Does summative assessment drive Units of Inquiry?

During a planning meeting for every Unit of Inquiry,  there's a question that's always pops up "What are we going to do for the summative task?" The minute this question is asked, I often find my mind thinking more about what the kids are going to do to 'show what they know' then the how they are going... Continue Reading →

If schools really value the learning process, why do we showcase product to parents?

Tomorrow my Year is holding a mini-exhibition - it's an end of unit session where the children share what they've learned during this Unit of Inquiry. Often in schools this is usually in the form of a finished product to show parents, a nice science fair exhibit, a poster, a presentation. The child will talk... Continue Reading →

The power of voice…

One of the unintended consequences of re-thinking rubrics  has been uncovering the power of voice. All too often in assessment we look to the power of written and drawn reflection to gauge students understanding and misconceptions. Yet voice is just as powerful tool for uncovering hidden attitudes not just in terms of what the children say... Continue Reading →

Handing over assessment data – where is the student voice?

With the end of the year drawing closer, assessment data is handed over from one set of teachers hands to the others. Spelling tests Writing samples Standardised reading assessments. But what is missing from this list? The kids. This week the children in my class with select a photo from our class photo that best... Continue Reading →

Who watches the people watching teachers?

A few years ago I was in the room with a very senior member of the teaching profession who joked they used so little modern technology they didn't even have an ATM card. That comment bothered me for a long time. How can you be a senior member of a profession devoted to learning but be... Continue Reading →

Making inferences…

"Ms Stephanie, I think I've got a connection," a little voice piped up. It was the last day of term, The class had just finished reading The One and Only Ivan. A fictional story of a real life gorilla who paints pictures to free his friend Ruby the elephant. I had just finished the last page.Earlier... Continue Reading →

Taking the text out of assessment for learning – Inforubrics

Formative assessment is a tricky beast. Rubrics are way to get the children reflecting and showing growth on their learning. However they are often text heavy and written in teacher speak. This makes it hard for children to identify learning priorities and document how they have shifted in their learning. Enter the inforubric. A set of simple concepts... Continue Reading →

Do the levels actually matter?

This week has been dominated by assessment. If I haven't been giving assessments, I have marking assessments and then spending time moderating assessment. What I am not looking forward to is the ranking that students inevitably do to each other once the assessment is returned. Half way through last year, I got so fed up with the... Continue Reading →

Aborted Landings, Airsick Bags and… Teaching?

I’m recent arrival both to teaching and to the city of Wellington. Over the summer I made the move from Auckland to the capital to take up my first teaching position. With my wordly possessions making their way by road, I decided to fly to my new home. Despite my love of travelling around the... Continue Reading →

The unbearable lightness of making an OTJ on National Standards

Time of year where we are sending home statements about what our students learning goals for the year are. As these are reports going home, they must include a statement about National Standards and be in plain English. Personally I prefer my English in pink and purple polka dots but I digress. I've had a number... Continue Reading →

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