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Classroom Strategies for Assessment for Learning


The first fundamental principle of effective classroom feedback is that feedback should be more work for the recipient that the donor. Dylan William


 



When teachers build assessment for learning into their daily classroom practice, they plan discussions, tasks and activities that will provide evidence of learning. There are many simple, quick and effective ways to make assessment for learning an integral part of every day. It is important to remember that assessment for learning is not the specific strategy or tool, but how the information gathered from the tool is used.

Gathering Evidence of Student Learning


When teachers build assessment for learning into their daily classroom practice, they plan discussions, tasks and activities that provide evidence to guide learning. There are many simple, quick and effective ways to make assessment for learning an integral part of every day.



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More Ways to Use Assessment for Learning


The following examples highlight more ways that teachers and students use assessment for learning in the course of their day in order to adjust their teaching and learning.

Observations and Conversations:

  Teacher Maya Dougan listens in on group discussions to check whether or not students are on the right track. She is able to step in when needed to clarify misconceptions or ask a question that will move students forward in their thinking. Finding time to observe students and listen to their discussions provides feedback about learning as it is happening that teachers can use to adapt learning and teaching activities to the needs of the students.

Asking Questions :

 


Andrew Adams makes effective use of questioning as part of daily assessment for learning during his lessons. For example :

  • asking questions to find out students’ starting points
  • asking a range of questions to develop understanding and deeper thinking

Graphic Organizers 

  Mary Sauve, has her grade 9 students create mind maps as a way of assessing what they understand about a particular concept. These mind maps also help students organize their thinking before starting on a project.


 

Co-Constructing Assessement Criteria

 



Many teachers work with students to develop assessment criteria and build rubrics for the work they are doing.



This process helps students internalize expectations and makes expectations clear and transparent from the outset.  



 

Additional Resources



Crafting Feedback That Leads to Learning discusses five techniques for giving feedback to help students improve their work.


TCEA offers information on Five Fabulous Formative Assessments for your Classroom.


Paul Emerich’s teaching blog offers information on creating assessment criteria in conjunction with his students.