1) Review: Introduction, Description, Objectives, and Key Concepts of lesson
2) Complete: Activity 1:Assessment as a Tool for Instructional Decision Making
3) Read: Material in Your Essential Library
5) Complete: Activity 2: Assessment and Instructional Practices in One Classroom
This lesson helps participants understand the ways that various types of assessments at various age levels are used to make decisions. In particular, they focus on using assessment data to make instructional decisions.
After completing this lesson, participants should be able to:
Assessments are decision making tools
Assessments have multiple purposes To promote and monitor student learning and development, identify and diagnose learning and physical delays and disabilities, to identify goals and to guide instruction, provide program evaluation data, and provide data for accountability purposes at the local, state, and national level.
Teachers and leaders should use a variety of assessment tools.
For accountability purposes and program evaluation, formal, large-scale assessments may be appropriate (e.g., state standardized tests). But for other purposes such as measuring individual student progress, identifying special needs and interventions, and more fine-tuned program evaluation, more local and informal assessment data may provide teachers and leaders with the information they need to improve curriculum, instruction, and school policies and practices. Data can include observations, portfolios of student work, and checklists.
Expectations for targeted student outcomes should be clear.
Teachers, students (when appropriate), and families should be clear about the expectations of student outcomes. Teachers should use assessments that are accurate and use them frequently to collect continuous evidence of student progress. Students should understand the learning outcomes expected of them, and receive the results of their assessments in a developmentally appropriate manner. The teacher should also work with the student and his or her family to interpret the assessment data, and set goals for learning.
Assessments for dual language learners should be sensitive to the student’s first language.
Assessments should be administered in the student’s first language and English so as to get a more accurate picture of student learning.
Assessment should be responsive to a student’s identified or perceived disability.
Adaptations for students with visual and hearing impairments, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, or communication disabilities may need to be adapted to maximize student’s opportunity to respond.
Leaders play a special role in establishing and implementing an assessment system in their school.
Leaders are responsible for: setting and communicating clear learning expectations to teachers, students, and their families; understanding principles of good assessments and choosing assessments that meet the standards; evaluating teacher knowledge of assessments and providing professional development to further their knowledge; developing or securing an assessment management system that provides timely and understandable assessment data to teachers, students, and families; and upholding ethical principles related to assessments, such as ensuring confidentiality.
LINC has identified the following as the most essential current resources to help inform you on this topic. You should peruse each of these prior to teaching this lesson. There are also optional resources in the Additional Resources for Further Study section below.
Rushton, S, A.J. Rushton, & E. Larkin. (2010). Neuroscience, Play and Early Childhood Education: Connections, Implications and Assessment. Early Childhood Education Journal. 37:351-361.
New York Early Childhood System. (2014). Assessment: Effective use of Appropriate Assessments in Prekindergarten through 3rd Grade: Building a Strong Foundation for the Common Core Learning Standards.
To synthesize the material completed thus far in this lesson, consider the following through either small group discussion or individual writing response:
The pre-lesson activity should be completed prior to reading the material in Your Essential Library or participating in the discussion/writing response.
The post-lesson activity is designed to help students apply their knowledge of assessment as it applies and extends to the continuum.