After a long week of finishing assessments and writing our Communicating Student Learning documents, or report cards, I was struggling to find something to write about for the last post in the three blog post challenge for IMMOOC. As I was finishing Chapter 7 in The Innovator’s Mindset I got to the section on 8 Things to Look for in Today’s Classroom and had my AHA! moment when I reached # 7, Self Assessment. This year my district has taken on a big assessment project with Sandra Herbst guiding our thinking. Something as simple as self assessment seems like a no-brainer, but over the past nine years, I’ve attempted it so many times, with little to no success, until this year.
That change has happened with Sandra’s guidance. She stated that we need to help students understand quality and proficiency by co-constructing what is important or what matters in their learning. This gives your learners the language they need to guide their learning and self assessment.
My students and I have co-constructed writing criteria twice so far this year, once for personal narrative writing and once for non-fiction writing.
At the end of each term, I had my students find evidence in their writing of what they were doing well and what they were needing to work on. This year was the first year that I actually felt my students new their strengths and where they needed to grow. In fact, as I reviewed their stickies, they were spot on with their strengths and areas of growth – report card comments were done!