Professional Development Plans

Please post links to your Professional Development Plans here.

This work is due no later than Sunday, July 14.

    • Anees Mohammad

      By Anees Mohammad

      As an educator, professional development is essential for growth. One needs to be able to reflect and consider his or her own strengths and weaknesses. This course has offered me the opportunity to internalize aspects of my pedagogy that work and examine areas that require improvement, especially concerning my feedback practices. For the first assignment, I highlighted my shortcoming of not being able to provide meaningful feedback in a timely manner. I can truly say that I was deficient in providing feedback on time and this is something that I want to improve on. This year, I noticed when I did provide quick feedback, students performed better compared to delayed feedback. I acknowledge this as a personal shortcoming and strive to do better. Another aspect of my pedagogy I aspire to work on is implementing more student self-assessments. This coming school year, I have committed myself to improve my feedback pedagogy so that I can meet the needs of my students. I am dedicated to improving my feedback skills because I know it will benefit my students’ academic performance and overall appreciation of the content. 

      This course has provided a wealth of knowledge regarding feedback and what it is, in addition to how it can benefit students. According to John Hattie, “feedback needs to provide information specifically relating to the task or process of learning that fills a gap between what is understood and what is aimed to be understood” (Hattie, 2007, p.83). Understanding what feedback actually is will allow me to accurately and effectively provide it. Further, there are significant benefits in providing timely feedback. According to Mary Clynes’ research, “feedback is essential for the student’s growth provides direction and helps to boost confidence, increase motivation and self-esteem” (Clynes, 2008, p. 406). I want my students to reap the benefits of quality feedback. When students are not provided with feedback, “they may evaluate themselves inappropriately” (Clynes, 2008, p. 406), resulting in poor classroom performance.

      My plan for the new school year is to engage in more student instructional conferencing and to allocate sufficient time weekly for students to self-assess. The plan is to cycle through my class list and perform one-on-one instructional conferencing with students every two weeks. Research demonstrates that instructional conferencing offers teachers the chance to “assess students’ understanding, help them organize their work, break down assignments and projects, reteach content, provide encouragement, and renew motivation” (Learned, 2009, p. 46). In my classroom, instructional conferences will provide me with the additional opportunity to deliver meaningful, quality feedback to individual students. This will give me the time to provide overt instruction and provide feedback on how they can improve their work on key assignments. Additionally, I plan on implementing more opportunities for students to self-assess and reflect on their own work and progress. Self-assessment classroom practices can “boost learning and achievement, and promote academic self-regulation” (Andrade, 2009, p. 13). My plan is to use logs that students fill out to self-assess as a tool for facilitating instructional conferences. If a student claims to be deficient in a particular skill, I can provide overt instruction and feedback so that students can meet course objectives and learning goals. 

      My plan is to provide students with frequent opportunities of self-assessing, periodically, throughout a unit, and at the end. Specifically, I plan on having students filling out self-assessment forms at the end of every week. The forms will have each day’s learning target and object along with a rubric designation from 1 to 4. A 1on the rubric scale would indicate that a student struggled with a learning target, and a 4 indicates a student has mastered the learning target. Additionally, students will have to write a few sentences explaining why and how they scored to themselves. I will collect the student reflections and go over them thoroughly by making annotations and notes. The notes will help guide my instructional conferences and allow me to provide specific feedback when evaluating work with a student. I plan to implement this in weekly cycles, where students self-assess on Fridays and have conferences either on Tuesdays or Thursdays (see table below). This is quite achievable, considering the types of courses I teach. Since I teach primarily elective science courses, I can utilize time not spent on test prep to implement such feedback and assessment practices. The goal is to provide quality feedback using student self-assessment as a vehicle to drive instructional conferences. I anticipate implementing this practice by the second or third week of the new school year.  After a month of implementing this schedule, I will evaluate its overall effectiveness. 


      Week 1






      Learning Target #1

      Learning Target #2

      Learning Target #3

      Learning Target #4

      Student Self Assess

      Week 2







      Conference Day 1


      Conference Day 2



      At John Dewey High School, first and second-year teachers are assigned mentors that work one-on-one with us weekly. Our mentors provide direct instruction. Very fortunately, I have developed a strong relationship with my mentor Teressa. Before the school year ended I discussed how my goal for next year is to provide more feedback to students. I know that she will assist me in fine-tuning my proposed conferencing and student self-assessment schedule. In the past, I have visited Teressa while she models a new skill in her classroom before trying it out myself. I know that she will help me implement my action plan this next school year. 

      My proposed professional development plan is designed to assist me to achieve my professional goal of providing quality feedback. I think that my action plan is achievable and reasonable. There are no elements that I think are impossible to implement. Further, I believe that the more practice I have with instructional conferencing, the better I will get in providing feedback. The main goal of this plan is to ensure students are receiving quality feedback that they can use to improve as learners. 



      Andrade, H., & Valtcheva, A. (2009). Promoting Learning and Achievement Through Self-Assessment. Theory Into Practice, 48(1), 12-19.

      Clynes, M. P., & Raftery, S. E. C. (2008). Feedback: An essential element of student learning in clinical practice. Nurse Education in Practice, 8(6), 405-11. doi:

      Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of Educational Research, 77(1), 81-112. Retrieved from

       Learned, J. E., Dowd, M. V., & Jenkins, J. R. (2009). Instructional conferencing: Helping students succeed on independent assignments in inclusive settings. Teaching Exceptional Children, 41(5), 46-51. Retrieved from

      • Kevin Walker

        By Kevin Walker

        Upon reviewing my assignment on course introductions and assessment along with the feedback, I believe that I have to spend some time working on an effective way of capitalizing on assessments. A frequent exercise that I incorporate in my lesson is the “finger” game. The students embrace this activity, and it also helps with increasing the pace of the experience. The limitations with this activity include; the lack of giving the students a chance to offer free response answer and keeping tracking of how the students are performing on these activities. Upon reflection, another limitation that I had in my pedagogy was an ineffective approach to feedback. I was not aware of the interrelationship between feedback and assessment, and I also was not giving my students feedbacks that would foster further academic growth.

        I am now aware of the true nature of assessment as a tool for finding how where my students are in understanding the lesson or concepts that I am teaching. This would fall in line with the feedback you gave about implementing a tracking process to keep track of the student’s progress. I have given it some thought and believe that a tracking sheet should be designed to help with this process.


        Class Period:






        Correct; Yes or No

        Correct; Yes or No

        Correct; Yes or No

        Correct; Yes or No




































        A tracking form, as shown above, could be used each day so that I could get more information from the assessments given via the fingers game. I usually have a clipboard in my possession while I am teaching, so I would add this sheet to the board. I only provide four instructional days a week, so each tracking sheet is designed to last a week. The columns would be filled in with 1 or 0, 1 for correct responses, and 0 for incorrect answers. The questions are taken from past regents' papers so that I would write the year and the question's number in the correct column. This would allow me to see how many of my students are understanding the information I am giving in a manner so they could answer the regents' type questions.

        To address the practice of working on free response questions, I will give homework which provides these types of questions then offer the feedback that would encourage further thinking, reflection or suggestions on how to complete the task. I will ensure that the feedback provides goals that are specific and challenging, but task complexity is low because these types of feedback are beneficial. The effective sizes reported in the feedback meta-analyses, however, show considerable variability, indicating that some kinds of feedback are more powerful than others. Those studies showing the largest effect sizes involved students receiving information feedback about a tsk and how to do it more effectively. (Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. p. 83). These feedbacks are critical to the students learning the process. Feedback becomes formative when students are provided with scaffolded instruction or thoughtful questioning that serves as prompts for sustained and more in-depth discussion. (Clark, I. 2011, p. 163). The way we as teachers provide feedback to our students is significant in its effectiveness. We can not expect to offer feedback such as great work or need to do this over, or any such vague responses and think we are offering the services that our students truly deserve.

        The use of assessment as a tool for gathering information on the students and the class is another area that I would strive to improve in my pedagogy. The implementation of the table and the designing of the assessment are some of the ways that I will adjust my lessons. It is well documented in various research that student experience high levels of test anxiety when facing summative tests and much prefer other forms of assessment. (Clark, I. 2011, p. 174). The use of formative assessment is used instead because this type of assessment provides less stress and a more effective outcome.

        To assist with my pedagogy, I am assigned a mentor at my school. Fortunately for me, my mentor is a 20-year veteran in teaching with a doctorate in education. We sit side by side in the same teaching lounge room, and I get a run idea with him and seek his advice on various strategies and approaches. He is very instrumental in providing the necessary guidance that I needed to survive my first-year teaching, and I look forward to his continual feedback as I embark in year two of teaching.



        Clark, I., (Spring 2011). Florida Journal of Educational Administration & Policy; Policy Perspectives and Practice. Formative Assessment; Policy Perspectives and Practice pg. 158-180.

        Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of educational research, 77(1), 88-112.

        • Christopher Willem

          By Christopher Willem

                     In retrospect, I believe that I needed to have the experiences that I did in my first year of teaching in order to learn. No pre-training, professional development, or other supportive measures could have set me up for success as much as experiencing being in front of the classroom did. By lecturing content, managing behaviors and developing rapports with my students; I was able to learn more about the pedagogical process and myself as a teacher than ever before. These facets of education were more tangible to me by the time the final semester came around, and because of that, I have a list of improvements and changes for next year. At the top of my list is the ability to use feedback to my advantage. This year I was overwhelmed with teaching 4 different content levels from grades 6-8 on top of dealing with the lack of support in my classroom. I was unable to provide diligent and timely feedback to my students, and did not receive impactful feedback myself from anyone besides my teaching mentor. I hope to instead use feedback to my advantage next year, rather than having it be a burden.

                      “Feedback is seen as a primary component in formative assessment and one of the factors that have the strongest influence on learning.” (Havnes 21). This comment found in Formative Assessment and Feedback: Making Learning Visible, shines a light on the importance of communicating through advice and criticism in a constructive manner. At first, I was weary of inter-visitations and observations, however I now welcome these critical moments where I receive credible feedback for improvement. I plan to try to offer that scenario as an example to my students when they are fearful of feedback from myself or peers. It is meant purely for positive construction and not for shaming or mocking; teachers need to partake in feedback about themselves just as much as students do. I have discovered the importance of feedback thorough assessment from this course. Conferencing with each student can be time consuming and it’s often difficult to rely on students to develop a portfolio of topics to discuss ahead of time. Feedback through particularly formative assessment, to build and form content knowledge and understanding, is a teacher’s best friend if used adequately. In, Theory into Practice, the author advises the major difference in assessment, “Formative assessment involves gathering data for improving student learning, whereas summative assessment uses data to assess about how much a student knows or has retained at the completion of a learning sequence…” (Dixson 153).

                      Much of administration seeks out quantifiable and driven data to track student learning. The difficult task of acquiring numerical data for student engagement and achievement can be attained through formative assessment. These can include diagnostic do-now’s, mid lesson turn-and-talks, and even exit tickets. Gauging student responses on a rubric and providing timely feedback for improvement is my ultimate goal for improving my pedagogical methods next year.

                      Much of the success of feedback and assessment is predicated by the planning and preparation process ahead of time. Students need to be gradually receiving feedback throughout assessments and not at the culmination of all formative assessments in preparation for the summative assessment(s). In my opinion, a student should know where they should be performing on a summative assessment based on their feedback and have an understanding of how prepared they are. An effective teacher can almost predict where each student’s summative assessment score will be based on their continuous acquisition of learning levels and performance of the class. If a student underperforms during their summative assessment, it is ill-advised to tell a student where they should have performed in hopes of motivating them for the next unit. In The Power of Feedback, the author describes a study conducted on feedback and reviewing student scores, “In addition, when the (feedback) was administered in a controlling manner (e.g., saying that students performed as they “should” have performed) the effects were even worse (–0.78).” (Hattie 84). Feedback should not be used to motivate students to do better next time, but should be used to determine a student’s readiness for an assessment.

                      Now that I have my supporting research to set myself up for success, I need to develop and execute a game plan to ultimately set my students up for a successful season. My first addition to next year will be to include a “Dissertation Day” post lab. I will set the class period after a lab to peer review and ultimately discuss the main ideas and concepts from each lab, along with examples of results that students discovered in class. Each lab report will include the assessment below:




                      This check point assessment is derived from the New Visions for Public Schools curriculum developed for Living Environment. I plan to use this to see how students assess themselves and their lab groups. It will also allow me to see how prepared students are before they write their formal lab reports. I will hand each lab notebook and self-assessment back to the student exactly a week before the formal lab report is due. Students will have an easier time formatting their lab and gauging their performance by reflecting on the process themselves.

                      In addition, I plan to use the peer review method much more this upcoming year. I will incorporate do-now’s to match exit tickets, and students will pass their tickets to a table partner to review and provide feedback to each other. I want students to get in the habit of receiving and even providing feedback to other students. This gives them a chance to observe other student work and compare work to either gain knowledge or help a peer out with a do-now/exit ticket. I often tell students; the most successful students can actually teach concepts to other students. When they are able to teach something, it lets me know that they truly understand it. I will not only give students this chance to collaborate and communicate themselves, but the peer review allows me to get through and glance at every formative assessment faster and check for the comments students have already made. This process will surely save me time and allow for students to get on-the-spot feedback. A true win-win.

                      In this same manner, I will continue to communicate with my mentor from last year and bounce ideas and practices off him to get his feedback. I plan to both visit other classrooms and allow for administrators and teachers to observe mine for inter-visitations more often; now being comfortable with the constructive criticisms I receive. I am definitely looking forward to next school year and implementing these changes for feedback and assessment.




          Dixson, D. D., & Worrell, F. C. (2016). Formative and summative assessment in the classroom. Theory into practice, 55(2), 153-159.


          Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of educational research, 77(1), 81-112.


          Havnes, A., Smith K., Dysthe, O., & Ludvigsen, K. (2012). Formative assessment and feedback: Making learning visible. Studies in Education Evaluation, 38(1), 21-27.


          • Mashfiq Ahmed

            By Mashfiq Ahmed

                        Education is a continuing process that does not end after graduation or starting a new career. By continuing to pursue education, one can become more proficient at their job. It is essential that teachers pursue professional development so that the best learning outcomes are achieved for students. Additionally, it will help them become more effective teachers overall (“Professional Development,” 2019). A critical component for professional development is self-reflection. As educators and people, it is important to reflect on our actions to figure out how we can improve.

                        Looking back at the first assignment, my area of improvement focused on feedback. More specifically, I wanted to work on providing detailed feedback. As stated previously, my students have rubrics they follow when it comes to projects and lab notebooks. With projects, I typically circle or highlight where the student’s work is on the rubric and provide one or two comments regarding areas of improvement. For lab notebooks, I have at least one lab for each student that is fully covered with detailed feedback. Students can use these as a guide for experimental writing. After several weeks into this course, I have a better understanding of how to implement feedback, but it is still something that I want to continue working on. I am implementing feedback, but how can I make it more formative?

                        A good starting point for formative assessments relies on feedback. There are “…high effect sizes when students are given ‘formative feedback’; feedback on how to perform a task more effectively and far lower effect sizes when students are given praise” (Clark, 2011). Fortunately, I rarely ever use feedback as a way of solely communicating praise. While it is good to praise students, it is important that they recognize where they can improve. For feedback to be more formative, students need to be provided with scaffolded instruction. Additionally, the feedback should also have “…thoughtful questioning that serve as prompts for sustained and deeper discussion” (Clark, 2011). This helps to bring a student’s current level of understanding to the desired learning goal. Beyond praise, simply telling students that they should try again is formative feedback since there is no scaffolding and the instructions are vague. Students should be “engaged in a process which focuses on meta-cognitive strategies that can be generalized to similar problems of varying degrees of uniqueness” (Clark, 2011). Students need to understand the connection between their performance, understanding, and the success criteria.

                        My action plan will revolve around providing formative feedback. This feedback should be given in a timely manner so that the students can better remember the experience and connect the feedback to their actions. Furthermore, feedback should cater to the individual needs of a student, especially in a diverse classroom setting. Additionally, feedback should reference a specific skill and concentrate on a specific ability. This is where rubrics are effective and help students see if they are on target for achievement (“Effective Feedback,” 2019). Beyond the rubrics that I have previously used, I plan to utilize a tracker to assess students in their groups and provide formative feedback.

                        With each lesson and activity, there is success criteria for students to follow. This helps students self-assess whether they understand the content. With my action plan, I intend on having success criteria for each lesson that is always visible to the students, whether it’s on the board or in their guided notes. For example, if I was teaching Le Chatelier’s Principle the success criteria would be the following:

            • Determine the direction of the equilibrium shift.
            • Determine which side is favored based on one of the following causes: increase concentration, decrease concentration, increase temperature, or decrease temperature.
            • Predict the resulting effect on the equilibrium based on the cause presented

            My tracker for this specific lesson would look like the following:






            Group 1





            Group 2





            Group 3





            Group 4





            Group 5





            Group 6





            Feedback Bank

            • Model the scale
            • Refresh of the vocab
            • Write Left and Right on your paper
            • Identifying exothermic and endothermic heat location
            • Identify: product and reactant
            • Explain answers
            • Explain answers
            • Extension: Challenge problems


            This tracker breaks down the students into their groups in the classroom. I would fill in the tracker while circulating the classroom when students are working an activity. Students would be identified as either below, approaching, meeting, or exceeding the learning goals for the day. Based on where they are placed, they would receive the appropriate feedback from me that is found in the feedback bank. This kind of tracker and success criteria combination would ideally be used for each lesson. Additionally, I would consult my mentor on this tracker system and how to better implement feedback for the high achieving students and how to challenge them further if they are not struggling.



            1. 20 Ways To Provide Effective Feedback For Learning. (2019, May 30). Retrieved from
            2. Clark, I. (2011). Formative Assessment: Policy, Perspectives and Practice. Florida Journal of Educational Administration & Policy,4(2), 158-180. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
            3. The Importance of Professional Development for Educators. (2019, April 18). Retrieved July 13, 2019, from
            • Andre Barrella

              By Andre Barrella

              As a Teaching Fellow, our slogan for training was TEACH. Tenacious, Excited by growth, Agile, Centered on students, and Hopeful. Like many earlier beginnings, we don’t fully appreciate things at face value. However, this course made me come to an understanding of the letter E: Excited by growth. The teaching profession is all about the students no matter how or which angle you choose to look at it. For me, one of the most satisfying moments as a teacher is obtaining an “ahh haa” from a student who previously started at zero or slightly above. Feedback is the primary tool for growth that a teacher can offer students, and now after reaching the end of the course I will never take or give feedback the same. It is my duty as an educator to provide quality feedback, not just to monitor students as one of my misconceptions earlier in my career, but also to supplement student learning. 
               Starting with week 1 assignment, and how I can apply growth to my pedagogy. Reflection, which is a form of self-assessment, if done correctly can be the greatest tool for teachers to improve their practices. I was very honest with myself when recognizing that my problem with feedback is consistency. I will not use the following as an excuse, but teaching your first year from scratch is extremely time-consuming. Added with Pace University coursework and administrator observations, I sincerely felt overwhelmed. It trickled down to my students because made me have to take shortcuts in terms of providing assessments. I would provide questions that I did not read through, and then later found out that it was outside the scope of the lesson. I would provide heavy amounts of multiple choice that did not require me to put much effort into grading the material. This was also because my co-teacher did not have a strong foundation in chemistry, and early on a student would come to me and complain why so and so got this answer right and they did not. I believe that year two, 
              Assessments presented immediately after the material was taught, studies show lead to higher retention compared to rote memorization. Hogan and Kintsch (1971) ran a study with two groups in terms of learning a set of 40 words. One group studied four times including breaks in between, while the other group studied once, followed by three assessments afterward. Then a final exam was administered two days later and the results showed that the group that studied once followed by multiple assessments scored higher than the group that studied four times with breaks (Hogan & Kintsch p.562-567). Somethings that I did not include but remember later on is that many times my lessons went over and I did not have the chance to give an assessment. After reading this journal, I find it impossible to have a class without an assessment. Havnes (2012) studies concluded that there are two ways to return an exam; grade with feedback or grade alone. They used student surveys to make conclusions based on the student’s perception of receiving exams that contained one or the other. The study showed that feedback and grading are together (Havnes p. 23). Now that hopefully, all my lessons are complete, I can put more effort into providing meaningful feedback to my students. I want students to answer questions that are more open-ended rather than searching for the correct answer. That way, student responses will be more authentic and remove the majority of the guess factor from the equation. 
              My action plan is simple, get students involved as much as possible and act solely as a coach. I want students to correct each other more than I correct them. My school, Channel View School for Research has a slogan “We are crew, not passengers”. I genuinely love this quote because it means that it is all for one and one for all. My goal for next year is to attach a rubric to my assessment. Ms. Luz, my mentor always loved the CER model, which is a claim, evidence, and reasoning. 

              Partner Swapped Name:

              Question #








              Before we can collect and assess other students, I want their elbow partner to have a chance to explain and determine if anything is wrong. So a student will fill out this CER sheet, then pass it to someone at their table and have them assess if the question was correct. That way, just like in the earlier study they are being exposed to as many assessments as possible before the bell rings. This addresses all my weakness in consistently giving assessments with valuable feedback.


              Hogan RM, Kintsch W. Differential effects of study and test trials on long-term recognition and recall. J Verbal Learning Verbal Behav. 1971;(10):562-7.

              Havnes, A., Smith, K., Dysthe, O., & Ludvigsen, K. (2012). Formative assessment and feedback: Making learning visible. Studies in Educational Evaluation38(1), 21-27.

              • Ashley Carpenter

                By Ashley Carpenter

                     An area I would like to continue to grow in that I did not acknowledge in my initial posting would be the establishment of feedback checkpoints, within the performance-based assessment to ensure students are making in-depth connections between the material presented and the problem being posed. Another area that I would like to remedy would be grading of PBA material collected at the end of the unit, as there were often times large amounts of data with varying product responses and outcomes, some of which did not fit the prescribed rubric or outcome. In the future, I would like to provide an opportunity to examine that data with the students in a collaborative forum to get a better understanding of the connections they were making and help them produce a reevaluation.   

                     Using performance-based assessments allow students to perceive the immediate relevance of a topic bringing their own cultural lens, activating prior knowledge and engaging in a material through multiple access points, while teachers are allowed to measure the outcome or product against state standards.  (Kreider, 1998)  Some limitations of a performance-based assessment is a students lack of exposure to extensive critical thinking, however, a Maryland school system study on performance-based assessments, MSPAP, noted that a teacher simply changing their methodology can improve student outcomes. (Haines, 2001) A teacher that utilized performances based activities within the classroom throughout the unit prepares the student for a more rigorous end of unit assessment. Within my own classroom, I have found a struggle for articulation and vocabulary to connect their ideas which results in frustration and apathy.  This lack of familiarity can be attributed to the long term use of passive multiple-choice assessment, but as schools move away from this banking method to a more student-centered approach, these types of assessments are losing relevancy.  Paulo Friere in Pedagogy of the Oppressed states that,  “Dialogue is the sealing together of the teacher and the students in the joint act of knowing and re-knowing the object of study.”  By incorporating dialogue into the everyday methodology of the classroom, students grow in their confidence to exchange ideas and investigate the world in a way that is “naturally integrated into a thematic whole.” (Kreider, 1998)

                     My first step in my plan of action going forward is to begin by expanding my own vocabulary and including opportunities to listen.  Each student comes to the classroom with their own problem-solving skillsets and prior knowledge.  By expanding my own vocabulary and work to differentiate I can create multiple points of access to engage in dialogue with my students and we move further from a teacher-student relationship to one of the co-investigators. Bell Hooks in, Teaching to Transgress states, “it is more important to investigate the protective networks that help students define themselves intellectually capable.” By creating opportunities for us to listen to each other within the classroom, every person is reaffirmed in their ability to contribute intellectually.  To do this in the coming school year, instead of a formal exit ticket with a set question and answer, I would like to present open-ended questions that initiate discussions which will allow students to reflect openly on their connections together and further articulate their ideas as they move throughout the unit. To help address the issue of fair grading and encourage a spirit of camaraderie, I would like to have students create the rubric based on state standards to which they can evaluate themselves and their peers.  Utilizing this alongside my own assessment standards would allow a better insight into student modalities of thinking.  To modify to the student tendency to automatically rank themselves and peers as achieving consistent top marks without analysis of their own work, I would modify the rubric to include a space for students to pull out their supporting data for their self and peer rankings of why they chose those grade marks.  Implementing performance-based activities consistently throughout the unit will also help prepare students for a more intensive summative assessment that leaves them feeling prepared for the next and connected to the process of scientific discovery.   


                Works Cited 

                Haines, Sara. Signs of Success: Improving student achievement on performance -based assessments. The Science Teacher Vol. 68, No. 2 (FEBRUARY 2001), pp. 26-29 

                Paula Bradfield-Kreider American Secondary Education

                Vol. 26, No. 4 (June 1998), pp. 15-21 (7 pages)

                Hooks, Bell. “Teaching To Transgress.” 2014, doi:10.4324/9780203700280.

                • Darren Dempster

                  By Darren Dempster

                  Based on the first week's assignment and my current understanding of my teaching style, I need to administer assessments more frequently and periodically so students are not always on edge about whether they have or don't have an exam or quiz for the class. I have also recognized that I need to administer more project-based assessments rather than just exams and questioning to assess understanding. I have given a few projects as assessments this year but only for my honors living environment class, which were successful, but not my general science classes. I also need to utilize data more consistently to drive my instruction, I have used Kahoot as a method of collecting data from the class as well as google classroom assignments and student benchmark exams, but these have been more for assisting the overall guidance of my teaching rather than the smaller tweaks that need to be made to my instruction. Finally, based on the assessments and projects that I have provided, I need to provide more opportunities and sources of feedback to give meaningful critique to students work regardless if they are high achieving or struggling. 

                  Through a myriad of resources, in order to remedy my shortcomings, I need to be aware of the proper administration of assessments as well as the necessity for feedback. When administering assessments, a mixture of both formative as well as summative assessments should be used to gauge student understanding of the content (Dixson, D. D., & Worrell, F. C. (2016). Formative assessments should be mostly used to prior and during instruction to assess prior knowledge as well as current understanding of the material. Through the use of formative assessments, the results, depending on the format of the assessment, can provide opportunities to provide student feedback on the task level as well as the processing level (Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. 2007). When formative assessments are used to assess the comprehension of a biological process, it can give information as to whether students are thinking about the concept properly or if they just understand the end result but not the steps.

                  When providing feedback to students, feedback should be able to answer three questions regarding student work: Where am I going? How am I going? and Where to next (Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. 2007)? These three questions should be able to guide students to reach the current activity goal, what to continue doing, and where they should be going with their thinking after the activity. When students are just given praise for the correctness of their answers, this feedback only reaches the self-level of feedback; this would be considered self-level feedback only if the praise relates to students regulating and assessing their own work (Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. 2007). Students should be able to receive feedback related to student task completion, processing, regulation, and self-level. By providing feedback on all four levels, educators can encourage students to identify their incorrect answers, how they are thinking about the activity, to self assess their own strengths and weaknesses, and finally continue these good habits through specifically targeted praise. Educators must be able to clearly and purposefully provide feedback by targeting students current understanding to push them to the next level of understanding. Students should not be just receiving feedback written on their unit exams; feedback should be verbal and throughout the year during student discussion, student group work as well as class presentations (Havnes, A., Smith, K., Dysthe, O., & Ludvigsen, K. 2012.).

                  Based on my own self-evaluation and the information provided by researchers and pedagogues, my action plan requires a more rigid schedule in order to correct the weaknesses that I see in my teaching practice. To increase the frequency of administering assessments, I plan to schedule one formative assessment at the beginning of each unit. By looking at the Science Scope and Sequence for each unit, I would also estimate when I would administer either a summative exam or a summative project. By planning the starting point and end point for administering assessments, scheduling and providing additional formative assessments becomes easier and more efficient for the students as well as increasing the amount of data I receive from the students. In between these assessments, I plan to implement Spiral Assessments as well as State Test Exit Ticket Questions to further gather data. Through the use of spiral assessments, they inform me of the level of understanding that students may struggle with, whether it is vocabulary or conceptual processing, as well as providing students multiple opportunities to show understanding of these levels. When implementing spiral assessments within the classroom, I intend to assess one level of understanding of the unit each day in class until Friday in which students would receive a proper formative assessment based on the topic for the week. For example, if students are learning about the process of DNA Transcription and Translation, the first section of the spiral assessment would be to assess students vocabulary definition of transcription, translation, DNA, and RNA. As the topic progresses, the next section of their assessment would include labeling the complementary nucleotides of a DNA strand. By the end of the week, the final and complete spiral assessment would compile the previous sections introduced as well as providing an additional section in which students are to draw a diagram of a DNA strand in which they are to transcribe and translate the strand into a sequence of amino acids. Through the use of state test or regents questions in the form of an exit ticket, it provides an insight as to whether students are effectively prepared for their final exam or if students require further reinforcement based on the day’s lesson. 

                  To increase the level of feedback provided by myself, I first plan to introduce an open culture in the classroom by providing feedback. This would be promoted by reinforcing during the first marking period that everyone in the class including myself has room for improvement and everyone is responsible for helping each other. Once this culture is established in the classroom, I plan on increasing my active monitoring of student progress to improve the quality of my provided feedback. By the end of each lesson, I intend on conducting a full recap of the overall progress of the class by addressing one class-wide critique, and one critique based on the common issues found with advanced learners. From students maintaining a mindset of expecting feedback at the end of the lesson, students remain eager to know how they can improve no matter how well they understand the material. Beyond the classroom, I intend on using a digital method of providing feedback such as the comment tool on Google Docs or the Google Chrome extension, Through both applications, students are able to keep a personal and digital record of their feedback and highlight key sentences so students can see what to improve on and keep track of their areas of improvement. In order to help me accomplish these goals set for myself, some coaches that I would rely on would be the other science teachers in my department to provide a framework for when each assessment should be administered and which units are best summarized through an exam or a project. 



                  1. Dixson, D. D., & Worrell, F. C. (2016). Formative and summative assessment in the classroom. Theory into practice, 55(2), 153-159

                  2. Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of educational research, 77(1), 81-112

                  3. Havnes, A., Smith, K., Dysthe, O., & Ludvigsen, K. (2012). Formative assessment and feedback: Making learning visible. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 38(1), 21-27


                  • Jing Zhu

                    By Jing Zhu

                    Self reflecting is a process that facilitates self improving in any profession. Looking back at my previous thoughts and actions, based on what I learnt in the course, there are many areas that need to be revised and improved.


                    First of all, in terms of my weaknesses and areas that can be improved, enforcing the literacy skills and academic language competence is definitely one of the those that drew my particular attention after I scored the regents exam in June.


                    In the past calendar year, ELL students got the support from me in many aspects. For example, all the assessments and instructions are differentiated. All the materials are available both in English and in Chinese for ELL students. Such support helped the ELL students in academic knowledge achieving. However, from the students performance in the most recent regents exam, not only for ELL students, the literacy skills and academic competence need to be enhanced for all students, including native speaker students. While I was scoring regents exam, many students lost points because they formulate their answer in an inaccurate way. Besides, many students got confused by the wording of some questions, including native speaker students.


                    Teachers should focus on students’ characteristics to achieve students’ active engagement with feedback (Havnes, 2012). What I did for the past calendar year was to grade not only based on the content accuracy, but also based on the language accuracy, in order to ensure students’ content progress as well as their literacy progress.  This strategy did help my students perform better than average in the recent regents exam, however, I think I can do better by implementing other strategies. For example, peer assessing might be a good idea. Instead of I grade their answers, they will be provided with the rubric and grade each other based on the rubric. This is a more student engaging way. Besides, from the angle of a grader, hopefully students can have a deeper feeling about the importance of literacy and a deeper understanding of how to accurately formulate their academic language. Instead of telling students how to fix a problem, asking inspiring questions that can stimulate exploration and experimentation is a much better way (Chappelow and Macauley, 2019).


                    Another part of my assessment plan that need to be furthered considered was that I was not sure about how to manage the daily assessing time. For example, I usually start my lesson from assessing students’ understanding of previous lesson. However, sometimes it takes a little too long and it affects the pacing the next lesson. Besides, how can I give an exit ticket everyday? After this past year’s experience, what I will do is to keep the review session at the beginning of each class while only do an exit quiz once a week. Although reviewing and assessing students’ previous knowledge affects the class pacing, I do think reviewing homework is essential. Everyday’s lesson is built upon the previous one. Without solidifying previous knowledge, it would be pointless to move on to the next knowledge point.


                    In addition, systematically analyzing the exam data need to be added to my teaching. In the past, what I did was more like analyzing students’ progress by a general data. There was no sorting, formatting, and graphing which can provide me with more detailed and more objective insights. The Storying Data Project clearly showed me the benefits of sorting and analyzing data in a professional way, therefore it has to be added to my future teaching.


                    Furthermore, how to give effective and appropriate feedback is also a part that need to be improved. While formative assessment involves gathering data for improving student learning and summative assessment uses data to assess how much students master the knowledge at the completion of a learning sequence, they are all intended to improve student learning and teacher’s teaching strategies regardless of the types of assessment (Dixon and Worrell, 2016).


                    In order to ensure effective feedback, one strategy I will continue using is to set up clear instructions and expectations for students to follow. In Havnes’s paper, students claimed that “We do not really do anything with the feedback, we actually put it aside or start on the next topic” (Havnes, 2012). What I observed in my classroom is the same as Havnes. During homework correction and test correction part, students would meet my expectations and respond to my feedback much better when there are clear written instructions. Therefore, “When feedback is combined with effective instruction in classrooms, it can be very powerful in enhancing learning” (Hattie and Timperley, 2007).


                    Moveover, feedback with the component of praise, encouragement, and confirm can be delivered in a more efficient way. Although there will be both positive feedback and negative feedback given by the teacher, both feedback need to be provided with respect and care (Chappelow and Macauley, 2019).


                    My action plans, which includes revising lesson plan and daily assessment plan, storying data and getting insights from data, and adding review assessment component, etc, are listed below:


                    1) According to the notes I took in 2018-19 calendar year, revise my lesson plan, classroom pacing and powerpoint. Last calendar year, I take notes of my lesson after everyday’s lesson. Which part was going well, which part can reach students efficiently, which part students take longer than I expect, which part is confusing to students, what I could do to make students less confused ... ? These notes would help me to improve my everyday’s lesson instruction and plans for the upcoming school year.


                    2) Revise my homework assessing plan. What I did for the past calendar year was a quick completion check for homework in the first 5 mins of each class, since it's not possible for me to check everyone’s work everyday and give valuable suggestions in time. However, the quality of homework represents the student’s working habit, therefore assessing homework and providing with suggestive feedback is very meaningful. What I will do in the upcoming school year is to selectively assess student’s homework and provide feedback. For example, while I will still do completion check for all students everyday, I will pick 10 percent of the students each week for further assessing and providing feedback.


                    3) Story the data of every exam. It is less like to analyze data of every quiz and homework, however, examining and analyzing data of every exam is doable. I would use sorting, filtering, formatting and graphing to analyze the exam results in order to get the insights about how I did for the past unit, and what I should revise for the next unit. Examples of areas of each exam that I will analyze and focus on are listed below:


                    a.  Score analysis: What is the average score? What is the percentage of students who are above average, around average, and below average? Does the average meet my expectation, below my expectation, or above my expectation? 

                    b.  Students analysis: For students who are above average, what are their common characters that can be learnt by other students? For students who are below average, what are their common characters? Which parts of their learning process need to be helped? For example, their working habits, their thinking and problem solving methodology, their language proficiency, etc. Based on the result, which parts need to be paid attention by the teacher? What action can I do to better support students? For above average students, what can I do to help them to maintain the performance and achieve higher lever? For around and below average students, what can I do to help them conquer the challenges?  

                    c.  Question associated knowledge points analysis: Which question in the exam has the highest incorrect rate? Which questions is the exam has the lowest incorrect rate? What did I do when I taught the knowledge point with the highest incorrect rate? What did I do when I taught the knowledge point with the lowest incorrect rate?


                    4) Add frequent review assessment sessions. Learning includes three components: the first attempt to understand the knowledge, the further digesting of the knowledge, and the review of the knowledge. Frequent review of the knowledge can not only constantly remind students of what has been learnt, but also can help students connect all the knowledge points altogether. My plan is to give out a weekly review quiz on every Friday. The review quiz will be an accumulated quiz which covers all the knowledge learnt up to that point.


                    Above are some of the thoughts and actions I put together at this point, however, self reflecting and revising is a lifelong process. I will continue to use what I learn and the experience to improve my actions in order to better support students to become successful learners. 



                    Chappelow, C., MaCauley, C. (2019). What good feedback really looks like. 


                    Dixson, D. D., & Worrell, F. C. (2016). Formative and summative assessment in the classroom. Theory into practice, 55(2), 153-159.


                    Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of educational research, 77(1), 81-112.


                    Havnes, A., Smith K., Dysthe, O., & Ludvigsen, K. (2012). Formative assessment and feedback: Making learning visible. Studies in Education Evaluation, 38(1), 21-27.

                    • Germa Dubois

                      By Germa Dubois

                      Germa Dubois


                      As a new Teacher coming into the New York City Department of Education, I strongly believe that nothing prepares you for the classroom. As a Teaching Fellow, we went through a rigorous training program, where we did skills building session and classes at university. Still, on the 4th of September 2018 I still felt unprepared. Teaching is a job that you must be dedicated to. It is a job where your students are first, where empathy and equity need to be at the fore front of you. You as a teacher need to be tenacious and agile because there is a fulfilment that comes when your students exceed your expectations or when this one student who had been struggling from the beginning of the year finally improves. I learned during this school year that in order for your students to perform well, you need to assess them and give them feedback in order for them to know their glow and grows. However, as a new teacher, it was something that I struggled with. This course, though it started late into the school year, helped me realize that this was one of my weak areas and it was something that I need to work on, in order for my students to perform at their highest potential. Looking back through the beginning of this course and how Professor Gerald Ardito gave each of his students individual feedback, I now realize how feedback is one of the greatest tool for both teachers and students. It allows both to grow. It allows students to correct their misconceptions and see where they may have struggled and how they can arrive at the right answer and it gives teachers the opportunity to know how well they have taught a lesson and do they need to reteach or use a different approach to deliver the information in the lesson.


                      This course allowed me to identify and highlight the areas that I needed to work on. “Teacher skill at using assessment strategies, integrating assessment with instruction and communicating assessment results also form part of students prior experiences in a particular class” (Brookhart, 1997). Assessment is critical in your instruction and communicating assessments with your students is even more critical. During my first year, I struggled with giving my students individual feedback. Especially in my Earth Science class, where I too, was learning the content. Most times when I give assessment, I would rarely give feedback. Or if I do, it would be more of a general feedback rather than individual. I struggled with teaching Earth science and I also struggled with preparing my students for the Earth Science Regents. For the first half of the year, I had no idea what I was doing. I would teach a lesson and then try to find some earth science regents questions for this particular topic. Then when grading, I struggled with finding the answers myself. I do not think in my first year, that I prepared my students well enough for this regents exam.


                      Professor Gerald Ardito gave me a general idea of how I need to communicate my assessment for my students. His immediate feedback which was specific and targeted your glow and also your area of growth was what I realized I was missing in my classroom.  “Assessments presented immediately after the material was taught, studies show lead to higher retention compared to rote memorization. Hogan and Kintsch (1971). During the last few weeks of class, I replicated Professor Ardito method of feedback. After every lesson I would give my students five Earth Science Regents questions. What I did different that in the beginning, was researching the questions and finding the right answers in advance and also going over the critical thinking part so I would be prepared to give immediate feedback. We graded the assessment as a class or If we went over the period I would collect and grade. I made a special effort to grade before our next class and provide feedback via email to each individual student. I also gave a general feedback at the beginning of our next class.


                      I hope to take away from this course the importance of assessment and feedback. I plan to grow professionally as it looks like I am going to be stuck teaching Earth Science. I plan on going to professional developments geared towards Earth Science in order for me to be able to teach this subject more efficiently. I also plan on taking a few of the Earth Science Regents exams, so I will be better knowledgeable when I am assessing my students and giving them meaningful feedback. I want my students to be able to perform well and succeed. When I first got to JHS 292, Miss Brown took me under her wing and gave me this idea. When I teach a new topic, I can always use this assessment to see if I need to reteach this lesson.


                      Got it



                      Almost Got it



                      Didn’t get it




                      It is simple but very effective. According to how many students did or did not get this new topic I would have a clear idea on whether I need to reteach.







                      Brookhart, S. M. (1997). A theoretical Framework For The Role of Classroom Assessment in Motivating Student Effort and Acheivement. Applied Measurement in Education, 161-180.


                      Hogan RM, Kintsch W. Differential effects of study and test trials on long-term recognition and recall. J Verbal Learning Verbal Behav. 1971;(10):562-7.



                      • Jocelyn Chan

                        By Jocelyn Chan

                        As teachers, we are constantly learning from our students and through others from feedback. This course was about learning how to provide and receive better feedback. John Hattie had written “feedback needs to provide information specifically relating to the task or process of learning that fills a gap between what is understood and what is aimed to be understood” (Hattie, 2007, p.83).

                        My weakness was providing clear specific instructions and more detailed feedback.  

                        My plan for the new school year is to allow students to self-assess themselves and the work that is given to them. This can be completed periodically in the middle of the unit and at the end. The students can be given a link to a poll survey such as Doodle. They will enter their opinions such as choosing from 1-5 how well they understood the task, and the website can collect the data for me. This can provide quick and easy feedback. It will not take long and the students will not lose interest. “Feedback is essential for the student’s growth provides direction and helps to boost confidence, increase motivation and self-esteem” (Clynes, 2008, p. 406).

                        Another plan is to have discussions with the student to demonstrate to the students where their level is in the class. This can be done using the conditional formatting and also converting it into a bar graph. They can see what grade they receive as well as their standing compared to others. These discussions can be completed a week before the end of each marking period. This will provide them with time to help improve their grades or also support them in improving for the next marking period. Students should not be just receiving feedback written on their unit exams; feedback should be verbal and throughout the year during student discussion, student group work as well as class presentations (Havnes, A., Smith, K., Dysthe, O., & Ludvigsen, K. 2012.).



                        1. Clynes, M. P., & Raftery, S. E. C. (2008). Feedback: An essential element of student learning in clinical practice. Nurse Education in Practice, 8(6), 405-1 doi:
                        2. Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of educational research, 77(1), 81-112
                        3. Havnes, A., Smith, K., Dysthe, O., & Ludvigsen, K. (2012). Formative assessment and feedback: Making learning visible. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 38(1), 21-27
                      EDG 605 Summer 2019

                      EDG 605 Summer 2019

                      This is the online home for EDG 605 Summer 2019