While at NCTE, I listened to Patrick Allen, Franki Sibberson, and colleagues discuss reading assessment. Here are some highlights:
- One assessment isn’t better than another and none can stand alone. We need a variety.
- Look at the routines of reading workshop and figure out how to assess those routines.
- I should ask myself: What does the way I assess do to my students’ performance? Now this is a powerful, thought-provoking question that deserves its own post! Then followed by this poignant question: How many kids are quitting because of our assessment? Yikes!
- Our assessment should be dual-purposed. It should help us as teachers, but also help our students. More questions to ask of myself: How do I know my students are getting better? More importantly how do my students know they’re getting better? If they aren’t getting better, then what am I going to do to help them improve?
- This P. Drucker quote: “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently what shouldn’t be done at all.”
- To truly focus on assessment, then conferring should be brought back to the heart of workshop.
- Conferring: a.) mirrors rich conversations; b.) shepherds developing readers & writers; c.) provides an authentic context for ongoing assessment and responsive teaching.
- This Bev Bos quote: “What children take home in their head and heart is much more important than what they take home in their hands.”
- Another quote, but I didn’t catch the credit: “Expert teaching invites students to act with initiative and intention in shaping what happens to them throughout the day.”
- It’s a big problem if the ways we’re assessing are for the single purpose of accountability. Our assessment should be for a bigger purpose — like helping kids become better readers and writers!
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