Monday, August 3, 2015

August 3rd "Still on summer break"- Feedback documents & Standards based grading

      This school year our district has adopted the use of a feedback document.  This is in place of our elementary report cards.  A few years back, my particular school created and piloted a standard based report card, but at the time I was teaching kindergarten, which left me unsure how it was received by our families. What I do know, is that our superintendent's vision is about making student thinking visible and that students can show this in many ways.  I think this document will lead us further this way.  

       We will start our year off with some training on how to use this 'feedback' document.  I am hoping we will also have more sample assessment tools that we may use this year.  My biggest concern is that we begin this journey without having any forms of this in our hands.  This leaves me feeling full of anxiety.

       We do a have a few subject areas in which we have tools that will help with determining student growth:
WRITING:  We use Lucy Caulkins, Pathways  This provides a writing rubric, several student samples and wonderful student check lists.  We confer with students and use exit passes, to get an immediate gauge on student progress. 

READING:  A tool we use for reading is the Running Records.  This assessment let's students know their reading level and allows us to give them immediate feedback on strategies that can be used to further their reading.  We also, gather student jots and conference notes to build an idea of each student as a reader.  

      I feel strongly that these tools will fit positively with the new district document.

       In my last few weeks of summer break, I will read more about standards based grading, searching for ideas of how best to keep track of student growth and hopefully find ways that our reasonable for teachers to use with 25-30 students.  Stay posted or share your experiences with this topic.  

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