Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I have a real bone to pick with the provincial government that has to do with assessment. I've been reading and rereading the ministry's guide for assessment. We are not to use percentages but still need to come up with a letter grade. Am I the only one who finds this ridiculous? We are supposed to be using formative assessment and using the language of the performance standards (ie exceeding expectations, meeting expectations, minimally meeting expectations, not yet meeting expectations). I happen to assess this way and spend a lot of time talking to my students about how to use this information. I just assigned to self-directed units to my classes. For both units, I gave the learning outcomes we are working on, my vision for the assignment, and then asked the students to come up with the criteria. I find that they take much more ownership of the projects this way and will use the same language I use anyways. We talk about different ways they can show their learning and that's that. Not once am I asked, "What's this out of, Mrs. Gallello?" They know that I will use the performance standard language and only assess that which is on the criteria list. They also know what to do with my feedback and know that I will be assessing all through the project. Then I'm expected to assign letter grades when it comes to writing report cards. I don't want to do this. I want to be consistent with assessment and use every assignment as a building block to June. I want to scaffold learning and have students take ownership. This is driving me crazy!