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Using Balanced Assessment to Prepare Students for Transfer Tasks

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1 Using Balanced Assessment to Prepare Students for Transfer Tasks
Curriculum Implementation Modules ( ) Session Three: November 2011 Alexandria City Public Schools

2 Essential Questions How can ACPS educators promote students’ preparation for and success on unit transfer tasks? What is a balanced approach to assessment? Why is balanced assessment an essential component of student achievement in ACPS?

3 Session Objectives By the end of this workshop, you should be able to:
Use diagnostic/pre-assessment, formative, and summative assessment data to monitor student learning and help students self-regulate, self-assess, and self-adjust. Use balanced assessment strategies and processes as part of a lesson they will teach during the coming week.

4 Our Agenda at a Glance Warm-Up Activity: Participants Share Their Work with Essential Questions Modeling & Discussion: The Power of Balanced Assessment to Promote Student Achievement A “Mini-Seminar”: How Effectively Do ACPS Classrooms Reflect a Balanced Assessment Process? Participant Analysis of an ACPS Curriculum Guide Transfer Task: How Can You Use Balanced Assessment Strategies and Processes to Prepare Students for This Task? Planning Opportunity: Integrating Balanced Assessment into Lesson Design Closure: End-of-Session Reflection, Feedback, and Questions

5 Participant Debriefing
Think: How did you and your students work with essential questions during the past month? (What were your success stories? What challenges did you face?) Pair: Compare your experiences with a partner. Share: Pairs share a “headline” (25 words or less) of their experiences.

6 Breaking This Module into Incremental Sections
Part I: The Importance of Balanced Assessment (30 minutes) Part II: Diagnostic/Pre-Assessment and Formative Assessment (30-45 minutes)

7 The Importance of Balanced Assessment
Part One The Importance of Balanced Assessment

8 Planning for Transfer Tasks
Think of your unit’s transfer task as the guiding end-point for assessment during this unit. Ask yourself: What will my students need to know, do, and understand to complete this task successfully? Use this module as an opportunity for reflecting on how you can use balanced assessment to monitor students’ growing acquisition of these skills, knowledge, and understandings.

9 The Big Ideas of Balanced Assessment
Part I: The Importance of Balanced Assessment: diagnostic, formative, and summative forms of assessment; rapid/on-the-spot feedback; standards driven; metacognitive/student self-regulation; differentiation Part II: Diagnostic/Pre-Assessment and Formative Assessment: providing on-the-spot, criterion-based feedback to students on a daily basis; aligning assessment with teaching-learning; focusing on clear learning targets; criterion-based feedback; “closing the gap” Part III (Module Four): Lesson Planning Using Balanced Assessment to Prepare Students for Unit Transfer Tasks: using assessments that promote understanding; emphasizing oral and written language; using a range of question types and strategies; combining constructed-response test items with reflective assessments, academic prompts, and culminating projects; scoring transfer tasks

10 Defining Our Terms It helps to have everyone on the same page about key terminology. Take a quick look at the next slide—and with a partner, define each of the listed terms. When you’ve finished, check your definitions against the textbook answers on the last page of your handout (P. 29).

11 Defining Our Terms (1) assessment v. (2) evaluation
(3) content v. (4) performance standards v. (5) benchmarks (6) formative v. summative assessment (7) performance assessment v. (8) authentic assessment (9) rubric (10) feedback-adjustment process

12 Analyzing Balanced Assessment in Your Classroom
Think: Examine the list of balanced assessment implementation indicators in your handout (P. 3). Pair: With a partner, discuss which of the indicators is already fully operational in your classrooms—and which ones are not. Share: As a group, be prepared to pose questions and give feedback about the role of balanced assessment in your classroom, grade level, and content area.

13 Key Principles of a Balanced Assessment Process
Balanced assessment suggests that you use a “photo album” (rather than a “photograph”) approach to monitoring, assessing, and evaluating student progress, using multiple forms of assessment evidence (not just a test or quiz). How familiar are you with the five types of assessment identified in your handout on page 4? Which ones do you use most frequently? Are there any that might be used more extensively?

14 Closure Activity Think about an upcoming unit that you will be teaching. Locate the transfer task for that unit (or begin thinking about a transfer task you might design). Based upon today’s discussion, begin reflecting on the pre-assessment/diagnosis, formative, and summative assessments you might administer to help students prepare for this task. In our next session, we’ll explore specific strategies for formative assessment that you might include in a future lesson related to this unit and task.

15 and Formative Assessment
Part Two Diagnostic/ Pre-Assessment and Formative Assessment

16 Revisiting Lesson-Based Mastery Objectives
As we begin this second part of Module Four, let’s take a few minutes to revisit mastery objectives. Every lesson should be anchored around one or more essential questions and mastery objectives. As you examine the handout on page 5, reflect upon your own mastery objectives. Based upon the criteria and models presented, are there ways in which you might improve your own lesson-based mastery objectives?

17 Revisiting Your Lesson Design (Planning for Pre-Assessment/Diagnosis)
Revisit the unit and transfer task you identified in the past session. As you begin to develop your lesson plan for this module, consider how you might use one or more of the pre-assessment/ diagnostic strategies identified on page 6. Are there specific skills, procedures, or concepts that students will require to prepare successfully for the unit transfer task? How might you pre-assess at the beginning of the unit if they have the required background knowledge required by the unit and task?

18 What Is Formative Assessment? (Page 7)
1. Formative assessment refers to the ongoing process students and teachers engage in when they: q Focus on learning goals. q Take stock of where current student work is in relationship to identified goals. q Take action to move closer to the goals.

19 What Is Formative Assessment? (Page 7)
2. From a teacher’s perspective, formative assessment involves: q  Clearly communicating learning goals to students. q   Helping students make connections between the learning goals and the work they do. q  Getting information from students about where they are. q  Giving feedback to students with suggestions about how they might move closer to the goal. q  Keeping records to allow students to see and understand patterns in the kinds of feedback they receive and facilitating student self-assessment.

20 What Is Formative Assessment? (Page 7)
3. Required skills for teachers include: q     Having in mind a clear idea of key learning goals and ways students typically progress toward them (including inevitable pitfalls, areas of confusion, and potential misunderstandings). q     Observational skills (i.e., Whenever you’re teaching, you’re assessing…). q      Verbal skills (oral and written) for giving clear feedback. q      A repertoire of teaching strategies. q      A repertoire of motivational strategies.

21 What Is Formative Assessment? (Page 7)
4. From a student’s perspective, formative assessment benefits include:  Increased achievement. Increased understanding of what they are learning and how best to learn it. Increased control over their own learning (and the motivation that goes with it).

22 How Does Formative Assessment Support the Learning Process
How Does Formative Assessment Support the Learning Process? A Quick JIGSAW: pp. 8-10 Form expert groups. Each group will be responsible for summarizing their assigned learning theory focus area—and what it says about the impact of formative assessment on learning: Cognitive Learning Theory Constructivist Teaching and Learning Brain-Compatible Teaching and Learning Learning Style Preferences and Multiple Intelligences Emotional Intelligence Creativity and Flow

23 Misconceptions About Formative Assessment (pp. 13-14)
According to Carol Ann Tomlinson, “informative” assessment: Isn’t just about tests. Isn’t about the grade book. Isn’t always formal. Isn’t separate from curriculum. Isn’t about “after.” Is not an end in itself. Isn’t separate from instruction. Isn’t just about student readiness. Isn’t just about finding weaknesses. Isn’t just for the teacher.

24 How Do Your Students Benefit from Formative Assessment? (pp. 15-16)
Learning is natural: Effective formative assessment practices are informational and foster cooperation. The sources of motivation are diverse: Formative assessment addresses readiness, learning profiles, and student interests. Students learn best when they experience self-efficacy: Formative assessment helps them see what they are learning and how they are succeeding. Feedback should be informational, not judgmental: Formative assessment promotes student understanding. Students must move from wishing to willing to doing: Formative assessment directs student focus and self-regulation. Formative assessment emphasizes both learning goals and students’ current levels of achievement in relationship to them. Learning is both independent and group oriented. Formative assessment practices build group interaction and student self-regulation.

25 A Self-Reflection Opportunity: How Effectively do You Currently Use Formative Assessment? (P. 11)
Use the self-reflection questionnaire on page 11 to assess how you currently use the ten identified formative assessment strategies. Then, compare your ratings with those of one or two participants sitting next to you.

26 Assessing Understanding: Some Starting Points…
Assessment and instruction are inextricably linked. The nature of your desired result(s) will determine the type(s) of assessment task you use to monitor student achievement. When assessing for understanding, more than selected-response test items (true-false, fill in the blank, multiple choice) are required.

27 Formative Assessment Strategies to Monitor and Promote Student Understanding (pp. 19-21)
TABLE GROUPS: Each table will be assigned one of the following focus areas. Be prepared to describe one or two formative assessment strategies you all agree would contribute to student understanding in your classrooms: Using oral language Asking higher-order questions and using Wait Time I and II Using writing in all content areas Developing students’ capacity for metacognition and self-reflection Using projects and performances Using tests as formative assessments

28 How Effective Is Your Feedback to Students? (Page 17)
Clearly articulated focus (products? performances? progress?) Addressing appropriate referent(s) (learning target? criteria? comparisons? individual progress?) Being clear about the function(s) of feedback (descriptive? evaluative?) Clarity to support adjustment of student thinking, reflection, and self-monitoring Range of modes (written? oral? demonstration?) Promptness and appropriateness of timing (esp. on-the-spot feedback tied to clear criteria and targets)

29 Differentiating Assessments: Some Questions for Your Consideration
How do you assess students’ readiness levels when designing assessments? To what extent are students’ learning profiles taken into account when designing assessment products? When is it possible to align assessment products with student interests? To what extent can doing so enhance student achievement?

30 Criteria for Differentiated Assessment “Products”
Clearly lay out what students should demonstrate, transfer, or apply to show what they understand and can do as a result of the study. Provide one or more modes of expression. Lay out clear, precise expectations for high-quality content (e.g., rubrics, scoring guides); steps and behaviors of developing the product; and the nature of the product itself. Provide support and scaffolding for high-quality student success. Provide for variations in student readiness, interest, and learning profile.

31 Some Approaches to Differentiating Assessments (P. 24)
Tiered Lessons Interest Centers Complex Instruction Tiered Centers Interest Groups Aligning Products with Multiple Intelligences Learning Contracts Varied Homework Cooperative Learning JIGSAWS Orbital Studies Curriculum Compacting Anchored Activities and Varied Texts and Materials Independent Study Varied Journal Prompts Multiple Learning Modality Options

32 Key Elements of Effective Portfolio Assessment (P. 25)
Student work products and artifacts representing standards achievement. Self-selected work products and artifacts demonstrating student self-knowledge and self-reflection Ongoing reflections and analyses by student related to continuous progress Periodic self-evaluations using consensus-driven rubrics and related scoring tools

33 Designing Pre-Assessments and Formative Assessments for Your Lesson Plan
Consider the types of assessments and scoring tools we’ve addressed in this module. How can you use one or more of them as part of your lesson design? How will these assessment tools help your students achieve success on your unit’s transfer task? Before you begin to work on your individual lesson, do you have any questions or ideas you would like to share?

34 Closure Activity As you reflect upon the pre-assessment and formative assessment strategies you’ve explore in this section of the module, which ones will you use as part of your lesson design for the transfer task you selected? Be prepared to share your answers with the rest of the group.

35 Preview of Coming Attractions: Module Five
Our next module will deal with holistic scoring of student work products in response to your unit’s transfer task. For next time, come ready to share your experiences with using balanced assessment to prepare students for this task. Also, be thinking about scoring and grading transfer task results.

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