Sharing the Big Ideas

Linda describes an example of how teachers can share the big ideas of curriculum with parents.

Giving Students Choice

Janice discusses the need to allow students to express their learning using their strengths.

Supporting Teachers

Dorothy describes how teachers work collaboratively to develop lessons and assessments.

Balancing Formative and Summative Assessment

Back to Formative Assessment

Key Points

  • The assessment purpose determines how the assessment evidence will be used.
  • Summative assessment evidence is used to make a judgment regarding student performance.
  • Feedback is most effective during formative assessment, with benefits for both teachers and students.

Discussion Question

  • In preparation for an upcoming summative assessment, where might opportunities for formative feedback be integrated into the instructional sequence?

Assessing Projects and Performance Tasks

Back to Planning with the End in Mind 

A teacher at Ascension of Our Lord School in Calgary discusses some of the planning that goes into designing an effective project.

Key Points

  • When using projects and tasks, it is essential to focus on the outcomes the project is going to assess, rather than on peripheral factors.
  • Once the learning destination is clarified, appropriate choices for student products become apparent.
  • When opportunities for ongoing feedback are built into the project plan, students have the opportunity to do their best work.

Discussion Question

  • While projects are often a way to engage students, how can we be sure a project is aligned to high priority outcomes and therefore worth doing?

Determining the Big Ideas

With limited time and an overflowing program of studies, teachers need to collaborate to ensure instruction and assessment remain focused on the big ideas. Dorothy talks about the big ideas in curriculum.

Engaging Students in Learning that Matters

Shifting the focus away from a specific product may provide more flexibility for students in how they demonstrate their learning, and may also result in greater student engagement.

Providing Support

The teacher develops specific questions and a graphic organizer to help students focus on the relationships among story events.

Keep the Task on Track

A teacher considers how the big idea of cause and effect guides the choice for a student assessment project.

Big Ideas – Discussing Exemplars

Students work together to find an example of an effective, logical argument in samples of student work. The exemplars model the descriptors found in the rubric.

Search AAC