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Assessing Learning in the Gifted Classroom

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1 Assessing Learning in the Gifted Classroom
Long Beach School District Deborah L. Holt Gifted Coordinator

2 Let us not judge our students simply on what they know
Let us not judge our students simply on what they know. That is the philosophy of the quiz program. Rather let them be judged on what they can generate from what they know — how well they can leap the barrier from learning to thinking. - Jerome Bruner (Harvard Educational Review, 1959)

3 What is Assessment? It is the process of looking at a student’s behavior and drawing a conclusion about the student’s knowledge and abilities.

4 Assessment as a Tool Assessment drives instruction on how to best help our students learn.

5 Types of Assessment: We generally use the types of assessment listed on top of each category in the gifted classroom: Assessment Informal Assessment Formal Assessment vs Paper-Pencil Assessment Performance Assessment Teacher-Developed Assessment Standardized Test Traditional Assessment Authentic Assessment

6 Two Types of Assessment
Formative Assessment occurs before or during instruction Summative Assessment assess what students learned after instruction

7 Applying Differentiation to Assessment
Based on each student making individual progress rather than only looking at the group as a whole. Compares one student to himself or herself over time rather comparing students to everyone else. Differentiated projects, rubrics, and non-traditional report cards or progress reports rather than traditional assessment. Mostly pre-assessment and formative assessment so that adjustments may be made to help the student learn while instruction is taking place, not afterwards.

8 Do not train children to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each. ~Plato

9 Informal Assessment Strategy Examples:
Entrance/Exit Tickets: Students answer questions on a ticket as they enter or exit the classroom to demonstrate what they know before a lesson (entrance), or what they learned after the lesson (exit). Anectodal Records: The teacher observes behavior and logs (in non-judgemental terms) what learning behavior was exhibited by a student(s). Checklist: May show behavior or process skill objectives and is based on the teacher’s observation. KWL Chart: Demonstrates what students know about a topic, what they want to know, and finally, what they learned after instruction.

10 Informal Assessment Strategies:
Surveys/Rating Scales: This is an easy to use option that would assess student understanding of content. On-line surveys that take class data gives the teacher an overall picture of understanding. Rubrics: These should clearly indicate what is expected from students and how they would achieve each level of grading. These make grading less subjective and it outlines to students what is expected from them at each level. Quick Write: The students summarizes in a few sentences what was learned during the lesson.

11 Informal Assessment Strategies:
Follow-Up Questioning: Using the higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy, the teacher asks questions based on an observation, comment, or question, staying away from rote memorization type questions (What is? Where is?) Journals or Learning Logs: Students log or journal learning that is taking place by daily entrances demonstrating this knowledge. For example, a Science Experiment Journal should demonstrate the Scientific Method. Open-Ended Questions: Use the highest levels of Bloom’s taxonomy and resist one single answer. Think-Pair-Share: Students think about a question, pair with a partner and discuss the question/answer, then share their answer with the entire class.

12 Performance Assessment
Open-ended or extended response exercises: These are questions or other prompts that students explore a topic orally or in writing. (Examples: observations from a science experiment, debate arguments) Extended tasks: These are tasks that require several hours or longer to accomplish an assignment. (For example, drafting, reviewing, and revising a written report; conducting and explaining the results of a science experiment; or the performance of an oral presentation after going through the process of writing the presentation and practicing before the final product). Portfolios: A collection of performance-based work. It would include the student’s “best work” and their evaluation of their strengths and weaknesses. It illustrates improvements and development of skills over time.

13 Teacher-Made Assessments:
Observation, rubrics, or other teacher created assessment tools that are tailor-made for the gifted classroom to measure performance are best. Paper- pencil assessment such as a test is generally not used in the gifted classroom.

14 Authentic Assessment Authentic assessment directly measures student’s performance through real-life tasks or performance: creating an original piece of artwork, writing a paper, delivering a speech, etc. Teachers are not only interested in the product but also in the processes that the student used in creating the product.

15 Examples of Authentic Assessment:
Portfolio of writing samples demonstrating the development of a student’s writing skills over time before the final writing of a paper. Videotapes of students practicing a speech on various occasions to document oral communication skills development over a period of time before the final version.

16 6 Principles of Authentic Assessment:
Authentic assessment is continuous, informing every aspect of instruction and curriculum building. As they engage in authentic assessment, teachers discover and learn what to teach as well as how and when to teach them. Authentic assessment is an integral part of the curriculum. Children are assessed while they are involved with classroom learning experiences, not just before or after a unit through pre or post tests. Authentic assessment is developmentally and culturally appropriate.

17 6 Principles of Authentic Assessment:
Authentic assessment focuses on students’ strengths. Teachers assess what students can do, what they know, and how they can use what they know to learn. Authentic assessment recognizes that the most important evaluation is self evaluation. Students and teachers need to understand why they are doing what they are doing so that they may have some sense of their own success and growth. Authentic assessment invites active collaboration between teachers, students and parents work together to reflect and assess learning (Bridges, 1995).

18 The test of a good teacher is not how many questions he can ask his pupils that they will answer readily, but how many questions he inspires them to ask him which he finds it hard to answer. -Alice Wellington Rollins

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