Such Bountiful Assessments

Just in time, during our ELL Endorsement class yesterday, we reviewed various assessment protocols and terms. They weren’t unfamiliar, but a timely reminder. Funny, that. Two, at the top: Reliable. Valid. As the man said, “Houston, we may have a problem.” Is the SBA test, or Smarter Balanced Assessment, actually Smart, Balanced or a valid/reliable Assessment? Here are some resources for you to draw your own conclusion, with a dash of my own observations. From the Department of Education, ESSA page:   Ensures that vital information is provided to educators, families, students, and communities through annual statewide assessments that measure…

Slithering summer

Ah, those last few weeks in U.S. public schools before students and staff leave for summer break. When teachers all over the nation are worried about ‘summer slide’ and for their students, and perhaps themselves: thinking about what professional development may boost spirits and lighten the soul, or thinking about how much they’ve put off to those magical summer months of repair and rejuvenation. Personally, I’m finding it difficult to soldier on through the rest of the year, namely because of content: my fanaticism for history and big, bold, brash units feels like my gate valve to flow froze. Nah,…

Leveling up: Pathways to reading

Wonderful colleague posts this question to the universe: Calling ALL opinions: students are reading below grade level (anywhere from 5 to 1 year behind) and I want to do a book study to meet some CORE standards. Can I use one that isn’t at grade level? Or is that just making it too easy? Is it OK to use any book as long as it is higher than their current level of performance? Weigh in…and not just teachers! My quick response:I have a lot to say about this, but Lucy Calkins said it well: “I want to know when I…

Test day.

Today is our third quarter reading assessment day. Here are a few things I’ve learned: 1. Many of you don’t know what a “text box” is. (And I need to think why this is important to your future.) 2. Many of you are still struggling with using the vocabulary in context clues (you have at least six different pathways). (And now I need to think why this is important to you, too, in this age of digital dictionaries and spell check.) 3. Many of you do not know how to “draw a conclusion.” (And I am reflecting on why you…