No Excuses University

Lopez's Message

“Assessment is not about you as a teacher; it is about your students” (p.97). He goes on to say that our reason for assessing students should be grounded in our commitment to use the information collected in a way that helps us generate greater success for our students.

Share your perspective on Lopez’s quote and statement above. Describe how your mindset has changed or been validated.

After reading Lopez's quote, my mindset did not change. I strongly agree with this statement. Some educators give a test that majority of the class fails. Perhaps four of the student's pass of the 30 in the class. The teacher may decide that these four students are the only students who cared to study and move on to the next chapter of learning. However, the picture is much bigger. An educator should look at this as a moment to reflect and determine what needs to be done to result in more students passing. If majority of the class failed, to me, this means the teacher failed them somewhere along the course of the learning experience.

Consider the 4 questions Lopez lists under “Defending our Assessment Practices” (p.98). How might you use these questions in your current or anticipated practice? What value might it add to your practice by keeping these questions in mind?

I can consider the questions Lopez a lot during my current practice. As an educational mentor, I recently got a new student to support. He is in the 5th grade and his teacher simply said "He needs help with reading comprehension and math." To assess the student's needs, I printed out a few math and reading comprehension sheets and completed them with him. The value of these assessments let me know exactly what areas he needed me to support him in.

The questions that Lopez listed can definitely add value to my practice. I can keep these questions in mind to make sure that I have reason to be using the assessments and also make sure that there are value in the assessments I am using.

In what ways have you succeeded/failed to make students your partner in assessment?

One summer I had the opportunity to teach science to second graders. Before teaching, we got a training and in that training we learned how important reflection was. By using reflection practices we were able to assess what the students actually learned. I feel like this was an eyeopener to me and a time when I succeeded at making students my partner in assessment. One of my favorite reflection/activities I used was the Graffiti method. When the lesson was over, two or three large white pieces of paper were posted around the room. Students were able to take a marker and draw or write what they learned during the lesson. I feel like reflection assessments like this allow for students and teachers to be partners in the learning and see how the learning and teaching came together.