Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Teaching with Intention Reflection #7

Teaching with Intention by Debbie Miller is the focus for this year and the Literacy Connection group here in Central Ohio.  My seventh reflection comes in response to reading Chapter 7, Assessment, Reflections, and Next Steps.  My school district has been on a professional development journey with formative and summative assessment.  As a primary teacher it has been a frustrating journey much of the time due to the lack of primary examples.  A lot of what we've discussed, read, and watched is for transitional readers and above.  Students who are capable of reading directions and complete written work with some ease independently.  I completely get the work we are doing after spending five years in third grade, I don't want to send a message our work hasn't been important.  It has.

This chapter by Debbie Miller was a breath of fresh air.  I felt relieved to see her define and give examples of formative assessment that are best practices.  "...to make their thinking visible during the process of learning something new, these authentic responses are the kinds of formative assessments that guide our instruction."  As I read this chapter, I was a detective to create a list of formative assessment ideas. 

-recorded their new learning on sticky notes
-listening in
-examining student work samples
-charting student thinking
-reflecting, sharing, and teaching

This list is relevant to my daily teaching.  I'm hoping Debbie Miller will elaborate more on making students thinking visible during the learning when she visits for two days.  I would like to probe deeper and hear more from Debbie about, "authentic responses are the kinds of formative assessments that guide our instruction."  Once you have responses and information Debbie says the next step is to study it.  We can collect, observe, and confer all we want but I agree with Debbie the next step is to study it.  Debbie models looking at student work and studying it, taking notes (as she always does) to help guide future planning.  Debbie studies the work and then writes reflections and next steps to guide future planning, using part of her Lesson Design Form.  I wonder if the Reflection Step is best completed while the lesson is fresh in your mind, to capture details and fresh thinking.  Then the Next Steps could come later in the day or at night.  I think writing things down in a notebook, suggested earlier in the book is essential to help facilitate learning and fostering growth. 

1 comment:

  1. I look forward to hearing more about Debbie Miller from you. Our school is moving into the whole Harvard idea of "Cultures of Thinking" which is all about making thinking visible. Their strategies are so practical and I find the kids love the activities. This sounds similar to what you are talking about here.
    Look forward to reading your next post.