Begin planning for your reporting process:
- Search out copies of relevant documents and regulations with regards to reporting. Be clear about what you must do.
- Record any definitions currently in place for summative symbols, such as grades or numbers.
- Think about how to expand the definitions so as to include more information about learning and the qualities likely to be apparent in the evidence if students have learned well.
- Create your own description of achievement for one course or subject area, modeled after the examples in this chapter.
After all of the chapters thus far dedicated to how assessment in the classroom can be achieved, this chapter discusses how evaluation and reporting takes place. Davies describes evaluation and reporting as the “point[s] in the classroom assessment cycle when the learning pauses, and the evidence is organized and evaluated by comparing it to what students needed to learn” (93). Evaluation should be the final step in the assessment process, and it requires the teacher’s professional judgement of the whole learning process from the beginning to the final product. Davies refers back to the term triangulation (collecting evidence from three different sources – observation, conversation, and collection – over time), and says that triangulation can put the learning evidence into a more clear context. Davies also claims that reporting “is an ongoing process that involves students, parents, and teachers in examining and making sense of a student’s learning” (96), as opposed to the old system that took place periodically by the teacher and the results were given to the parents and students. Davies also discusses how involving students in three-way conferences (student-teacher-parent) can assist students and parents in recognizing the learning patterns. This chapter is very thorough in its discussion of evaluation and reporting.
I believe that the documents and regulations for reporting would be available to me from the future school I will teach at. Once I am familiar with those documents I will be clear on what is expected from me regarding grading. This would include school policies (such as a goal to produce timely evaluations and give feedback regularly), and any other requirements from the School Board. I believe that triangulation will be a significant factor in the regulations for grading, as assessing from the three categories is highlighted, especially in this text. As for grading symbols or numbers, I believe that each school or division decides and I would adhere to its policies.
I would expand the definitions of success by showing exemplars to my students, and having conversations about what success looks like. After I get to know my students I will be able to brainstorm with them the criteria for assignment rubrics, which is essentially keeping students involved in the process of defining success. As the projects and assignments are so varied in English, I will not list what the indicators of success are; however, the indicators of success would align with the curriculum indicators for specific projects, like essays.
For my English courses, achievement would have several aspects, including reading, writing and speaking. Students would be able to read various types of texts to establish meaning. They would also be able to critically examine the texts for underlying messages. Students should be able to write in complete sentences free of error (comma splices, run-on sentences or sentence fragments). Students should also be able to confirm or show understanding through writing. They would need to follow the writing process and show evidence of improvement in writing skills. Students would be able to speak fluently or with improvement from the beginning of the year during formal and informal presentations. Although this is not a comprehensive list, these are a few of the basic achievements I hope my students will reach a mastery level or have significant improvement upon completion of the course.
My questions for you: how do you define success for a class that has a range of abilities and skill level? Is it ever appropriate to use separate grading tools (rubrics or check lists) for different students within the same class, especially if the workload has been reduced (ie. FIAP or EAL or ESL students)?