Blog


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


Comments: 1

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


Using Self-Assessment to Open Up the Learning Space

…how we act in the world around us is deeply affected by how we see and feel about ourselves.
Sir Ken Robinson (2015)

Self-assessment and goal-setting are processes we know we should do with students but, in reality, we often don’t see the effort yielding worthwhile rewards in our classrooms. Read more


Five Questions About Feedback

Assessment for the sake of doing assessment is an incomplete (even misguided) instructional goal. For assessment to fulfill its role as an integral part of the instructional process, teachers must use assessment results with clarity and purpose. Read more


Comments: 4

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


Comments: 6

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