Sasha Sanders EDG 605 Week 2 Reading Response

         As a first-year teacher, I acknowledge the fact that there is still much that I must learn about assessing students and providing feedback. I’ll speak upon my initial thoughts coming into my first year of teaching and the way I imagined assessments for students because of what I remember when I was in high school.

My students are alternately assessed, so during the first two months of school I administered ‘summative assessments’ in the form of the SANDI and FAST exams, and I used these assessments as the base for creating my students’ individual education goals, developing content for daily instruction. During this time, I do not feel that I gave any intentional feedback to my students from these assessments because I was just starting to learn how to assess my students and provide them with the appropriate instruction. I mostly used the results to create assignments and activities for my students, which was intentional, and the results from SANDI and FAST were used to create individualized classwork and instruction for my students. In an effort to build a classroom culture around feedback, I learned to create and allow multiple modes of providing feedback to students. For example, I have self-created, individualized rubrics for certain students and certain assignments. I also allow students to 'self-assess' on some assignments, and I also give opportunities for peer review and peer feedback so that students get the opportunity to understand and appreciate the use of feedback.

According to the article Formative and Summative Assessments in the Classroom by Dixon & Worrell, “Summative Assessments are the cumulative assessments… that intend to capture what a student has learned, or the quality of the learning, and judge performance against some standards” (p.156). They go on to say that “one of the most common summative assessments used in schools are the mandated tests by the state” (.p156).  These are what the SANDI and FAST exams are considered. The issue here, is that unlike formative assessments, unfortunately state administered standardized tests do not allow an opportunity to provide students feedback, and research shows that feedback is crucial to learning.

The article titled, Formative Assessment and Feedback: Making Learning Visible, states that “feedback is seen as a primary component in formative assessment and one of the factors that have the strongest influence on learning” (Havnes, Smith, Dysthe, Ludvigsen, p.21). This is something that over time I’ve become better at implementing in my classroom instruction and intentional assessments. I’ve come to learn that giving formative feedback allows for opportunities where pertinent “information [is] communicated to the learner that is intended to modify his or her thinking or behavior for the purpose of learning” (Havnes, Smith, Dysthe, Ludvigsen, p.21). And when I do this, I really see the growth in my students.

The feedback model proposed by Hattie Timperley in The Power of Feedback, “identifies three major feed- back questions: Where am I going? How am I going? and Where to next?” (p.102)”. I personally really like this model and intend to use it further in my classroom instruction because “the answers to these questions enhance learning when there is a discrepancy between what is understood and what is aimed to be understood” (Timperley, p.102). I think it’s important for students to understand the purpose of their learning, and be able to self-monitor their growth.

In final, I feel that many of think that summative/standardized are fully effective in measuring student leaning and success, but that’s not the case. Sometimes, when we assess students, we must grade them on their correctness, other times, we can grade them on the growth in their effort, or we can split a learning goal into a series of smaller goals and assess students that way. This is what formative allows us to do.  In reality, you must use a combination of both types to effectively assess students.

    • Gerald Ardito
      Gerald Ardito

      Sasha,

      Thanks for posting your response to this week's readings.

      You are in a unique situation, at least in this class, given your student population and their needs. So, I am intrigued when you say:

      My students are alternately assessed, so during the first two months of school I administered ‘summative assessments’ in the form of the SANDI and FAST exams, and I used these assessments as the base for creating my students’ individual education goals, developing content for daily instruction. 

      I would love to know more specifically about how this works in your classroom. What kind of feedback do you give (or share with) your students from this summative assessments? What effects does this sharing have? I am right in assuming that your work with students is pretty individualized? And, if so, what do you do to build a classroom culture around feedback?

      Please revise your blog post to address this. You can do this by clicking on "Edit" above, making these revisions, then clicking on "Save." Once you do this, email me or message me on Pace Commons to let me know so I can take a look.

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