I have had the privilege of being involved with a system initiative involving GradeBook. Progress Reports are generated using this electronic tool. As I took part in a webinar with Anne Davies and Sandra Herbst this week, I realized that something else is happening as part of this process. The new reporting process is serving as a catalyst for change. At our leadership conversation this week, it was noted that the level of professional dialogue at the school level regarding assessment and evaluation has increased.
Reporting on outcomes is important for the following reasons.
1. Grades should have meaning.
2. We need to challenge the status.
3. It helps us adjust instruction.
4. It teaches what quality looks like.
5. It puts a focus on curriculum.
Key elements of formative assessment are:
- a classroom culture that encourages interaction and the use of assessment tools that encourage students to self monitor
- creating learning goals and targets and tracking progress toward those goals
- use of varied instruction methods to meet diverse student needs
- use of varied approaches to assessing students understanding
- descriptive feedback on student performance
- active involvement of students in the learning process
How exciting is this! It means that our instructional practices and activities are based on specific learning targets. Our formative assessments provide opportunities for practice and feedback and summative assessments show whether students have reached learning targets. Our students are involved in the process and see assessment and evaluation as part of the learning process. They engage in monitoring their understanding. Now that’s exciting!!
I thank all teachers in RPS for pursuing learning opportunities and engaging in professional conversations around outcomes and the new reporting process. I invite all RPS teachers to complete a survey regarding the reporting process as follows.
Grades 1 – 3 Teachers
Grade 4 – 8 Teachers