Keeping it Beaut: Slice of Life 3/26

Image Attribution: Evelyn Rile and Cary Harrod

This is a continuation of yesterday’s post, where I shared my thoughts about this provocation:

I promised to share the evidence I use to assess my students’ growth in reading. As I said, it’s tricky; I think I’m hardwired to automatically look for the “hard data”; that somehow, anecdotal records, photographs, interviews aren’t quite “enough.”

Evidence I Currently Use:

A few thoughts:

Testing: I made peace with the whole high stakes testing awhile ago; I have developed a healthy respect for tests and look at them as simply another small piece of the puzzle. Several years ago, I was introduced to “triangulation of data” which makes sense to me:

“Triangulation is a process by which a teacher collects evidence about student learning; this evidence is collected from three different sources. These sources are conversations, observations, and products.”

~Triangulation in Assessment

Once I gather the evidence listed above, I can look for patterns and trends to help support student’s overall performance.

Authentic/Relevant: Notice I do not do many “projects.” Of course the students are always permitted and encouraged to create an artifact based on their reading but I found many of the projects I use to have the whole class complete were, in the end, simply a waste of time and didn’t really deepen reading. I would much rather spend that time reading and discussing a wide variety of literature. I am laser focused on replicating “real life” reading situations; I don’t know many people who read a book and then spend the next two weeks doing a project on the book.

ReadWorks:¬†I am not a fan of sites like ReadWorks; to me, it is simply a digital worksheet. However, it provides me with some of that “hard data” I mentioned earlier and it helps ready the kids for the state tests. I use them sparingly; probably 4 a quarter.

I’m still working to create a way to better assess my students’ growth in reading. It’s taken me two years to get to this point; I imagine I will continue to fine tune it. Is it perfect? No, but I have accepted that, for right now, my feet must be firmly planted in two worlds: the traditional world where we administer tests and hand out grades and the world where learning is simply¬†beautiful. (More on that later.)

One Reply to “Keeping it Beaut: Slice of Life 3/26”

  1. You have a balanced combination of observations, assessments, and student work. Triangulation of data keeps all of the balance in check. I wonder if a student self assessment and a comprehension conversation might round out your data collection.

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