In my teaching, assessment is what drives my instruction. It’s congruence with the instructional outcomes put into place is imperative. Having this critical alignment is what ensures that students are meeting and achieving expectations and state standards. To achieve this I develop and conduct both formative and summative assessments on a regular basis. I utilize formative assessments to assess where students are at. The results, in turn, change either the pace of my instruction and/or modify the way in which I am presenting the given information. The usage of these formative assessments is commonly in the form of tickets out or in the door, as well as hooks to monitor students’ knowledge and assess their level of understanding on the given topic. I use summative assessment to formally assess my students. These assessments often come in the form of quizzes, tests, presentations, essays, and growth portfolios. I like to incorporate a variety of assessments in my instruction due in part to the availability it gives students to demonstrate what they know by way of different means. While one child may not be good at tests they might be good at presentations and vice versa. This diverse outlook on assessment is what enables my students to be the successful learners that I know they are.
Component 1b: Demonstrating Knowledge of Students
Component 1c: Setting Instructional Outcomes
Component 1f: Designing Student Assessments
Personal Philosophy of Assessment
Dr. W. Edwards Deming once said, “…the most important things we need to manage can’t be measured. This quote describes my philosophy of assessment perfectly. Assessment is a tool used in the classroom every day. It is carried out in order to measure one’s mastery at a skill or knowledge in a given subject. It is what shows a teacher what their students have learned. Educators then take that information and determine if they to need to re- teach to a specific student or the class as a whole. While I do believe in assessment and feel that it is one of the key components of teaching, I am more concerned with a child’s process of learning rather than the overall product that comes from it. It is the things a student learns along the way that truly matter and cannot be measured.
Observation is key, especially in the early grades. For me this is a big part of assessment. By observing, teachers are able to tell a lot about their students. For example, they can see how they interact socially with other peers as well as how well they carry out a given task. The early childhood stage is a time when children develop the most. They are developing physically, cognitively, and psychologically. Due to this fact I feel it would be more beneficial to assign performance tasks to at this age students rather than tests. By having students carry out performance tasks, not only can it be seen that they have learned what has been taught but, they are learning real life skills that will help them throughout their daily lives.
Planning is key. I feel that teachers owe it to their students to be organized and have lessons and units planned out ahead of time. It is important to know how you will be assessing students over the course of the school year. When planning how students will be assessed it is essential to use a variety of assessment techniques. My overall goal when assessing students is to provide a variety of well- rounded opportunities so that all students can succeed in some way. It is also important to make the expectations you have for students clear and well known. Students need to know what is expected of them and in turn set goals for themselves. This will greatly help students succeed.
With all of that said, my personal philosophy of assessment is that students should not just be measured by the end result. Learning is a process and I believe that it is in this process that true learning occurs. Aside from being graded on the basic facts, students need to be measured on how well they apply their knowledge. Assessment will be a huge part of my classroom, however I will hold more importance for a student’s performance and progress rather than a factual test. Down the road, these students will need the skills learned during their early years. A multiple choice question isn’t what is going to help them in the long run. However, the process they used to learn and decide upon the answer will.