Mrs. Cook's Corner

Indicator 2g

Coach teachers in and model effective use of technology tools and resources to continuously assess student learning and technology literacy by applying a rich variety of formative and summative assessments aligned with content and student technology standards

ISTE Coaching Standards (2014)

Throughout this program, I have been introduced to a variety of ways to assess students knowledge. When thinking about assessment, Using Smarter Balanced Library, stands out in my mind. The Smarter Balanced Consortium has created a short video that walks you through a 4-step process to formative assessments. I recently re-watched this video and wondered why it is not being shared with more classroom teachers. The Library is made up of three parts: Instructional Resources, Professional Learning, and my personal favorite, the Playlist. All of the resources can be searched by grade level, subject, topic, standard, and by formative assessment attributes.  (Update: The Smarter Balance Digital Library has been retired. In it’s place later in June 2020, it will be renamed Tools for Teachers.)

Another blog post that highlights assessment is Digital Age Best Practices. The 6th best practice is, Clarifying Student Understanding with Formative Assessments. In this section I talk about how Microsoft Forms is a great way to get instant data on student learning. We have converted the Digital Citizenship paper quizzes to Forms this year, and the librarians love doing exit tickets this way. In my trainings on Flipgrid, I show student examples of formative assessments and in my second class, Flipgrid 2.0, it based entirely on giving student feedback. I also did the chain letter activity with my librarians and they loved it! I want to share this activity with teachers to use with their students prior to a quiz or maybe questions they have prior to a unit beginning. For the latter, maybe the teacher would hold on to the envelopes and give them back to the students at the mid and end point of the unit so that they could answer their own questions, showing the student their own process of learning.

The chain letter activity that I used in a training with librarians. Librarians anonymously ask a question on the outside of an envelope and pass it to five other librarians to illicit information/answers to their question(s). They are able to identify their envelope by the named animal (Chuck the Chicken) drawn on the outside. At the end of the activity, librarians get 5 new perspectives on their topic of interest!

Going forward with trainings, I would like to incorporate the 4 steps (attributes) of formative assessments. I think that it is important for teachers to understand that this needs to become common practice when teaching so that they are able to clarify intended learning, elicit evidence, interpret evidence, and act on that evidence to improve student achievement.