dimanche 23 octobre 2011

Back to Portland

We are headed back to Portland for another ATI conference. How lucky am I to work in a division that values the work we do and supports the professional development we are willing to pursue in order to better our practices and the learning experiences of our students?

The November conference will focus on "Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning", by Jan Chappuis. I am plugging away at it so that I have a working knowledge of it before attending. So far, I have found that many of her theories and recommended practices are already a part of my belief system.

Much of what I am reading has already been shared with us at the Summer Institute with Rick Stiggins. This alone makes it a quicker read. I am continually confirming that I am on the right track with these strategies and that whether or not I knew why I was using them, they were based on sound research. What reinforces it for me now is that by reading the "WHY", the "HOW" becomes more purposeful.

I love the idea of developing assessment criteria with my students. The problem I encounter with this one is that it is very time consuming. In a school year where every minute counts towards covering as many of the curricular outcomes as possible, I am challenged with the value of the class time required to make this strategy worthwhile. I mentioned this same concern to Tom Schimmer at the Summer Institute and his reply (although based in a high school philosophy) was that at times, this criteria is given to the students and worked on from there. We simply do not have the time to invest in this step as in depth as we would like.

The contrast between a learning goal vs. a performance goal was also helpful to consider. I had never really differentiated between the two before, but it is important for the students to understand what they are LEARNING even more so than what they are DOING.

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