assessment · equity · feedback · formative assessment · inquiry · reflective practice

Let’s Get Curious! Using Appreciative Inquiry in the Writing Classroom

Students are our north stars. When we get to know students (academically and beyond), we can more clearly see and honor who they are and what they know. Appreciative inquiry enables us to capitalize on the abundant assets already present.

Assessment Strengthens Writers Blog Series · writing workshop

Record Keeping- Why and How: Assessment Strengthens Writers

We teachers keep all kinds of records and notes- attendance records, records of the books our students read, records about math concepts mastered, and spelling words missed. Yet, many of us struggle to figure out the how and why of record keeping in writing workshop. If you don’t believe me, Google “record keeping in writing… Continue reading Record Keeping- Why and How: Assessment Strengthens Writers

assessment · digital writing

How to Assess Students’ Digital Writing – Ideas from Troy Hicks’ New Book

In Assessing Students’ Digital Writing:Protocols For Looking Closely, Troy Hicks and a team of forward looking educators have given us lenses through which to appreciate and evaluate the type of digital creativity that students seem adept at...

Aim Higher Blog Series · assessment

Aim Higher: Some Tools For Mid Year Assessments

At the end of this week, the  second marking period will officially come to an end for many of us, and so will the first half of our school year.  This is the perfect time to pause, take a look back at the work that our students have accomplished from September to now, and look… Continue reading Aim Higher: Some Tools For Mid Year Assessments

writing workshop

Back to Basics: Assessment (Part of TWT’s Big Picture Series)

Assessment.  Is there anything basic about it?  As I've lamented about what to post on this topic today, I decided to look back and share how I survived assessing writing when I first began teaching according to the Writing Workshop philosophy nearly nine years ago.  Here is a golden nugget: Assess writing through different lenses.… Continue reading Back to Basics: Assessment (Part of TWT’s Big Picture Series)

assessment · narrative


Today my students turned in their narratives.  I couldn't wait to read them, so I began today during my lunch.  I was touched by their writing, and impressed by the significant revisions many of them made.  Tonight (as my kids were coloring) I looked over the narratives again and began to pile them according to… Continue reading Assessing.

adolescent literacy · assessment · authentic assessment · reading workshop · technology

My Life as a Reader.

The first unit of study is coming to a close.  The summative assessment is two part.  First, students are to create a multimedia presentation (text + image + audio) of their past, present, and future reading lives.  (Part two is an on-demand writing, where they summarize their learning about reading + a reflection of this… Continue reading My Life as a Reader.

assessment · authentic assessment · quote · reading · reading workshop · writing workshop

NCTE: Reading Assessment.

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… Continue reading NCTE: Reading Assessment.

assessment · rubric · technology

A Couple “Techy” Rubrics

Earlier this week, I posted about the process of determining how to attach grades to chats and discussion forums.  Before break, my students divided into two groups and determined the areas which should be evaluated when assessing the success of a chat or discussion thread. I took their ideas and created two rubrics.  The chat rubric… Continue reading A Couple “Techy” Rubrics