Whether the assessment is formative-“assessment for learning,” or summative- “assessment of learning,” it can be used to make decisions for next steps and to communicate students’ progress. With multiple types of assessment it can be challenging to organize and record grades so they serve their purpose. If grades are to be used to improve learning they have to be organized in a way that is meaningful. Students should also be involved in recording their own growth and have opportunities to revise their work before it counts as a grade. Chappuis, Stiggins, Chappuis, & Arter (2012) state, “The more involved students are in keeping track of achievement, the more in touch they are with their own progress, which has positive motivational benefits” (p. 302-303). This artifact shows a modified version of the table in Figure 9.9 in Classroom Assessment for Student Learning (Chappuis et al., 2012, p. 319). This artifact, Formative Assessment Tracking, is used for formative assessments so students can track their progress with each learning target. The learning targets covered will then be assessed on one summative assessment once students have shown progress with the formative assessments. When students have completed the summative assessment, my plan is to use the table in Figure 9.12 (Chappuis et al., 2012, p. 321). This table helps students assess their achievement of the learning targets on quiz or test results. Students write the learning targets they have mastered, the learning targets they need to keep working on, and the mistakes they need to pay attention to. If students have not yet mastered targets the summative assessment can be used formatively. According to Chappuis et al. (2012):
When students analyze the results of a summative test to see which targets they have mastered and which they haven’t, we are using a test whose primary purpose is assessment of learning as an instance of assessment for learning, thereby increasing what students have learned. (p. 305)
This connects with my discussion post this week, which emphasized the importance of communicating students’ academic progress. Teachers can share formative assessments to show student progress and summative assessments to show current levels of understanding. In order for students and parents to understand students’ academic progress and to have an accurate picture of their level of achievement, communication must take various forms. According to O’Connor (2009), “Grades are merely symbols; to provide real information, they should be seen as only a part-probably a very small part-of our communication system” (p. 219). In addition to involving students in tracking their own progress, I also want to involve them in sharing their progress with their parents. My students participate in goal setting at report card periods in which they set both academic and behavior goals. This artifact SettingGoals1 is the initial goal setting form and this artifact SettingGoals2 is the form for the second report card period when students reflect on their previous goals and set new ones. I would like to include student-led conferences as a part of my communication system because this would provide an opportunity for students to take responsibility for their learning. If they are involved in sharing their progress and goals with their parents, they have a better understanding of their level of achievement. This is also an opportunity for students to share work samples to demonstrate their progress and celebrate their growth. This allows for students to communicate their learning goals so parents can be involved in helping their child reach their goals at home. My plan is to use the same goal setting forms but have my students share them with their parents. I will also help students develop a portfolio throughout the school year so they have samples of their work to share with their parents.
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