The sixth standard in the Internship Program Criteria (IPC) measures assessment and the teacher’s use of high quality formative and summative evaluation of student learning. The standard is stated as follows:
6. Assessment – The teacher uses multiple data elements (both formative and summative) to plan, inform and adjust instruction and evaluate student learning.
6.1 Designing Student Assessments around Criteria and Standards
Assessment criteria and standards are clear.
6.2 Designing Student Assessments with an Emphasis on Formative Assessment
Teacher has a well-developed strategy to using formative assessment and has designed particular approaches to be used.
6.3 Designing Student Assessments to Inform Planning
Teacher plans to use assessment results to plan for future instruction for groups of students.
6.4 Using Assessment to Provide Feedback to Students
Teacher’s feedback to students is timely and of consistently high quality.
The crux of this standard is that the teacher is consistently monitoring, evaluating, and responding to student output and learning in a constructive and meaningful manner. Without a high level of attention to the quality of the learning being produced, then all of the teaching in the world is being wasted. A teacher must give and use assessments with each of the four elements above in consideration in order for the instruction to match what the student truly needs to learn.
In my internship I have instituted a regular exit ticket system in which students demonstrate their understanding of the learning target, apply their learning in a small way, and perhaps most importantly, reflect on their learning to set a goal for subsequent lessons. While I have used a similar exit ticket in math, the one shown here is for our unit on Informational Text Structure.The picture on the right shows an exit ticket completed after our first week on Descriptive text structure,and the one on the left shows a ticket completed after our second week on Compare and Contrast text structure.
This kind of formative assessment demonstrates competence in this standard of the IPC because it asks students to state the learning target, which is taken directly from the learning standard (6.1), it directly shows me what students need, and what they feel they need help with for the following lesson (6.2, 6.3), and it provides an arena for me to give quality feedback to students both on their learning and on their own self-reflections (6.4). Additionally, it provides a space for students to give feedback to me, completing a meaningful loop of communication between student and teacher. The implications of this feedback on student learning are significant because it tells me as the teacher exactly what the student feels I can do to help them learn, and it tells the student exactly what I expect of them. I have also noticed that this kind of specific attention to each student makes them feel more validated in both their successes and their challenges.
As the first form indicates, much instruction was needed as to what constitutes a good learning goal involving a learning skill, rather than simply a learning behavior. After reflecting on this observation, I planned a few minilessons to help students understand the difference between the two kinds of goals, and what really helps make a goal more effective. This instruction was done through mini lessons in morning meeting, as well as in the openings and closings of lessons. I am impressed with the improvement that so many students have already made around this kind of reflection and goal setting, and I intend to continue honing these skills further.