Assessment and Evaluation

presentation: Assessment and Evaluation Oct 2

Assessment in education is essential. Most parents (and yes, some teachers) focus on the end goal: the report mark or the levels the students get on individual assignment. Unfortunately, this only part of the picture.

The Ontario Ministry of Education, in its latest document, Growing Success, outlines the policy for which assessment and evaluation can “improve student learning.”

There are tons of online Professional Development resources and web modules available on the Edugains website. 

I found THIS ONE on assessment for and as learning cheesy, but helpful.

Formative Assessment Ideas

(image created with wordle.net)

Ass for as of

There are some interesting ways to integrate these types of assessments into your classroom.

Four More!   Assessment FOR/AS

Four More is an example of a formative assessment. It “integrates collaboration, movement, and individual accountability.”

fourmore – template

Students are able to “check in” with their peers about the lesson topic.  The activity allows students to get up and walk around and gather additional information about what is being learned.

The Frayer Model: Assessment FOR

The Frayer Model is a graphic organizer to help students grasp a concept or term more fully.

The Ontario Ministry of Education released a great strategy with their “Think Literacy” Documents. Here is their interpretation of the Frayer Model.  Another great .pdf version of the graphic organizer can be found here.

This example is from a geography unit.

frayer example

Assessment OF Learning

Many teachers assume tests are the only way to assess student curricular mastery. Many students find these stakes too high, suffer from anxiety and are unsuccessful. A quick “search” of the 9/10 Canada and World Studies Curriculum document quickly reveals there are two mentions of the word “test.” (note: of the 33 results for ‘exam,’ NONE address the major final assessment!) Therefore, the Ministry of Education has no specific requirement to set formal tests in our courses (ironically, they love testing in Math and English.)  Other options include research assignments, inquiry questions and varied formats for demonstration of learning.

testing_cartoon

Classroom Management

Most of the teacher candidate students I taught cited ‘classroom management’ as their greatest fear about their Bachelor of Education year.

I was lucky, well, I see myself as lucky. I cut my management teeth while working in some of the toughest neighbourhoods of Glasgow. Street brawls, crack dealers and knife fights were a continuous issue in and around these schools. Although the students were sweet, happy and thankful young people, they came from tough homes and tough streets. So, it wasn’t unusual to be told to F-off or  ‘flipped the bird.’ One day, I even had a student attempt to throw a desk in my direction (at me? I doubt it. He wasn’t that angry at his regular teacher). By the time I came back to Ottawa, ‘rough’ classes seemed like a cake-walk. Sure, these students were also challenged, the weren’t Glagswegians, growing up in a city with the highest poverty levels in the country.

A few simple tips:

1) Mean what you say. Empty threats are easily ignored.

2) Stay positive. The student is not the problem, it’s the behaviour.

3) The “lesson” should fit the “crime.” A student throwing garbage around the room? She/he can spend some time cleaning up the classroom. Can’t sit appropriately in a chair? They could stand.

4) ALWAYS STAY CALM. Raising your voice will never help. I love the ‘broken record”… ‘I just need you to sit down. I just need you to sit down. I just need you to sit down. I just need you to sit down.”

5) Address behaviours as quietly as possible. Go directly to the student and lean in. Whisper your directive. If you give the student an opportunity for a show, many will take it.

Tips from Liane Wray: Behaviour Cheatsheet 1    Behaviour Cheatsheet 2
Other ideas:

There are ways to improve your classroom strategies. Great resources exist all over the internet for new teachers.

Billed as an ‘online cafe’ to post questions and queries for beginning teachers, http://www.survivethrive.on.ca/ is a great place to access good sources or start a discussion about issues you’re facing.

This website, disciplinehelp.com/ attempts to address the bigger issues at work in identifying 120 acting-out classroom behaviours.

The National Education Association also offers some pretty fantastic resources on many management issues.