Better Learning, Better Teaching, Better Schools Using formative assessment and feedback to engage students and ensure success! A collaboration between TCBOE & the Alabama Best Practices Center
Overarching Goal Students in Talladega County are engaged in learning at high levels so that all students are well-prepared for the next grade level, college, and/or career.
Overview of Year • August - Student engagement & introduction to formative assessment & feedback for both adults and students. • September - Formative Assessment in Action: Update progress and make connections to best practice. • November - Role of formative feedback for adults & students. Connection to Instructional Rounds.
Overview of Year (cont.) • January - “Speed bump!” Taking stock & making adjustments. • February - How does formative assessment and feedback relate to high stakes testing? • April - Reflecting on the year. Commiting to next steps.
Learning Outcomes for Today • Reflect on and deepen your personal understanding of student engagement, and begin to create a vision for what this would look like in every classroom in your school and district. • Understand the purposes and powerful potential of formative assessment & feedback for the learning of both students & adults. • Explore the connection between formative assessment & feedback and EducateAlabama.
Norms • Listen Actively • Be open to ideas from others • Encourage balanced participation • Avoid side conversations • Cell phones on vibrate • Take care of your creature comforts! • Other?
"Leadership effects on student learning occur largely because leadership strengthens professional community; teachers’ engagement in professional community, in turn, fosters the use of instructional practices that are associated with student achievement." Investigating the Links to Improved Student Learning: Executive Summary of Research Findings, July 2010, p. 10.
Remember Professional Learning Communities (PLC)? • Focus on Learning • Collaborative Culture • Results Orientation
PLC: 4 Key Questions • What is it we want students to know and be able to do? • How are we going to know if they have learned it? • What will we do if they don’t learn it? • What will we do if they do learn it?
Activity #1: Where is Your School? • With your colleague(s), look over the previous two slides and identify evidence of an operating PLC in your school. • Using Activity Sheet #1,Brainstorm and record additional steps you could take to better address the four PLC questions.
Activity #2: A Vision of Effective Teaching & Student Engagement • Imagine your students are engaged in high levels of cognitive activities. • What is the teacher doing? • How are the students interacting with one another, the teacher, and the content?
Activity #3: To Which of these Similies is Your View of Effective Teaching and Student Engagement/Learning Similar? Mountain Climbing? Deep Sea Fishing? Scuba Diving? White water rafting? Choose one.
Move to the corner where your simile is posted • Introduce yourselves to others in the group. • Identify a recorder. • Brainstorm ways that this classroom is like your selected metaphor. Write each idea on the easel paper provided.
Reflection and Application Four-Corner Synectics Think about the process of reflecting on teaching effectiveness and student engagement—and then selecting a metaphor and sharing with others. What was the value? What did you learn? How might you use this reflection tool with your faculty and your students? What would you hope to accomplish? How would you modify it?
Activity #4a: Go Deeper with Student Engagement • Select a card from the middle of your table. Each card is numbered. Turn to Activity Sheet #4, and read the article that matches your number. • As you read, highlight key points that you will want to share with others who are reading your same article.
Activity #4b: Expert Tables • Facilitators will direct you to expert tables where those who read the SAME article will meet and discuss (2 tables/ article). • At your table, discuss key findings from your article. Be sure to take notes that you can use when you return to your home table and report on your article.
Activity #4c: Home Table Sharing • Select a table facilitator, a timer, and someone who will agree to start first. • Everyone at the table will briefly share major insights from their article. Timers should allow no more than 3 minutes per person. • So you will be prepared for the next step, be sure to record key insights/ideas on your notes.
Activity #5: Affinity Mapping • Think about main ideas, themes, insights that you’ve gleaned from the article review. • Using sticky-notes, write down ONE idea/insight per note. • Try to create at least 4 sticky notes per person. • When finished, begin placing your notes on the easel paper provided at your table. • Please do this quietly … no talking until everyone is finished.
Affinity Mapping (continued) • Take a few minutes to group similar ideas/insights. When all the sticky notes are grouped into categories, name those categories. • You may talk during this part of Affinity Mapping!
Revisiting Your Vision of Effective Teaching and Student Engagement • Return to your Activity #2 sheet. • Based on your new learnings, silently and individually, make any additions or changes to your vision. • With your table teams, share your individual visions for student engagement. • As a table team, develop a vision for student engagement. • Write your collective vision on chart paper.
Moving toward a Common Vision of Effective Teaching and Student Engagement • When directed, take your chart paper to the assigned corner of the room. • Choose a facilitator, recorder and timekeeper. • Post the three visions in a nearby space. • Take turns allowing each group to share their vision. • Circle the phrases or thoughts that are similar. • Discuss the phrases or thoughts that are different. • Collaboratively, develop a vision for student engagement that represents your three table groups. • Write the new vision on a clean sheet of chart paper.
Reflection and Application • Think about the process of moving from an individual vision of student engagement to a common vision. What was the value? What did you learn? • Was this process different from the way we have introduced expectations in the past? How?
Now What? • Turning today’s training around to your faculty • Greater participation produces ownership • Ownership precedes action Slow is fast and fast is slow!
TCBOE & Student Engagement: Common Understanding/Definition • Involve your school and faculty • Options: • Repeat article review/affinity mapping • Share the four combined definitions for input and discussion • Be ready to report on insights/reactions from your school at our next gathering (Sept. 27)
Formative Assessment is not an end in itself; rather, it is the means to improve teaching practices, increased student engagement and improved student learning.
What is Formative Assessment? Assessment FOR Learning “Formative assessment is a process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning to improve students’ achievement of intended instructional outcomes.” (Definition by Council of Chief State School Officers, 2006, reported in Popham, 2008, p. 5)
“Formative assessments— ongoing assessments designed to make students’ thinking visible to both teachers and students—are essential. They permit teachers to grasp the students’ preconceptions, understand where students are in the “developmental corridor” from informal to formal thinking, and design instruction accordingly. In the assessment-centered classroom environment, formative assessments help both teachers and students monitor progress.” National Research Council, How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School, pp. 24-25. Formative Assessment in Assessment-Centered Classrooms
1. What is formative assessment? 2. How is formative assessment different from summative assessment? 3. Why is formative assessment important to teaching and learning? Turn and talk with a partner. Together, formulate your “best” answers to the following questions. Jot down your responses.
Characteristics Formative Assessment (Assessment FOR Learning) Summative Assessment (Assessment OF Learning)
Activity #6: Formative Assessmentor Summative Assessment • Number off 1-5 at your table. • Read the corresponding vignette silently and determine whether it is formative or summative. • Be able to explain your rationale. • When directed, each individual should read their vignette aloud. • The other participants should indicate whether they think it is formative or summative by using a “Thumbs up” or “Thumbs down.” • Share your rationale.
Why is Formative Assessment Important? Many studies demonstrate that when formative assessment is used to improve learning during instruction, student achievement improves. “The effect of assessment for learning on student achievement is some four to five times greater than the effect of reduced class size…Few interventions in education come close to having the same level of impact as assessment for learning.” Stiggins et al, 2006, p. 37
What about Formative Assessment for Teachers and Administrators?
The Alabama Continuum for Teacher Development was designed to support formative assessment, including self-assessments, and to identify strengths as well as areas for growth.
Alabama Quality Teaching Standards Standard 2: Teaching and Learning • Organization and Management of Learning Environment • Using Instructional Strategies to Engage Learners • Assessment of Learning
Standard 2: Teaching and Learning Indicator 2.8 Uses formative assessments to provide specific and timely feedback to assist learners in meeting learning targets and to adjust instruction Indicator 2.9 Uses summative assessments to measure learner attainment of specified learning targets Indicator 2.10 Maintains evidence and records of learning performance to communicate progress Indicator 2.11 Analyzes and uses disaggregated standardized assessment results to inform planning for individual learners and classes
Activity #7: Self-Assessment of Indicator 2.8 Review the practices associated with Indicator 2.8. Select the practices you think should be strengthened over the course of this year. Identify one of these practices to share with your table team. Be prepared to (1) describe this practice in your own words, (2) tell why you selected it; that is, why you think strengthening this practice would improve student learning, and (3) identify possible evidences of these practices.
Professional Learning Plan (PLP) • Should reflect the areas of growth identified on the self assessment • Should include opportunities for teacher learning • Should include actions/strategies for implementation of teacher learning • Should include possible evidences of implementation and impact on student learning
Professional Learning Plan (PLP) School Year 20__ - 20__ Educator: __________________________________ Position: ______________________ Directions: The Jefferson County School System promotes continuous professional growth for all educators. This PLP should be used as an ongoing document to plan and reflect on professional growth. The actions and strategies should reflect the Continuum for Teacher Development and AQTS. _____________________________________ ______________________________________ Educator Signature/Date Evaluator Signature/
Important Features of Formative Assessment for Adults Formative assessment is a reflective process that promotes self-awareness by highlighting strengths to build upon and identifying opportunities for professional growth. Formative assessment describes multiple dimensions of one’s practice. Formative Assessment is supported by descriptive observations such as those used in Instructional Rounds. Formative assessment relies on a two-way communication process between the observer and the person whose practice is being assessed. Formative assessmentis used to improve practice rather than to assign a performance level or grade from an outside evaluator.
Formative Assessment and Improvement of Practice In your opinion: How might formative assessment support teacher learning and development? What conditions and factors might increase teacher acceptance of—and demand for—meaningful formative assessments?