This semester students in READ 6306 wrote a course-related post for our blog.
An endeavor that I have undertaken this semester has been to create a way to authentically assess my students. The purpose of this assessment would be to analyze the data collected and use it to help develop a plan of intervention for the child. I know that it seems like a daunting task but it is something that I need to do to ensure that my students reach their fullest potential. The reason that I have chosen to incorporate the use of authentic assessment in my classroom is because I feel that the weekly tests that I give my students are not showing me a true picture of what my students have learned or what they need more help with. I hope that through the use of different authentic assessment methods that I will be able to gain a better understanding of the strategies that my struggling students have and which ones they need help with.
I plan on taking anecdotal notes of my students, administering running records, and using miscue analysis forms to assess my students’ strengths and weaknesses. All of this will be done by kidwatching. This idea was taken from Gretchen Owoki and Yetta Goodman’s Kidwatching.
To keep my data at hand and organized, I created a binder that I will call my “Pensieve.” I will use this binder to keep track of the data that I am collecting on my students. This idea was taken from Gail Boushey and Joan Moser’s The CAFÉ Book. The binder is separated into two parts. The first part will be the “teacher” section and the second will be the “student” section. The teacher section will have blank calendars and checklists to plan what assessment is to be used on a given day and a way to track which students have already been assessed. The student section will have divider for each student and all of the data collected on that student will be in that location. This will make it easier when it comes time to analyze the data because I will not have to waste time looking for the notes that I took. Some of the data that will be in the student section of the “Pensieve” will be: anecdotal notes, a reading interview, and a reading checklist. I know and accept that my “Pensieve” will undoubtedly change throughout the school year. I think that this will be a positive change because I cannot expect to do the same thing over and over if I expect to get different results.
I have begun to implement some of the ideas that I have learned about in my classroom and I like the results that I am seeing. I will not lie, it takes time and practice but it is definitely worth the extra effort. I am confident that if I take the time to implement the plan that I have created that I will be successful in helping my students more than I ever have before. I don’t expect to be successful on the first try but I do know that I will be successful.
Both of the books that I used for ideas are invaluable tools for using authentic assessment in the classroom.