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Who Gets to Choose the Audience? – John Spencer. Thinking beyond the summative assessment task. Countless hours have been spent as teaching teams sit staring at a screen trying to agree on a summative assessment task.

Thinking beyond the summative assessment task

The purpose of these summative assessment tasks is supposed to be to check for understanding, to see how the students’ understanding of the concepts explored during a unit of inquiry has developed. Each one of those sessions may have gone absolutely nowhere, and signifies a misconception that exists in many schools today – that a one-size-fits-all summative assessment task will tell you about each individual student’s level of understanding. There are seven flaws here: The majority of these conversations are firmly within the realms of “what will we do?” And almost all remain in that realm without ever considering “why are we doing this?”. So, next time you’re sitting around a table with a group of people who are trying to make a one-size-fits-all summative assessment task… perhaps suggest that you don’t bother.

Three Way Conferences a.k.a. Goal Settings. What are three way conferences at KIS?

Three Way Conferences a.k.a. Goal Settings

Three way assessment provides a forum for teachers, students and parents to acknowledge student progress and achievement. In three way conferences students lead by explaining their learning achievements, as well as areas for improvement. This includes displays of student work across a Unit of Inquiries and Standalone subject areas across the first semester.

Three way conferences are an important avenue for involving parents and students in the learning process and help parents understand the learning and teaching and, assessment and reporting process. Here at KIS we emphasize the student’s role in these meetings, wherever possible it should be student who leads the discussion, not the adults. Three way assessment strategies and conferences have benefits for teachers, parents and schools. Edutopia. Start Small.


15 ways to spark student reflection in your classroom. In a recent survey of educators conducted by THE Journal, an overwhelming number – 81 percent – considered reflection skills very important.

15 ways to spark student reflection in your classroom

This doesn’t come as a surprise. Sharing Learning, when parents are the students. The class was tided and beautiful, the children had considered where to put activities, carefully placing signs for parents to read.

Sharing Learning, when parents are the students.

Cloth was draped over tables, cushions were placed in comfortable arrangements. No detail was too small. The room was ready for student led conferences. The class filled with the gentle sound of conversation and laughter. Children quickly moved parents to different areas. Children delighted in their expertise and parents noted their children’s skills as guides and teachers. The experience is best conveyed through video, enjoy revisiting this special celebration of learning. Owen, Chen-Yan, Daniel, Alex and Lucas. Inquiring Naturally thru Mathematics: Using the Summative Task as the Provocation. I was struggling to come up with a provocation or ideas for our Shape and Space Unit.

Inquiring Naturally thru Mathematics: Using the Summative Task as the Provocation

We are doing a unit the looks at monuments, so I wanted to try and incorporate some kind of building or creating into the unit. This unit really made me think how about how I could make it engaging for students. I didn't want to just go through property after property of different shapes. I wanted to give the students ownership of their learning and make them have to use the knowledge they have gained in some way. So I thought, what if I give the students the summative task as the provocation for the unit.

» The Power of Formative Assessment. What Meaningful Reflection On Student Work Can Do for Learning. The following excerpt is from “Authentic Learning in the Digital Age: Engaging Students Through Inquiry,” by Larissa Pahomov. We Aren't Using Assessments Correctly. Published Online: October 27, 2015 Published in Print: October 28, 2015, as The Effective Use of Testing: What the Research Says Commentary By John Hattie Much of the testing discussion in the United States today is grounded on several widely accepted notions: that we first must get the actual assessment instrument right, that there is an important distinction between "formative" and "summative" assessment, that teachers need to understand the language of assessment, and that we should drop tests on schools like "precision bombs" for the purpose of measuring a student's performance and progress.

We Aren't Using Assessments Correctly

Involving students / Topics / Gathering evidence / Using evidence for learning / Home. Learning Time Capsules – shifting the focus from achievement to progress – Making Good Humans. Here is an example of how one of our Grade 4 teachers is shifting his students’ focus from achievement to progress through the use of a math “time capsule”.

Learning Time Capsules – shifting the focus from achievement to progress – Making Good Humans

Diagnostic: This teacher looked at all the big concepts the Common Core outlined for fractions in Grade 4 and created open-ended questions to allow students to show what they already knew or thought they knew about each big idea. Students were encouraged to be risk-takers and try every question! The teacher then tracked students’ prior knowledge on an excel sheet. This allowed him to plan full group, small group, guided and individual math inquiries based on needs. Edutopia.

Parent-teacher conferences are one of the few opportunities for families to converse with teachers about their children's progress and needs.


Lines of people wait their turn for these 15- to 20-minute interactions. One result is a conversation that establishes a relationship and delivers essential information about a student's progress. Teachers usually carry the burden of making the conference productive, yet if families were included more through communications and collaborative meeting planning, the experience could become more mutually fruitful. To this end, I'll introduce each of my points with voices from families suggesting collaborative communication about their needs. Build a Team: Make Frequent Contacts Before Each Conference I hoped teachers would inform me between conferences if anything was amiss or pleasing about my children's progress, socially or academically, so that there would be no big surprises during the conferences.

How to Make Grades About Students Again. Our first semester ended last week. I have been working on grades, both standards scores and letter grades, for the past 3 days. Pondering. Wondering. Pulling my hair out as I try to figure out which box to place my students in as we try to assess the growth that has happened. In the end of it all, I am reminded of how much I still hate grades.