Thursday, February 20, 2014

Implementing Reading Assessment in Your Classroom

There are three types of assessment that you must consider as you plan your Reading program. Before you implement a unit of study, you should know what your assessments will entail. Here's a checklist to ensure you cover all your bases as you prepare the assessments for a unit of study.
  • Think about what you want your students to be able to say and do after each of the learning experiences and at the end of the unit of study. This becomes the basis for your assessments.
  • Work backwards from here to create authentic learning experiences. Ensure your assessments are purposeful. It's a waste of time to administer assessments without a clear reason for doing so. 
  • Take some time to review the three types of assessment and their three purposes.
  • It's important to remember that your students need to know what they are being assessed on and why. If you create the assessments, ensure they are documented and understood by the students. They will definitely ask you if the assessment counts toward their report card, so it's important to be explicit about your purpose. 
  • When you administer diagnostic assessments to find your starting point, be prepared for the result to show a variety of reading levels and a variety of strategies that are being used. You should expect to teach to students representing two or more grade levels. 
  • If possible, include the students in the process of creating their assessments. If their voices are represented in a list of success criteria or a rubric, for example, they will be more invested in the outcome. 
  • In the spirit of representing the students' voices in the assessments, think about how you will use self-assessments or peer assessments. Goal setting and following up on the achievement of those goals is a great example of this.  
  • When you introduce a summative assessment, use success criteria and exemplars to ensure your students know exactly what is expected of them.
  • Communicate with the families of your students to let them know what will be expected of their children over the course of the unit of study. Review some sample strategies for communicating with families if you need some ideas.
Now it's your turn. What have I missed? Please help me expand this list by adding to the comments below. 

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