Getting To Know Them Theresa London
The process of
collecting information about what students know, what they
can do, and what they need to know for the purpose of making
informed decisions about instruction.
rely solely on tests to tell you what your pupils can do. Students
are more than scores. Find a variety of ways (for example, writing
samples, performance on tasks, or artwork) for students to demonstrate
their knowledge. Artists use portfolios to represent the variety
and range of their body of work. Why not compile student portfolios
for the same purpose?
Robert D. Ramsey, Ed.D, 501 Tips
to know their patients to treat them. Lawyers get to know their
clients to defend them. Doesn’t’ it follow that we get
to know our students?
that end, assessing our students is essential, and collecting data
is the first step in the assessment cycle. I encourage each of you
to take the next couple of months to get to know your students.
Gather information to determine their interests, strengths, and
challenges. Find out how they learn best. Find out who their buddies
are. The information will prove to be invaluable as you make thoughtful
decisions and plan effective instruction throughout the year.
data is the next step in meeting the academic and social needs of
your youngsters. It is essential that we reflect on our findings
and ask ourselves several questions:
- What does
the data mean?
- What does
the data infer about the learning styles of my students?
- How can the
data inform my instruction?
of the year is an opportune time to administer diagnostic assessments
that help you screen and place students: we may give students an
interest inventory, take anecdotal notes, keep observation checklists,
and administer tests that will help us group students appropriately.
Such assessments will help identify the below level, on level and
advanced level students and plan differentiated instruction. Additionally,
you may identify students who require further testing, which may
extend beyond the scope of your expertise.
the year, before, during, and after lessons and units, you will
continue assessing to “check in” with your students
and monitor their progress. This is a time to reflect on your practice
and ask yourself, “Is my instruction meeting the needs of
my students? Do I see progress? What are my next steps?” It
will also equip you with noteworthy information for parent-teacher
conferences and/or support service meetings for students with academic
and social needs. Let us not forget student feedback during this
“check in” process. Teach them to question and monitor
their own understanding and progress.
last phase of the year, you will use formal and informal assessments
to find out what students have mastered. These assessments will
provide you with the evidence needed to determine student achievement
and promotional status.
you must inform your instruction with appropriate, ongoing assessments
to meet the needs of your students. By repeating the assessment
cycle again and again you will move them along the continuum of
learning and high student achievement. I agree with Dr. Robert D.
Ramsey: in my experience, one or two days in a child’s life
does not often reflect his or her potential; therefore, evaluate
the child with various formal and informal assessments. Over the
years, along with the designated formal assessments, I have used
a number of informal measures that have helped me get to know my
students and plan effective instruction. Here are a few of them:
- Writing samples/essays
- School performances
- Role playing
- Oral reports
- Math games
- Kid watching
- Art projects
- Student portfolios
- Peer evaluations
- Self evaluations
found this holistic approach of assessment captures the wide-ranging
capabilities of each child.
will you use this year to get to know your students?
Do you have a comment or question about this