Fostering Self-Assessment and Revising Post – Its*
In order for students to self-assess their own work, they have to have clear learning targets and be able to see the difference between their current work and the end goal. This is not easy work for teachers or students because the expectations are ever increasing under CCSS.
These first years of implementation of the Common Core may be transition years. If students have not had explicit instruction in understanding character development (R. CCR. Anchor 3), they may need varying levels of support. That instruction is going to be critical for fall 2013, in order to ensure success for students in their daily reading as well as future high-stakes assessments.
The last post included the chart below as an anchor chart that was a resource for a loop of :
- assessment, and
- planning for additional instruction for the students.
(If you haven’t read that one, you might want to go back to “Readers’ Notebooks: Assessing, Goal-Setting, and Planning Instruction“.)
Joey, fictitious student, left his reading conference with a goal to work to increase his depth of understanding about characters. This is important for Joey and all other students to understand. It is not just about being able to understand the characters in this book. It truly is about how Joey will read and reflect on characters across all future reading (and will include many more attributes before he finishes elementary school – this is just ONE example).
Joey had some coaching in his reading conference about what he needed to do in order to meet that next level. But what if the coaching did not stick? What happens the next day? And what if there are many more students like Joey in the class?
Remember that group size for instruction is based on data and some general guidelines are:
- 1 student needs it – can be done in 1:1 reading conference
- 3 – 5 students need it – can be done in small group
- more than half the class needs it – whole group mini-lesson
Class data pointed to a need to improve understanding depth of character development. Planning an explicit mini-lesson in revising Post – Its, or “seeing again” is needed. Explicit demonstrations of what revision looks like and the many different ways it can be done will be modeled. The students also need more time to practice. Ultimately, the students will be improving their independent ability to describe character development in order to deepen their reading comprehension while simultaneously increasing their self assessment and reflection skills. This is HARD work!
What might instruction in revising Post-Its look like?
All students would come to the mini-lesson with a post-it about characters. The lesson will depend upon the data (the post-its in the hands of the students). It is possible that students may still be struggling with accurately self assessing that will require the teacher to teach the “assessing post-its” lesson AGAIN. Instruction has to be responsive to the student data!
As I move to instruction on revising, I will also be using some Question Answer Relationship (QAR) talk and labels because it is a strategy that students and teachers are already familiar with. That may not be included in your work with students/teachers. Instruction in the mini-lesson and subsequent student practice may include:
- self assessment of my post – it (review)
- talk with a partner about how I rated my post – it and WHY? (review)
- specific ways I can revise my post – it (includes ideas from the next chart about “HOW” )
- a second self-assessment of my post – it
- confirmation/validation with my partner of my revision
- an opportunity for students to practice this with a post – it I give them
- an opportunity for students to practice this with their own post – it
If my goal for the “Revising Post-Its” lesson series is to create a chart that would allow students to show which revision strategies they are using (public evidence of our learning), it may look something like the final chart below. (Remember this chart will be created with the students, but I do have to have a plan in mind.) As a teacher I could quickly check on the status of student revision with a simple thumbs up or down in response to this question, “Have I used more than one way to revise a post – it?” in a whole-class setting. However during a reading conference with an individual student, I could ask them to “show me other ways that you have tried revising?” if they seem to be stuck on just one way.
This was a bit of my holiday thinking. What would you do differently to increase self-assessment and revise post – its? I would love to hear your ideas!
* Reflection on large and small group sessions at July #TCRWP Reading Institute 2013 with Kathleen Tolan and Bianca Lavey.
TCRWP: Performance Assessments in Reading
I was totally fascinated by Mary Ehrenworth’s closing, “The Common Core Asks Us to Teach Higher Level Comprehension: Performance Assessments and Learning Progressions” on Monday, July 1 on the first day of the Reading Institute.
We began with talking with a partner about assessments that were currently in use in our districts and then Mary began her presentation that was filled with student examples containing both writing and video evidence of reading comprehension.
Mary did caution us to not make running records be the “know all, be all” for every kind of assessment. They are perfect for matching students to books but perhaps not the tool that should be used for measuring growth in comprehension. And especially not to measure growth in comprehension that would be aligned with the Common Core.
In a nutshell, here is the framework Mary proposed:
“Reading Performance Assessments
1. Formal, grade and school wide Information and Argument writing (K-10)
2. Use checklists to set goals and raise levels
3. Reading notebooks
4. Calibrate expectations across grade level and try making a checklist”
Mary wrote this list during the presentation on a piece of paper under the document camera complete with subheadings (no power point here) so errors in reporting would be mine.
A specific reference to Hattie, his book Visible Learning, and the power of specific feedback had me revisiting my notes from our #educoach book study in the summer of 2012. How do students get that feedback? I now know that in writing, the learning progressions authored by Lucy Calkins and the TCWRP staff will provide just that feedback in the form of the checklists available.
Two more gems from Mary:
“Rubrics are for teachers; checklists are for students.”
“If you can say it on a checklist, kids can do it. If you can’t say it on a checklist, kids cannot do it!”
The use of a Reader’s Notebook as a performance assessment was new to me. Having specific goals in terms of checklists or a learning progression would enable both the teacher and the student to “see” progress in deepening comprehension. Having targets would also ensure the likelihood of student success. The premise is both exciting and exhilarating in the forward march to meet the increased demands under the Common Core.
Are you using a Reader’s Notebook as a performance assessment? How might that be used to document increased student comprehension? (grades 3 and above)
Your thoughts are greatly appreciated!