Assessment For Learning
We use a formative assessment process called Assessment for Learning. We track student progress against learning objectives (rooted in Maryland state standards) across the curriculum and ascertain what the ‘next steps’ for each student will be. Student progress is recorded within an online assessment-for-learning tracker. Assessment for Learning makes success criteria for student work clear at the outset and involves cycles of feedback and revision. Students have a variety of opportunities and modalities to show what they know, and these opportunities are built right into systematic instruction times, follow-up activities, and project work. Evidence of learning is selected by the teacher, student and/or parent/s and uploaded to the tracker. Examples of evidence could include scans of children’s writing, calculations, drawings, diagrams, mind maps, photos or videos of project work, presentation videos, audio recordings.
Children are Included in Assessing their Progress
Children’s journal entries, teacher observation notes, or parents’ observation notes, can be written directly into the tracker. Self-assessment and peer-assessment offer additional opportunities for reflection, and goal setting, using strategies such as ‘Two Stars and a Wish’ where children identify two things they did well (the ‘stars’), followed by one ‘wish’ for something to work on – a next step. Assessment for learning doesn’t just assess students, it assesses the learning environment - giving a reflective teacher more actionable information about how to make their classroom more inclusive. Celebration of learning compels students to reflect on and articulate what they have learned, how they learned, questions they answered, research they conducted, and areas of strength and struggles. It is an opportunity to see their work valued, and to feel proud.