I wanted to take a minute and talk about how I’m doing assessment in my classroom this year.  So this is the first year I’ve gotten to decide how to assess in my own classes which by the way is really tough.  There is a lot of pressure to do what everyone else is doing.  There is also this huge push for cumulative tests which, well, I am just not a huge fan of.  My plan for assessment was driven by a few things

1. I don’t care if you learn the material today, tomorrow, next week or next month.  I want to know that you know it.

2. I want my students to be able to look at a test and say “I rocked adding integers!” or “I totally cannot subtract.”  Both of which show high level thinking.

3. I want to be able to look at grades and see what I taught well and what I failed at.

So would I call what I am doing Standards Based Assessment? Maybe? Hell if I know.  Heres how if works in my class:

For each topic I deem MAJOR we take a 2 question quiz (sometimes 2 topics at once.) and that is scored out of 5.

5- prefect you are a winner! nice job!

4- you made a mistake not a big one but something that really probably shouldn’t have happened.

3- you got one of the questions right but I am not sure that you have mastered this yet

2- you made the same mistake on both! we can fix this!

1- you really didn’t get this did you?

We take each topic 3 times and I count the highest 2.  I tell them this is me offering them a free retake in class. I figured with all the retake talk online this is my solution to Riley’s question on how to count the scores.  I have absolutely no idea if this is the best.  I also offer retakes. ALL THE TIME.  I mean not during class but I am in my classroom a lot and well the life of a first year teacher is to give as much as possible.  So they know.

I am not as awesome at MissCalul8 and I did not make skills list before school started but that might be because I got hired like a week before school started. Here is what I have done so far

8th grade (and 7th Advanced)

  1. Writing Expressions
  2. Properties of Numbers
  3. Adding and Subtracting Integers
  4. Multiplying and Dividing Integers
  5. Modular Arithmetic and Exponents (just 7th advanced)

7th Grade

  1. Writing Expressions
  2. Order of Operations
  3. Adding and Subtracting Integers
  4. Multiplying and Dividing Integers

6th grade

  1. Patterns
  2. Order of Operations
  3. Writing Expressions
  4. Solving One Step Equations Using Addition or Subtraction
  5. Solving One Step Equations Using Multiplication or Division

My school has an agreed on weighting system for the whole middle school.  40% assessment, 30% demonstration, 15% homework, 15% practice. The idea is that we are basing grades on what students know and not if they are doing their homework.  The thing is as a teacher you can put anything in any category.  So I have (in only 8th grade) given two cumulative tests (one group and one multiple choice) but I put them both in the demonstration category. The only thing in my assessment in the quizzes in all classes.

Well that’s about it.  I think.  Let me know what you think.


2 thoughts on “Assessment

  1. Ha, if awesome means ‘list that was way too long and has now been thrown out the window in favor of a generic common core pacing guide that is unspecific enough to drive me crazy’. Then yes, I am awesome.


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