Assessment that provides information on students’ learning strengths builds confidence and increases achievement.
Too often, students get feedback on all they are doing wrong or their deficits. Assessment, at its best, provides information to students on their strengths. When learners gain insight into what they know and can do, it builds their confidence. Strength-based feedback signals to students that you see their potential and that you believe in them. Read more
A few months ago, a young teacher, Maggie, asked me what I thought of the use of rubrics. I thought it a curious question, so I asked her why she was asking. Maggie told me that she was taking some college post-graduate courses, and although a few of her teachers used them, one professor was very opposed to them and said they were counterproductive, limiting, and should not be used. Read more
When students know they are getting additional time and support for learning essential standards, sometimes referred to as intervention, do they see it as a punishment? Does it contribute to their perceptions of themselves as a “low” achiever? If so, we have a problem. Brookhart (2013) and Moss (2013) cite confidence as a key indicator of achievement. If students have confidence, they are more likely to persevere when they don’t immediately know how to do something. Confidence is the thing that will help students see possibility and hope (Moss & Brookhart, 2012). It’s this intrinsic state of being that will ensure interventions lead to high achievement. Read more
Along with the change of seasons from winter to spring comes the anticipation of new growth—it may be seen in the budding of leaves or blooming of early flowers. But for many educators, when the calendar pages arrive at spring, it signals a different type of anticipation. Instead of “Ahh, spring!” the reaction is “Agghh! Spring!” The final stretch of the race is here, what some educators call “crunch time.” We might hear worried statements such as “We still have so much to teach before the end of the year”, “My kids aren’t ready for testing”, or “I can’t get everything done.” In our “busy-ness” and haste, we might not notice the many forms of new growth taking place right before us. Maybe we aren’t taking the time to “smell the roses.” Read more