Value Added Assessment Presentation by Laurie Gatzke

The value added assessment presentation by Laurie Gatzke was very beneficial. There was a lot of information to take in!

Things I liked:

start with the curriculum outcome, then think of assessment and then plan instruction (This was a new concept for me and I wish I would have known it 4 lesson plans ago! Ugh)!

– mark students on mastery of outcomes

– co-construct rubrics with students

– show students the purpose of learning something

Things I disliked:

– no failing policy (I need to research this more).

– teachers seemed to get blamed for a lot

– standardized testing

Things I found to be interesting:

– giving students a second chance after feedback

– rubrics without letters, numbers and smiley faces

– evaluate the recent work rather than averaging the entire course work (learning/practice time) (This was a new concept for me but it makes a lot of sense. Students should not understand the topic the first time or they are not being challenged. The goal is for them to understand the outcome at the end).

– turning the outcomes into “I can statements”

– making a curriculum outcomes and indicators rubric that students can color in and visually see their progress and areas to improve (Yes! This is student and parent friendly)!

– reusing rubrics (Yes! How practical)!

– leveled reading/assessment

– making a rubric from best to worst rather than worst to best (I like this because we read left to right and should focus on best first).

– 5 level rubrics = students always get put in middle (I had never considered this before but it makes sense. I will try to make even rubrics from now on).

My learning process:

Laurie noted that “assessment should not be a secret.” Who knew? But honestly I never thought of including students in the assessment process, as I rarely got this privilege. It makes complete sense though and relates to the cross-curricular competency of creating lifelong learners. The idea of allowing my students to be part of the assessment process and not being solely responsible for it is actually reassuring!

I am realizing how imbedded I am in the marking system. When we talked about giving redos, I instantly thought ‘How is that fair to the top students who got it the first time?’ ‘Wouldn’t everyone have high marks?’ Then I went, ‘but wait, Kourtney, the goal is not for students to compete against each other for marks. It does not matter if they all have 80s. The goal is for everyone to get it at any time that they can.’ It bothers me how marks are my own obsession. Coming into this class I was against pass/fail classes because I thought they took the purpose out of education. I am starting to see that they put the purpose BACK into education, by returning the focus to what students have learned and still need to learn rather than a subjective number or letter.

Things I still wonder about:

The RAD rubric was hard. I think it is easy to read and rubric and even comprehend what it means but I do not yet have the experience to look at student work and know what grade level it fits into. Seeing more samples and concrete results of what success looks like will be vital to providing my students with fair assessment. This challenge relates to the curriculum, also. I find I can understand the outcomes and indicators but it is hard to know what the results should look like.

It would be nice to see some samples of work in class, or to build this with my co-op teachers in my pre-internship and internship.