to write in math, they examine, express, and keep track of their thinking, which is especially useful for assessment and differentiation. To enhance and support their learning, students must first understand the reasoning behind writing in math. Further, they need to understand how to write in math – explain and model mathematical writing using details such as pictures, numbers, and words. Students’ writing can be used as springboards for classroom ‘math chats’, highlighting different approaches to problem-solving.

Be sure to provide writing prompts

  • What do you think? What idea do you have?
  • What are you confused about?
  • What did you learn?
  • Describe what was easy and hard for you.
  • What type of math concepts do you find interesting?  Why?
  • When I hear this math word, I think….
  • If I could ask for one thing in math, it would be…
  • Tell me about your prediction.  Were you right or wrong?
  • What strategies do you like to use the most? The least? Why?

Check out Writing to Learn Math to get started with journaling in your math class!

4. Math Talk

When students are given an opportunity to talk about math, they are better able to clarify their own thinking, ‘talk out’ misconceptions, and learn from others’ problem-solving strategies. It is the role of the teacher to facilitate these discussions by engaging students in sharing and listening, questioning and responding, and agreeing and disagreeing. During ‘math chats’, the teacher can further assess students’ understanding of concepts and redirect or differentiate instruction based on the students’ immediate learning needs.

However, the classroom must be a safe and inclusive learning environment so that students feel comfortable to share and make mistakes publically. Students need clear, highly set expectations on what ‘doing math’ looks like, sounds like, and feels like in the classroom. Once the ground rules for respect have been established, then authentic mathematical dialogue and collaboration can evolve…that’s when the real learning begins!

Math think-alouds can engage students and help them to make their way step-by-step through the problem-solving process. Best of all, they can be used quite effectively both in school and at home! For more on getting students to talk, check out these Math Teacher Tools!

Watch as these students from the Calgary Science School ‘talk math’ – thanks to Amy Park for sharing!

- – -

How do you […or will you] encourage communication in math in your classroom?

Original post at The Learning Journey Blog

 

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Giving Feedback Part 2 0

Posted on December 18, 2011 by Andrew

photo by: Generationbass.com, flickrcc.net

As a teacher who is focused on giving effective feedback to my students, I find the biggest obstacle is time, and I use organization to help maintain levels of feedback in my class.  Here are some strategies I have gathered to help with time/organization:

Treasure Books: Each student maintains a small workbook/notebook  of the feedback when we conference. We use the same 3 part feedback, and both the student and I write in the book. I also staple/glue conferencing assessment sheets we might do together (to essentially create an anecdotal notebook for each kid).

Daily Conferences: I have assigned students to each day of the week, in the same order, so I can ensure I either meet with all four of them as a group for guided instruction, or have a student-lead conference on a individual basis.

Blastoff

photo by: jurvetson, flickrcc.net

Success Criteria: Students help create checklists and visuals for their own work and then we use them. Each checklist is interactive based on the criteria of the assignment. For example in an assignment on re-telling a fiction story, you could have the student circle their setting in yellow, underline the resolution of the conflict in purple, etc.

What do you do to organize your time so that is most productive for you and your students?  Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Facebook.

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Giving Feedback Part 1 0

Posted on November 20, 2011 by Andrew

Giving feedback, and in particular specific and actionable feedback, is the big push as a goal for teachers in my school as well as our Board. As an opener to the topic at our most recent PD Day, one of the principals shared this analogy made by the comedian Jerry Seinfeld…

“I always did well on essay tests. Just put everything you know on there, maybe you’ll hit it. And then you get the paper back from the teacher and she’s written just one word across the entire page, ‘vague.’ I thought vague was kind of vague. I’d write underneath it ‘unclear’ and send it back. She’s return it to me, ‘ambiguous’. I’d send it back to her, ‘cloudy’. We’re still corresponding to this day…. hazy…. muddy…” Jerry Seinfeld

As a Primary Teacher, our Grade team created a framework that we shared with our students to make sure they understood our feedback and could use it to help inform and improve their learning. We made it with a visual diagram and used common language in the hope that students would be able to use it on their own.

Our analogy breaks our feedback into three parts, on the theme of Pirates and Treasure.

secret by MistoAcrilico

Secret by MistoAcrilico (flickr)

First, we look for “Treasure” in what they have done: the things really stand out as amazing aspects of a student’s written work.

Second, we look for the “X Marks the Spot”: where could students find their next treasure (one thing they could improve on).

Finally (and what I would say is the most important aspect) is the “Map”: we as teachers have to give them advice and direction on how to get to the next set of “Treasures”.

We are currently in the process of gradually releasing that idea to the students to see if they can self or peer assess using that framework. I’ll let you know how it works over the next few weeks in my classroom.

In my next post I’ll list other acronyms, mnemonic devices and strategies for feedback that were presented at the PD Day.

Looking forward to your feedback!
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