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Listening to Student Voices: Reflective Assessment Conversations Build Student Investment in Learning

When educators think about state accountability testing, it is rarely in connected with the process of fostering reflective learners – but maybe it should be. If a student develops meaningful relationships in a learning community while being guided by the use of formative assessment feedback, then the state assessment becomes a simple exercise in “showing what you know.” As educators “build” a learning path with quality assessment, “pave” the path by providing students with the tools to reflect on their learning, and “illuminate” it by the “light” of understanding student expectations for future success – and then push them beyond those expectations (Hattie, 2009), the state test become simply a small part of a balanced assessment system. Read more


Assessments as Hope

At its core, assessment has always been a process that was meant to support learning; in other words, teachers and learners would use the information from assessments to make decisions about what comes next. In order for teachers and especially learners to even fathom ‘what’s next’ they must maintain a sense of hope. Read more


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Zero Influence – Zero Gained!

Zeros don’t work; never have, never will!  While a good number of schools/districts have already addressed this issue through a shift in policies and practices, the knowing-doing gap is still alive and well. No topic exemplifies the emotional nature of grading discussions quite like a discussion about using zeros. Read more




Assessment: The Game Changer

This is a guest post by Natalie Romero, Principal, Moriarty Elementary

At Moriarty Elementary School in Moriarty, New Mexico, our process of collaborating professionally has changed dramatically over the past 18 months. When we began the journey, the idea of gathering grade-level members together was not frightening; however, our typically brief conversations were not deeply academic or very student centered. Read more



Groupings for Collaborative Learning

Collaboration is critical to everyone’s success – especially learners in the classroom. In the early days of exploring brain research implications for the classroom, Pat Wolff was adamant that the speaker is always the learner (Wolff, 2010). Read more