Monday, April 29, 2013

Take the time to do it right...

As a little girl, my Momma always tried to instill in me the work ethic of taking the time to do the job right the first time and it would save me time in the long run. Throughout my life, I'm tried to follow this advice, or at least I thought I did. Then comes along Chapter 4 of Embedded Formative Assessment and yet again, I'm knocked flat on my backside!

... grading can be seen as the punishment given to teachers for failing to find out that they did not achieve the intended learning when the students were in front of them.

See if this scenario is familiar to you...
You give an assessment (quiz, test, whatever) and sit down to grade it, only to find yourself writing the same comment over and over and over on student papers.

If you are like me, that scenario has played itself out many times in your career. However, in the past, I've never really analyzed what it was that went wrong... until now. None of us have tons of spare time on our hands - we have families, lessons to plan, papers to grade, other responsibilities. We've heard the old adage "work smarter, not harder", but how does that play out in the classroom? Answer: Formative Assessment! By taking the time to do things right, we can find out whether our students have understood something while they are still sitting in front of us, rather than playing catch-up once the assessment has been given. By taking the time to craft good probing questions during the learning, we save ourselves the time of writing the same comment repeatedly on the quiz. Such a simple idea, why did it take me so many years to figure it out???

Guess my Momma is always right after all!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post, druin. I certainly know the feeling. Are you able to give an example of asking questions that inform you of the students' understanding?

~Mr. C
Phila, PA