5013Q 001: Research and Assessment Final Thoughts Bonnie Duong

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5013Q 001: Research and Assessment Final Thoughts Bonnie Duong by Mind Map: 5013Q 001: Research and Assessment Final Thoughts  Bonnie Duong

1. Week 2

1.1. Assessment for, as, and of learning

1.1.1. Assessment needs to be “fair”: - Customized to students’ needs, not all the time, but whenever needed. - Consideration for students’ strengths and needs. For example, if students are lower in Language or writing skills, allow students to show them their understanding in subjects such as Science, Music, Art, rather than writing. - Finding different ways to assess.

1.1.2. Anecdotal notes, and conversations are an important part of assessing. - Are students able to explain their thoughts in conversations? - Are students showing some progress during the process of learning, even if they do not get the right answer?

1.2. Growing success and achievement charts

1.2.1. Do not copy the exact achievement chart in growing success.

1.2.2. Creating "personalized" comments for each student. - Must reflect the positive progress that the students are making - Should also include next steps.

1.2.3. Using assessment for, and as learning, to ensure students understand, and follow the success criteria. - This is done using assessment tools, rubrics, checklists, etc.

1.2.4. Report Cards

1.2.4.1. Learning Skills: - E, G, S, N

1.2.4.2. Marks: - Letter grading for Grades 1-6 - Percentage grading for Grades 7-12

1.3. Rubrics

1.3.1. Rubrics need to be customized to be specific to the requirements of the assessment.

1.3.2. Creating rubric with the students so they understand what their learning goals and success criteria are.

1.3.3. In the past, I have used Met/Not Yet Met rubrics to assess students formatively. - Great way to provide feedback/next steps - Does not necessarily match up to a grade level, thus students do not feel as stressed about the mark of the assignment

1.4. Exit Ticket

1.4.1. Understanding the Achievement Chart: - Understanding the achievement chart can help me by guiding me on how to build rubrics specific to each assessment. - Helps me keep track of the necessary information to look out for, and making sure all components are covered in my teaching. - Helps keep track of student achievement (making comparisons to the expectations), and provide ways to describe student achievement.

1.4.2. Question about Learning Skills: - My question about learning skills was: as a music teacher, where would you report learning skills? There is not enough room in the music comment box to fully elaborate on student learning. - Upon receiving the ticket back, I learned that I would have to communicate with the home room teacher about the student’s progress.

1.4.3. The Sorting Activity: - I learned what report card comments look like at different levels, as well as how to phrase both positive comments, and comments about areas of improvement. - It also gave me ideas about how to construct report card comments for other subjects such as music (as I am a music specialist).

1.4.4. One question about report cards: - My question was: How do kindergarten report cards look like? How do you choose the right mark for anchor marks? - In my opinion, it is unfair to round students’ marks up or down to the anchor marks because sometimes, it does not reflect how well they are doing/how poorly they are doing. I especially never like to round marks down for anchor marks, because I feel like the student was able to achieve higher, but now it seems like I’m taking the marks away. - Ultimately, I think it would be my discretion, by combining the assessment marks along with classroom conversations and observations.

2. Week 3

2.1. The Kindergarten Program

2.1.1. Focus: - play and inquiry based learning (with educator involvement throughout learning) - culture of learning - learning environment - literacy and math embedded (everyday situations) - documentation of learning (for communication with parents, self-assessment, communication with staff, and involvement of students) - collaboration and communication (to transition the students)

2.1.2. Beliefs: - 4-5 year olds are capable, competent, and can develop full potential - children are unique individuals - relationships with family and community

2.1.3. 4 Frames:

2.1.3.1. Belonging and Contributing: - connectedness to others - building relationships

2.1.3.2. Self-Regulation and Well-Being: - child's thinking and feelings - recognition and respect for differences in thinking and feeling - development of a whole child (physical, cognitive, emotional, and social)

2.1.3.3. Demonstrating Literacy: - integration throughout the day - multiple opportunities - making math meaningful - intentional interactions - active engagement in learning

2.1.3.4. Problem Solving and Innovating: - innovative ways of thinking - making meaning of their world - explore the world with curiousity

2.2. Growing Success

2.2.1. Comparing Kindergarten Growing Success vs. Grade school: - developmentally appropriate (where they are within expectations vs. checklist mentality) - teaching and assessments happen at the same time - kindergarten program aligns with growing success - actively engaged in assessment process in various ways - variations in growth (entering and leaving in different ages and stages)

2.2.2. Reporting-Communication of Learning: - all 3 reporting terms - 1st term: initial observations and interviews, not all frames need to be covered, depends on the child - in February and June: split into 4 boxes with the frames of Kindergarten learning

2.2.3. Assessment: - documenting and interpreting - being more present during students' learning - looking at process/progress, not just the product

2.3. Exit Ticket

2.3.1. Differences in Kindergarten Assessment: - Assessment in Kindergarten is different because you assess as you teach students. - Teachers must assess the overall learning in the Kindergarten framework rather than subjects.

2.3.2. Challenges when assessing Kindergarten: - Teachers must interpret and create captions for all documentation rather than doing it at the end for report card time. - Documenting while teaching in small groups.

2.3.3. Thoughts and Questions on the Communication of Learning: - As a music teacher, I wish there was a specific section for the subject in the Communication of Learning. I don't think teachers should be allowed to pick if it goes on the report or not. Learning in all classes should be accounted for because students behave differently with different teachers and different subjects.

3. Week 4

3.1. Self-Assessment and Peer-Assessment

3.1.1. Students describe their own progress using guidelines, success criteria, and predetermined learning goals.

3.1.2. Teachers must: - Teach and model assessment strategies - Provide a framework for students to assess (reflections, checklists, rubrics, etc.) - Teach how to provide feedback

3.1.3. Pros: - Promotes self-regulation, collaboration, and other learning skills - Makes students active and engaged in their own learning, creates a partnership between teacher and student - Timely feedback - Checking for progress of learning

3.1.4. Cons: - It takes time to teach and model how to do self-assessment and peer-assessment - Peer relationship might affect the feedback - Feedback might affect the peer relationship

3.2. Anecdotal Notes

3.2.1. Short observations describing ongoing progress, behaviour, and communication within the classroom.

3.2.2. Teachers must: - Take the notes in a timely manner (in the moment or soon after). - Be specific in the notes - Try to be as unbiased and objective as possible.

3.2.3. Pros: - Fills in the gaps between formal assessments - Can be used as comments during parent-teacher interviews, or to update parents on the student's learning/behaviour - Documents progress and growth - Due to timeliness, can be quite accurate

3.2.4. Cons: - Could be biased - Teachers can lose vision of the bigger picture, and be too focused on the moment.

3.3. Checklists

3.3.1. A list of criteria for students to follow during assessments or otherwise.

3.3.2. Teachers can use this: - for students to complete self-assessment/peer-assessment - as a way to track progress - for guidelines for assignments/other processes (such as writing paragraphs, etc.)

3.3.3. Pros: - Very adaptable to different needs - Clear outline of expectations - Students can co-create checklists - Promotes self-regulation in the students

3.3.4. Cons: - Does not encourage students to go beyond the criteria - Emphasis on quantity rather than quality - Does not provide a final grade after the assessment

3.4. Rubrics

3.4.1. A table outlining the expectations at the different grade levels of an assessment.

3.4.2. Teachers can use this: - for various assessments - to justify and breakdown the marks as an explanation for the students - to provide feedback to the students

3.4.3. Pros: - there are different types of rubrics, which can be adapted to various needs - the breakdown of the mark can serve as proof for students and the parents - rubrics can produce a mark right away

3.4.4. Cons: - some rubrics leave limited room for feedback - students might be inclined to only follow rubrics, not going beyond requirements - could limit creativity

3.5. Data Collection

3.5.1. Digital Data Collection

3.5.1.1. Various methods: - Apps - Google Classroom - Taking pictures

3.5.1.2. Pros: - Can increase communication with parents - Convenient/easy to organize - Can document proof of growth/progress

3.5.1.3. Cons: - Lack of privacy in certain apps - Constricted to the format of the application - Most need wifi, devices need to always have battery/be portable.

3.5.2. Data collection with paper

3.5.2.1. Examples: - Markbooks - Printed out pictures with captions - Anecdotal notes - Folders with student work

3.5.2.2. Pros: - Tangible proof of progress, which can be presented to parents during interviews - Do not need to worry about technical difficulties - Can attach the students' work and anecdotal notes to the documentation

3.5.2.3. Cons: - Papers can pile up/get lost - Need to re-enter marks into the system for report cards - More difficult to share with parents/staff

3.6. Exit Ticket

3.6.1. Something that sparked my interest in the presentation was with Rubrics. - I never thought of using a rubric for small assessments such as exit tickets and journal entries. - I realize now that it is still important to give expectations and marking schemes to the students for those assessments.

3.6.2. Something that I want to know more about is when using digital apps for documentation. - There are now limitations for some school boards from using 3rd party apps. - I want to learn about other alternatives that I would be able to use specifically for Peel District School Board (as that is the board I want to work in).

3.6.3. 3 things I learned today:

3.6.3.1. It is an expectation in Full Day Kindergarten to display student work. - I knew it would always be good to have student work displayed in the classroom, but I did not know you must have it for Kindergarten.

3.6.3.2. There are specific names for different types of rubrics (single point, analytic, etc.) - I had always used a traditional rubric with Levels 1 to 4.

3.6.3.3. I can use rubrics for oral assessment, and specifically paritcipation. - I had always used rubrics for formal assessments. Now I will consider using it for oral assessment and participation as well.

4. Week 1

4.1. Why do we asssess?

4.1.1. Student progress: - Are students understanding the information? - What areas do students excel in? - What areas do students need help on?

4.1.2. Teacher reflection: - Is my teaching effective and reaching out to the students? - What areas do I need to focus more on? - If my techniques are not working, what other ways can I help my students?

4.1.3. For parents: - As proof of the reasons why we gave the students the marks we did.

4.2. How can assessment support student learning?

4.2.1. Providing next steps for students. Providing feedback for their progress.

4.2.2. Provide multiple choices and opportunities for students to demonstrate understanding

4.2.3. Self-assessments help students reflect on their learning, and take ownership of their progress.

4.2.4. Assessment can help identify strengths and weaknesses, so that resources can be created to help the students learn more efficiently.

4.3. Exit Ticket

4.3.1. Something that surprised me was: Don’t give bonus questions! - This is something that I had done during a Grade 8 placement for math class. - This is something that teachers did throughout my time as a student. - I now understand that bonus questions should not be provided because the information should be related to the test, and the students should already know that knowledge, not rewarded extra for it. - I still wonder, if a harder question was placed on the test, that was briefly mentioned in class, but not part of their grade level requirement, can this be put in as a bonus question.

4.3.2. One question I still have is: How do we assess students if we see them for a limited amount of time? - During my 3rd placement, I was placed in a music classroom. We saw students 3 days out of a 10 day cycle. In the time that I was there, I saw some classes only about 5 times because of reorganization and PD days. There were some students, where out of those 5 days, they were away for 4. Therefore, I thought of the dilemma of how to assess students if there was not enough information about them. - As per our discussion in class in Week 2, I understand that we, as educators, must always find something to assess, even as anecdotal notes during the few classes that they were there.

4.3.3. One thing I learned was: 1 in 4 children live in poverty in London. - I knew there were lower socio-economic areas in London, however, I did not know 1 in 4 students were affected. - The percentage is higher than I thought it would be. - From this, I learned that it is never safe to assume the backgrounds of students and their families. From the outside, it could seem that the students are living comfortably, but it is still important to get to know every student, and be sure not to blame students for not getting work done, when sometimes, it is the least of their worries.

5. Week 5

5.1. Assessment and Grading

5.1.1. Problem with rubrics: - Too many words - Students are not going to read all of is - Students are already expecting a specific mark, so they only read that column. - “Just because it’s better than nothing doesn’t mean it makes it great.” - “When things are efficient, you sacrifice other things.”

5.1.2. Single Point Rubrics: - Able to provide more feedback - “Not yet” column allows for room to grow, instead of just settling for a lower mark - Gives room to move with the student - Easy to check-in on students during the class - Easy to read

5.2. 10 Principles that make a better teacher:

5.2.1. 1. Help students understand the role of formative assessment - Teach students should understand and experience sustained effort. It is important and the only way to improve. Persistence!

5.2.2. 2. Begin with clear Knowledge, Understanding, and Do’s - Have clarity of the expectations so that the students understand what they are trying to accomplish.

5.2.3. 3. Make room for student differences - Allow for different ways for students to show their understanding, especially for formative assessments. - As long as it covers Knowledge, Understanding, and Do’s.

5.2.4. 4. Provide instructive feedback - Students need useful feedback - What they did well, and how they missed the mark

5.2.5. 5. Make feedback use-friendly - The ideal is illicit a cognitive response, not an emotional one. Pick the right words.

5.2.6. 6. Assess persistently - Constantly watching what students do, looking for clues about their learning progress, and asking for input from students about their status. - Take notes on what they see and hear.

5.2.7. 7. Engage students with formative assessment - It is easy for teachers to stick with traditional classroom assessments. - Things go much better when students are fully engaged in the assessment process.

5.2.8. 8. Look for patterns - The goal of reviewing formative assessment is to find patterns in the students’ work that point the way to planning classroom instruction that both moves students along a learning continuum and is manageable.

5.2.9. 9. Plan instruction around content requirements and student needs - Teachers must know where students are, and plan to move them “+1” beyond that point. - Knowing the similarity and differences between students.

5.2.10. 10. Repeat the process - Assessment of each learning experience informs plans for the next learning experience. The process never ends.

5.3. Feedback vs FeedForward

5.3.1. Feedback: - Affirms what the person already knows - Points out problems - Is an “information dump” - Tries not to be mean - Doesn’t always offer a plan of action - Comes from the top down

5.3.2. FeedForward: - Regenerates talent - Expands possibilities - Is particular - Is Authentic - Has an impact - Refines group dynamics

5.4. Exit Ticket

5.4.1. “It’s good to tell students what they did well on. It’s better to help students move forward with next steps.”

6. Week 6

6.1. How Important is Success Criteria?

6.1.1. Helps students narrow down their answers, and pick more appropriate answers.

6.1.2. Example: What is the best movie of all time? Criteria could be: - Must have won an award - Must evoke emotion, etc.

6.2. What does Education Data Collection look like?

6.2.1. Observations, conversations, IEP, EQAO, OSR, tasks , tests, ESL, Diagnostic reading assessment, etc.

6.2.2. Think about what it is you really want to know. Find out how to collect the data. Analyze the data Figure out what you are going to do with the data. Put a plan in motion. Know when the plan is successful or needs to be changed. (Does not need to be perfect, but does improvement is success).