Are they necessary?
Share your perspective on Lopez’s quote and statement above. Describe how your mindset has changed or been validated.
“Make no judgments where you have no compassion.” (Lopez, 2013)
– Anne McCaffrey
In reading and thinking about Lopez’s quote and statement, I believe that assessments are necessary tools that will help students succeed in their educational aspirations. The formal assessments allow the teachers to interpret and monitor the students’ academic performance. It helps to build the areas where students may seem to be struggling. Another thing is that it helps teachers to fine-tune or adjust their teaching to help each student to progress and to assist students in making sure their goals are being met to be successful in life and future educational endeavors. My comparative mindset has really been established because without assessments to monitor the students learning process, we may have some students that will fall through the cracks and not really attaining and retaining the information may be detrimental for life goals. In my opinion, the assessments are merely a tool used to assist teachers to make sure she is teaching everyone at their best potential. It cross-references and assess areas that teachers cannot perceive in teaching large groups but it helps to set aside students that are struggling so that focused learning can be utilized to assist the struggling student.
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?
a. Why are you participating in the assessment that you use with your students?
b. Can you share in the explicit detail the value that you find in each assessment?
c. Do you participate in assessments that you find no value in for students?
d. Are you using an assessment you have no idea how to deliver, but are afraid to ask for help with? (Lopez, 2013)
The reason that I am participating in the assessments that I am using with my students is to reassure me that I am teaching each child to the best of their abilities. The assessments help me to find value in my teaching process and their learning process. Unfortunately, as a Kindergarten teacher, I do find myself engaging my children in assessments that I feel they are not ready for and that can be seen as threatening to the children. For instance, we give our students RWA’s the first couple of months of school. To me, I do not see the benefit in it because they have not been formally introduced to letters or phonemes that can help them in being successful in their writing skills. Well, to answer the question about using the assessment with no idea how to use it is not really an issue for me because in teaching Head Start for over 5 years, many of the test that we use are very similar to those used in Kindergarten except for the RWA. In my opinion, if teachers were to put those questions in their minds while trying to be a beneficial teacher it would help in making sure that the students are getting all they can possible gain while in her class.
In what ways have you succeeded/failed to make students your partner in assessment?
In looking at this question, I can say that my success is that I continue to introduce and reintroduce the content of the test to the students throughout upcoming assessments. We do many learning games that helps to get students fired up right before a formative or summative assessment. I, also, have chart paper class discussions all over the classroom so that it can help to jar their memory when taking assessments. Students have learned how to become very observant of the material that's displayed throughout the classroom and use to assist with answering questions on assessments. I also provide prompt positive feedback and always tell the student “Good try. But keep those wheels in your brain turning to help answer the next question.” In my class I practice learning focused instructional to help students that are having difficulty. Students are given the opportunity to assist in learning by discussing in collaborative (think-share) moments with each other of the material that they have retained.
Lopez, D. (2013). No excuses university: How six exceptional systems are revolutionizing our schools (2nd ed.). Turnaround Schools Publications.