Commitment to Pupils & Pupil Learning
- Teachers demonstrate commitment to well-being and development of all pupils.
- Teachers are dedicated in his or her efforts to teach and support pupil learning and achievement.
- Teachers teach all pupils with equity and respect.
I have done extensive work this year with the Instructional Coach to further refine my instruction, assessment and reporting skills. This work has fundamentally how I plan, what I plan and how I have communicated with students about the learning. Although I have been using learning goals and success criteria since 2009 when I was first introduced to Growing Success I was using it in a consistent or focussed way. The journey that I am going to briefly illustrate below demonstrates this journey.
The first step that I took was a critique of my assessment of learning tools. My rubrics, like many were text heavy, trying to describe all levels of achievement for all success criteria. This format made it cumbersome to use with students and provided them with little important feedback about how to make improvement. Thus, I now use the following basic form. At the top I list the steps needed to complete the assessment as well as the overall requirements for the assignment (these are the elements that must be completed in order for the work to be submitted for evaluation). Because I have now removed requirements from success criteria, it enables me to truly focus on the quality of student learning.
I am currently using a digital / hybrid approach to track student data. I will fill out this form on paper, and then photograph it into SesameHQ, an interactive assessment tool that allows me to track completion of work, as well as provides me with a timeline of student learning. I can create checklists for students for quick identification of student learning to track how they are doing with process work, I can create rubrics for quick formative tasks that indicate if students are exceeding, meeting or approaching grade level expectations and slide scales for being more specific with overall level of achievement for larger tasks.
I will create a digital scale of evaluations and transfer the data from the paper copy to online to record student achievement (as for now I am needing a way for students to have a paper conversation about their learning; I have now been working with our ITRT to begin using Google Classroom to facilitate this, and because I have long recognized that my hand writing fatigues when evaluating whole class, making my writing difficult to read for students; being able to type my feedback will aid in my communicate with students).
The process for determining a grade is to look at each success criteria and to assess it individually. I then look for the best fit for each learning achievement category. To determine the overall learning for an evaluation I then look for the best fit of overall achievement. I am in the habit of not writing the overall level of achievement on the evaluation tool, but rather having the students determine their level of achievement and then confirm their determination with mine and look for areas of overlap, and perhaps areas of inconsistency in which I or the student would then need to re-assess specific criteria if necessary.
Now that I have evaluation tools that are much more focused on student learning and are not directly tied to specific learning content (as the Arts Curriculum is about student learning processes and ways of thinking), I have been able to create an assessment map for my courses. The following is a sample from the grade 9 course. (Click here for the Program Mapping – AVI1O0.)
From this map, it is possible to plan which assessment tools I am planning to use and the ones that I need to create (e.g. when is it necessary to use a quiz for a check for understanding, when do I need to use a met, not yet met checklist, when to use a completion checklist, etc.). The next step that I am needing to take in finalizing these documents for each of the grade is to include information about how these assessments will be gathered in terms of product, conversation and observation.
An added benefit is that it provides my own personal check list for what needs to be taught each day in class, and what learning goals need to be addressed. My day plans currently are more of action items – the things that students need to do. Now that I have been teaching for 12 years, my plan book is like a short code for what needs to be done, and what supporting learning activities need to completed by students and what the goals are for an associated task or lesson.
More detailed lessons that I write for sharing with colleagues (see work done for OAEA, and the Ministry of Education) would look more like this. This type of detail however represents the thought process that goes into the day to day planning of the class, and is not representative of day to day documentation, as most of this planning happens in conversation with my teaching partner(s). Click here for the full lesson: TPA Lesson.
I have now developed a tool to determine a grade based on the Overall Learning Goals in the course. This tool allows me to take a holistic growth mindset approach to assessment, that aligns with the intentions of transparent and fair assessment practices. This is the first implementation of this type of assessment for determining a grade that I have participated in, and have been working with other teachers from across the PDSB to develop this tool. Although it takes a tremendous amount of time to analyze the data and to determine the grade, it was a very rewarding experience as the grades that went on the report were I think the most accurate to actual student achievement because it provides a sound structure for balancing observation, conversation and product information that is collected over the semester.
- Teachers know his/her subject matter, the Ontario curriculum and education related legislation
- Teachers know a variety of effective teaching and assessment practices.
- Teachers know a variety of classroom management practices.
- Teachers know how pupils learn and factors that influence pupil learning and achievement
- Teachers use her / his professional knowledge and understanding of pupils, curriculum, legislation, teaching practices and classroom management strategies to promote the learning and achievement of her / his pupils.
- Teachers communicate effectively with pupils, parents and colleagues.
- Teachers adapt and refine her / his teaching practice through continuous learning and reflection, using variety of sources and resources.
- Teachers use appropriate technology in her / his teaching practice and related professional responsibilities.
Leadership in Learning Communities
- Teachers collaborate with other teachers and school colleagues to create and sustain learning communities in her / his classroom and in the school
- Teachers work with other professionals, parents, and members of the community to enhance pupil learning, pupil achievement and school programs.
On-going Professional Learning
- Teachers engage in ongoing professional learning and applies it to improve his / her teaching practice.