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The Rookie Teacher

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?


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


photo via CreativeCommons


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)


Observations/Anecdotal Notes

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

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Teaching a Combination Class: The Lounge: Episode 12 0

Posted on May 07, 2013 by Natasha

On today’s show, Andrew and Natasha join up for the long awaited return of The Lounge Podcast.  It has been a while, but as many of you know, life as a teacher is hard work…and can be quite busy too!  This episode features conversations about life as a combination/split grade teacher.  Listen in to hear about tips, tricks, must-do activities, and more!  Read the show notes below and don’t forget to download & subscribe to the podcast on iTunes today!

Photo via: Sanya Khetani, articles.businessinsider.com

Each episode features three segments:

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

Topic: Teaching a Combination Class

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: Inside/Outside Circles or Concentric Circles
  • Natasha: Food Bin

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.

  • Andrew: Ontario Curriculum Unit Planners (link)
  • Natasha: Knowing What Counts Series (Anne Davies)

Quick Shout Outs

  1. We want to take a moment and thank everyone for continuing to support our site – we have reached over 10,000 visitors. Thank you !
  2. We hope you continue to watch for Natasha who is co-moderating the #ntchat with Lisa Dabbs – on Wednesday nights at 8:00pm EST
  3. Please join us and 248 others on Facebook.com/TheRookieTeacher
  4. We are also spending time gathering some great ideas for the classroom on Pinterest (http://bit.ly/rookiepins) – we are up to 2742 followers on our collab board – let us know if you’d like to contribute.
  5. If you believe in what we’re doing & want to support our team, we have buttons available – send us a FB message, tweet, or email and we will get one out to you ASAP!
  6. Watch for our Lounge Express Series – starting soon!

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

Andrew: I blog at TheRookieTeacher.ca, or email me Andrew@TheRookieTeacher.ca, I am currently focusing on pinterest as my social media project

Natasha: I blog at TheRookieTeacher.ca, follow me on twitter @yoMsDunn, or email me Natasha@TheRookieTeacher.ca

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


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