Here is the next installment of my Less-Stressful Evaluation Series.
Today I’m discussing one of the standards where I didn’t get the score that I wanted. Yes, even after 23 years of teaching, I still need work in some areas. This is it.
State standard for teachers number 5: Assessing Students for Learning
Here are the subcategories :
Standard 5.1: Applying knowledge of the purposes, characteristics, and uses of different types of assessments
What kinds of assessments are you using in your classroom to determine if your students are learning or not?
In my history class, the main form of assessment is the test at the end of each section. I also use other ways to assess my students. As a teacher, you have to show that you are using a variety of assessment methods such as reports, projects, oral presentations, etc. Again, don’t rely on the tests at the back of the chapter. Create your own assessments. Make them specific to your students. You may even have to make several different kinds of tests depending on the learning levels of your students.
Standard 5.2: Collecting and analyzing assessment data from a variety of sources to inform instruction
What other data is available on your students? I know your students who are designated special education will have data in their records that you can use when creating your lesson plan. It’s important that you do a little research and find out at what level your students are. Again, it’s a little work, but it will make your lessons more effective.
Standard 5.3: Reviewing data, both individually and with colleagues, to monitor student learning
This standard asks the teacher to review the information gathered from the assessments and then meet with fellow teachers to better monitor students. Although this is important, I found this standard a little difficult to meet, especially with the limited time we are given to collaborate with our colleagues. We meet at lunch and we discuss those students who are giving us headaches or who are failing badly, but to go over assessment data for each child is asking a little too much. I’m not saying to ignore this standard, but I don’t think it is a realistic goal to place on teachers, especially if they have over 160 students like I do.
Standard 5.4: Using assessment data to establish learning goals and to plan, differentiate, and modify instruction
Here is where you focus on a specific group of students who need differentiation and modification in their instruction. Normally these are your students with diagnosed learning disabilities, but you will find that there will be students in your class who have learning disabilities that have not been diagnosed yet. It’s up to you to request that the Resource Specialist take a look into assessing these students so that they can get the support they need to succeed. Once you have this data, you can better create your lesson plan.
Standard 5.5 Involving all students in self-assessment, goal setting, and monitoring progress
Here is where I found that I needed to improve. I don’t return graded assignments back to the students as quickly as I should. I grade the papers, then I place them in a cupboard to pass back, but unfortunately, since it’s out of sight…, well you know. Getting student work back to them in a timely manner is important for them to see where they need to improve. They need to see what they need to change for the next project or assignment. This is one of those “Duh!” lessons. Most students don’t even read my comments or ask why they didn’t get an “A,” but for those students who want to do better, getting their work back to them quickly is essential. This standard also calls for the teacher to sit down with each student and discuss their goals and to monitor their progress. I agree that it’s important, but finding time to do this is difficult – not impossible – just difficult.
Standard 5.6 Using available technologies to assist in assessment, analysis, and communication of student learning
The computer has become a great tool for checking and monitoring the progress of a student. It’s great to be able to see what kind of grades a student received in 6th and 7th grade with just a click of a mouse. This standard just asks the teacher to keep up with the newest technology and utilize it to make your lessons more effective.
Standard 5.7 Using assessment information to share timely and comprehensible feedback with students and their families
Keep the parents in the loop when it comes to the progress of their child. Again, this is an area where I need to work on. I need to get the graded assignments, tests, and projects back to the students as soon as possible, so they can take it home to their parents. I also need to input grades into the computer on a more timely basis. The parents can now go online and see their child’s grades in my class. How will they know how their child is doing if I’m not posting them when I should? Keep parents updated on how their child is doing. Do this as often as you can.
Wow. That was a long one.
I hope this is helping.
Next post will be the last of the standards: Developing as a Professional Educator