The reading and discussions for this week for module 1 centered primarily on the five Keys to Quality Classroom Assessment according to Chappuis, Stiggins, Chappuis, and Arter (2012). These five keys are Clear Purpose, Clear Targets, Sound Design, Effective Communication, and Student Involvement. At first reading, these assessment components seemed daunting and intimidating. However, as I continued to read and as I considered what I already do, I realized that many of these assessment components really are part of my practice but are just presented in the text in a way that is categorized and streamlined.
I realized that as I collaborate with my teammates in the scoring of our district writing assessments I am addressing Key to Quality Assessment #4: Effective Communication. As my teammates and I discussed the scoring of this kindergarten writing sample, Assessment artifact-writing, it first appeared that the student, while seeming to have a specific message to convey, had not clear idea as to how to organize his writing. There was no consistency in his retell and he did not seem to understand where on the paper the text of his story should go. (The shaded out text on the lines and in his illustration was where he put his name.) After further discussion, we came to the conclusion that the student DID place text in several speech bubbles which indicates a certain understanding of text versus pictures in his writing. It is collaborative conversations such as this that enhances effective communication and helps us communicate achievement accurately. Our conversations during this scoring session got us through only 5 student writing samples before we had to end our meeting. I hope to continue these collaborative scoring sessions and also establish a more streamlined process that allows us to score more students in a shorter period of time.
This second artifact, Assessment artifact-goals, demonstrates a strategy that addresses Key to Quality Assessment #5: Student Involvement. These goal sheets serve to both convey clear learning targets to students as well as guide students to set their own goals. This particular goal sheet lists learning targets for interdisciplinary skills in kindergarten. We had, as a class, discussed what each of these targets looks like and how it is associated with the picture cue. In small groups, students were told to think about which one of these targets is still difficult for us right now but is something we can be working on in kindergarten. This student appropriately circled the “following directions…” target without any prompting from the teacher. These sheets will be used during our upcoming goal setting parent/student/teacher conferences.
While I am encouraged that I am on the right track to effective assessment practices and currently address the Five Keys to some extent… I know that I have much to learn!
Chappuis, J., Stiggins, R., Chappuis, S. & Arter, J. (2012) Classroom assessment: Every student a learner. Classroom assessment for student learning: Doing it right-Using it well (pp. 1-18). Boston, MA: Pearson.