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Powerful New Book Promotes Collaborative Assessment Practices

This is a guest post by Kelly Rockhill, Solution Tree

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bloomington, Ind. (January 25, 2016)—Solution Tree, a premier educational publisher and professional development provider, announces the release of a powerful new book that seeks to reinvigorate teaching and learning through collaborative assessment practices.

In Collaborative Common Assessments: Teamwork. Instruction. Results., author Cassandra Erkens outlines the practical steps teacher teams must take to establish clear, comprehensive assessment systems that guide instruction and strengthen professional learning communities. “When common assessments are developed and employed properly, as a collaborative, formative system aimed at improving learning for teachers and learners alike,” writes Erkens in the introduction, “the gains in teacher efficacy and student achievement can be staggering.” Read more


Self-Assessment: Yes, but…

While student self-assessment is not a brand new concept, it has emerged as an essential aspect of effective formative assessment strategies and processes. There is general consensus that self-assessment is positive and has many benefits for students, but it is seldom implemented in many classrooms (Brown & Harris, 2013). Read more


Effective Feedback—Inspiring our Students

Last week when I picked up my 5-year old daughter from gymnastics I asked how she did. She excitedly replied, “My teacher said I did a good job with my forward rolls, and I need to start working on my strong arms and straight legs in my cartwheels.” During previous weeks, we had similar conversations and had gone home with a clear goal in mind. Read more


Assessment and Hope: Not an Oxymoron

The words assessment and hope are not often used in the same sentence. The mere mention of the word assessment can cause stress and angst.  At the Assessment Center we aim to change that visceral reaction. At its core, assessment fosters hope, builds efficacy, and increases achievement (Shepard, 2000; Zimmerman & Schunk, 2011; Brookhart, 2013; Andrade, 2010; Hattie & Timperely, 2007; Brown & Harris, 2013). Read more


Leading for Assessment Literacy

It isn’t about grades. We must stop focusing our conversations on grading and what a paradigm shift it is to grade based upon standards. Certainly we have been grading “against standards” for years, otherwise against what measure are we grading? The purpose of assessment, and the importance of the proper use of it, is about educating the children of today and ensuring that they are ready for life beyond high school. Read more


Observation as Assessment and Feedback

My sister was helping out in her Kindergartener’s classroom. I had previously shared with her a bit about my work and passion in helping teachers use assessment to see students as possible and then tap that information to engage them to learn.  She wondered if her story had anything to do with my work.  It is an incredible example of the kind of observations that changes students’ lives. Read more


Response to Intervention: Start with Effective Tier 1 Instruction

As with most innovations in education, we start by questioning before embracing new ideas.  We think critically about the benefits that the change has to offer and will engage in vigorous debates as we begin the implementation process.  When changes start to become part of our school culture, we can often lose the rationale and core essentials of what is most important related to the new practice.  Read more


They Only Have to THINK They’re Right

Belief is powerful. When we truly believe something, we don’t just think it – we feel it. When you believe, you know like you know like you know – it’s unmistakable. Our belief about anything is usually what sets the wheels of success or failure in motion. Read more


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Hope and Assessment – Advocates or Adversaries?

How do students view assessment in your classroom or school? Is assessment something that elicits hope and a belief that students can grow? In my experience as a student, any type of assessment was the end game, whether it was a test, project, or essay. It was the last thing in a unit and the score was final. Assessment was not only a stopping point; it indicated we were moving on to a new unit or topic without looking back. Read more


Assessments Must Build Efficacy

When you come upon a seemingly insurmountable challenge, do you give up or do you persist?  If you tackle such moments, then you have a strong sense of efficacy.  Efficacy requires belief (I can do this) and action (I will take the risks, even though failure is a possibility).  It is the foundation learners require if they are to develop deep understanding and personal skill. Read more