I listened to Shawn Cornally, a teacher from Solon CSD speak to our group about assessment (good timing for me). You may want to read the entire focus this week, there is an assignment at the end :)
Quote of the Week: "You’ve got to get to a stage in life where going for it is more important than winning or losing." -Arthur Ashe
Shout Outs: Big thank you to our PBiS leadership team for planning for our end of the quarter celebrations! Also, a big thanks to our middle school staff for their recent interdisciplinary units!
Thought of the Week: I'm beginning with the end in mind with the change coming in our district. It is a topic that has been haunting me at night, and until we can get on the same philosophical page with it, we can't move forward. I want to take a few moments to talk about assessment for/of learning.
Here is a question for you...if you stood in the front of your class the 1st day of school and said, "I have a bag of 100,000 M&M's...I will offer any student an "A" for the course if they choose to sort the bag of M&M's by color rather than taking the class traditionally." After the students realize you are serious...how many students would take you up on the offer? Think about it for a second and then be real to yourself (your gut answer is probably right). Reality is MOST of our students would take the "A" and sort the M&M's. WHY??? Its the same reason students always ask how much an assignment/paper/project is worth. Have you guessed it yet?
Answer: We (as a society and an educational system) have put more value on what the final grade for the course is rather than what was actually learned.
The point is this, the whole basis of teaching is informing students what we want them to learn, teaching/guiding/facilitating knowledge, and then assessing if they know what we wanted them to learn. Assessment is not a compliance issue. The reason I bring this up is I believe we are too focused on homework completion rather than if students actually are learning what we are asking them to learn.
So how can we fix it? I have ideas, but I want to hear yours. Your assignment this week/weekend is to respond to this blog with your thoughts/reflections/opinions on the issues I've talked about in this Friday Focus. It is due Monday by 8:00am. I'm looking forward to the conversations