Friday, 15 July 2016

Assessment PD

Evidence Based Assessment Strategies for the Middle Years to support student learning
Critical Agendas PD
facilitator: Pam Burton

Focus on formative assessment
Evidence based best practice discussed and acknowledging the principles of evidence based assessment.

Assessment practices have changed over time. Summative assessment is not effective if that is the only form of assessment. Varying strategies have to be integrated into our assessment schedule.( Background evidence from Wiliam 2009)
Student self-reports have the most effect ( Hattie) Children reflecting on their own learning journey.
Children need to be motivated and their self- esteem enhanced through quality formative assessment. It can raise standards and supports students with their learning.( Absolum 2013)

Evidence of learning required 
Where the learner is going ( learning intentions)This is the 'benchmark'
Taking snapshots of the learning journey
Evidence of student as a learning resources
Where is the learner going next.
The learner as teacher.

Tangible sample of learning in portfolios is required. Too amorphous without that.
Learning intentions should be based on the curriculum and success criteria indicates the desired achievement. Having exemplars show teacher expectations ( Rubrics work for older students but ideally should be matched with exemplars)
Children need to feel safe in learning and sharing ( safe to speak out and make mistakes) examples include think, pair and reflect.
Feedback on weaknesses and strengths must develop a mindset amongst the children that inspires children to want to learn and improve.children should use feedback as a guideline for how to plan to get better. Evidence in the portfolio is required to show their own self reflection. 
Students enjoy working in groups and becoming resident experts. ( Peer assessments are a valuable feedback tool.) Students should also be activated as teachers/ mentors.
Currently at Glen Park we use portfolios and have for years but they lack structure. We are starting to use rubrics again. We are good at providing exemplars for students to match against success criteria. Learning intentions and success criteria have been incorporated into unit planning for some time but are not necessarily shared with students.We are revising out curriculum with a new scope and sequence ( under construction) for Maths. Peer assessment is undertaken informally but can be structured better. because of our size student instruction and mentoring is common place.

Wiliam suggests clarifying success criteria and that you are sharing them with the kids.children should then self-assess against the success criteria ('I Can' statements in the hands of the kids so they can monitor their progress and build their evidence) 
When that is achieved have the children look at their work and identify their next learning path (Goal setting based on feedback and particular to the success criteria and skills and understandings that are targeted and relevant)
Portfolio should include what they want to do next. The portfolio should include:
1.Samples of work ( Kids should have input into what work is 'archived') which include common assessment tasks and specific tasks which shows the teacher how they use feedback or how they have 'taught' other children.
2. Reflections
3. Feedback from peers.
( SeeSaw and Weebly are recommended for digital portfolios)
Pam suggests breaking down the portfolio initially to just one or two areas which is what we really do. Our portfolios contain responses to our literature theme work.They can grow to include more student feedback and a greater emphasis on promoting success criteria. Rubrics can be used but should also include information about students collating information about their own learning. helping them to understand more about success criteria and learning intentions. We can also make greater use of anchor charts ( Pinterest has visual tools such as anchor charts that can be helpful.) Also refer TPT and TES. 

Pam believes that you require a solid scope and sequence structure to help develop learning intentions. It is distributed to students for self-assessment at the beginning of each topic. Children can maintain a record of their success with evidence in their portfolio.

Engineering effective classroom discussions to elicit evidence of learning
1.ABCD Cards
2. Exit tickets
3. Hot seat ( Children write an question for a student sitting in the hot seat. They must
know the answer. The student in the hot seat must answer the question that is asked by the audience) if the hot seat person answers the question well then he/ she swaps with the questioner. If not then the class discuss the quality of the answer. Teacher should be the hot seat person first.encourage children to ask higher order questions. No yes/no questions. 
4.Table Mat
5. Think pair and reflect 
6. Inside/Outside Circles
These strategies are about effective feedback , not just giving a mark. ( Infonote and Explain Everything are valuable iPad apps that can be used to provide feedback or to explain information to peers. Also refer 'mentor texts' have the properties that you need to show as an example of modelled writing.)
Pam suggested we initiate student led conferences and she provided us with resources to help us get started.

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