February 13, 2013- Making Classroom Assessment Work – Chapter 7 and 8

Chapter 7 – To reflect on this chapter, I looked at the “Guiding Our Own Learning Questions” and I thought about a time when I was a student and was most engaged in learning. I was most engaged in learning when I was allowed to relate the project that I was doing in Career and Work Exploration to mine and my partners own interests. Our entrepreneurship venture was a Fun Horse Show that we put on to fundraise for the local “Hike for Hospice”. We allowed for children of all ages to attend the horse show whether they had a horse or not and brought in horses for the children to ride and take part in the fun horse show and activities. It allowed for my friend and I to use our own experiences and bring them to the forefront for children that would never have the chance to take part in an activity like this before. I loved doing this project as I loved to entertain young children and I was interested in horses so that helped me love the project and be engaged and interested in the project as well. Our teacher had expectations of us and we made sure to meet the expectations that were needed for our venture such as funding, organization, liability agreements, rent, etc. We knew what kind of evidence that we needed to perform in order to meet the expectations of the Venture Project and with a little worry of how many kids were going to show up and pay, we succeeded in bringing in money and making profit. We also succeeded in allowing the children to be entertained and having fun and we also had fun as the organizers. It felt rewarding to donate the money that we made to the local fundraiser and help out in the community. Lastly, we were able to self monitor our responsibilities and our actions and we were successful in being responsible and having our venture turn into a great experience. Our teacher allowed us to use our interests and prior knowledge and experience to assess ourselves and come together with a successful venture. 

After reading this chapter it made me realize that by allowing students to use their own experiences and interests it will help them succeed in their learning, just like it did for me in my Venture Project. I learned that there are many responsibilities to start a venture and by assessing myself I learned that you need to take your time and work away at little things one step at a time and use your prior knowledge to help you succeed with your ideas.

Chapter 8-  If students are to be involved in the assessment in support of their learning, then they need to know when they have succeeded and to do this collecting their evidence of learning is key. The process of collecting and organizing evidence has four main concepts. They are:

1. Keep the process simple – which means we need to help the students understand why they are collecting their work and evidence because I know that I would want to know the meaning of this way of learning. Telling the students who is going to see it will help them understand what they need to have and how they are going to share their evidence. Also by working with the students to design a simple system will help you get to know the students and how they organize their work and will allow them to ask questions and feel controlled with what they are doing.

2. Involve Students- Having the students show proof of their learning and asking them how they have done this and are organized and monitoring their progress. Show them what evidence is essential and where they have flexibility to show what they know in a variety of ways. Allow the students to make notes of what they have done and what they have learned on entry slips or exit slips.

3. Help parents and students value the evidence – I really agree with this idea of sharing the students work with the parents through open houses or conferences with their parents to show the parents what they are learning and allowing the parents to really understand what their children are learning. Letting parents know how you are assessing their children is also beneficial and a note such as the one on page 78 is a great way to inform the parents of the feedback that you are giving the students.

4. Reconsidering Evidence Collections- Portfolios are great evidence of collecting their work and they have purpose and an audience. They show progress and are a great way to show goals progressing throughout a period of time. Having students write a summary of the evidence can help the audience see what is important to the students learning and also can show their strengths and weaknesses with their work.

To conclude I think that support is highly important to help assist the students is collecting evidence to assess their own work. It allows the students to do the work and become responsible with their work instead of you nagging at them to come up with the evidence. They know their audience and it allows them to know how their audience will come to understand their learning and evidence. Lastly I want to take one thing away from this chapter, “the person who is working the hardest is learning the most.”

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