Reading Part 1: LE 4

Assessment and Evaluation

Questions you asked and answered about Assessment and Evaluation

How might you develop a rubric that can be used for multiple reading summatives instead of just one?

I would suggest using either the Language curriculum document (http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/language18currb.pdf) or the Growing Success document (https://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/growSuccess.pdf) for suggestions on how to create rubrics. They have Achievement Charts that give general criteria that you can list on your rubric. This is typically what I do, although I will list more specific expectations in brackets. For example, I may list “Use of Conventions” as one of the criteria, and then in brackets I would write “Use of the Past Tense”. I would use the same rubric for other evaluations, but I would simply tweak the specific portion of each criteria, based on what our focus has been in class. (Jessica B)

Where does reflection fit in the assessment diagram?

I believe that reflection is formative, also known as "Assessment As Learning." Through reflection, students are able to identify their strengths and next steps as learners, helping them to make changes to their learning in order to be successful. When given the opportunity to engage in reflection, students become more active participants in their learning. (Caitlin)

What are some examples of diagnostic reading assessments you conduct on students?

There are a few ways I conduct diagnostic reading assessments in grade 8. Generally at the beginning of the year, I might give my students a more standardized test to get a feel for their overall reading comprehension. This might include something like CASI where students read a short story or article and answer a number of comprehension questions. It's a good way to get a feel for if students can summarize main ideas, if they can identify theme, and if they have an understanding of characters. It's not a great form of assessment to use on a continual basis because it is lengthy and the students can find it tedious, but it does provide a lot of great initial information. I might also provide students with the summative questions or a variation of a summative questions before we start reading a text. I might give them a shorter text with a similar theme and see what students can identify about those ideas before we get into the novel proper. Again, this is a quick way to see what students know about a topic and it's helpful for informing my teaching. (Brittany J)

Why do you think ‘Norm-Referenced Assessment’ is no longer to be used in Ontario classrooms? Do you think it still has a place?

I think that norm-referenced assessment is still used in term of standardized tests, however in an everyday classroom situation, I think it is better to regard each student in terms of their own abilities rather than taking on a deficit-mindset. By no longer using norm-referenced assessment, students can set their own goals for improvement and chart their own path of progress in terms of their skill level and ability which I think is of greater benefit to the students. (Jessica M)

Should all rubrics be co-constructed with the class? How can this be done in primary?

This is another great question, as I know that student involvement in rubric creation goes a long way to support student understanding of what is expected of them. Depending on your personal style and approach to marking would affect the answer to this question. I think if you are someone who uses rubrics for marking quite frequently (which is where I would put myself) I think that it’s unrealistic to expect student collaboration in rubric creation for each and every one. I just don’t believe that it’s the best use of class time. I will however always share my rubrics with my students, or have them accessible throughout their working on an assignment or task. When it comes to co-constructing rubrics with students I think that you would already want to have your criteria pre-determined (so that you know what you want to assess for is covered), and then go through talking about what that would look like at each different level of the achievement chart. Another way would be to have exemplars of different levels of achievement and have students look at them in small groups and try to decide which assignment would fall into each category/level and identify why they would put it there. (Jena)

Why is it important to give both positive and negative descriptive feedback?

I believe it is important to provide positive feedback as a method of motivation, supporting a growth mindset! Students will continue to grow if they believe that what they are doing is working! That being said, it is also important to provide next steps as we can always become better! There is no ending point in the learning continuum and next steps for our students are a great way of acknowledging that! (Hannah)


If teachers only gave positive feedback, then the child and parents would not know what the child needs to work on to further their growth and learning. However, if the teacher only provided negative feedback, then the child would most likely get easily discouraged and frustrated, and could just “give up”. There needs to be a balance between positive feedback and constructive criticism. (Brittany F)


It is important to give both positive and negative feedback to let the students know where they are showing strengths and where they need to grow. If we were to always only give positive feedback to our students then they will not see where they need to develop to get to the next stage in their reading, language or writing. Positive feedback is a great motivator and encourages students to keep up the good work, but without negative feedback the students would not grow in their understanding and development. When I give feed back to my students it always starts with a positive thing, followed by something they can improve on, and ending with another positive idea about their work or learning. It is like a compliment sandwich. (Jessica W)

How do you weigh the different areas of reading in order to give an appropriate mark on the report card for Reading? In other words, how much of your mark is based on reading level (above/below/at grade level)? Or fluency and expression? Or comprehension?

I take all parts into consideration before labelling my students with a grade. I am concerned about their reading level because it is a measurement of what skills they are using. I believe fluency and expression goes along with each level. The idea that within that level they are able to read at an appropriate rate that allows them to add expression. Comprehension is a major part of moving up in level. I would not move a student to a new level unless they comprehend what they are reading.

Comprehension, in my opinion, is the most important part of reading. Understanding what it is you are reading and being able to apply it or take something away from it. Without comprehension I do not believe you can appreciate or enjoy reading. True?

I would reward a student who is successfully moving up in level, comprehension, fluency and expression. So, for grade 2 the expectation in June is to be at a level 22PM. If in June they are between 19-21 I would assign a B- with good comprehension and fluency/expression. If fluency and expression need to be worked on I may give a C or C+ depending. I am seeing that I give a lot of credit to a child who is TRYING to do their best. If they are trying and making baby steps I would reward that. I also believe in primary those grades need to be encouraging. I do not give grades or levels out all year, so doing so on report cards is very hard for the students to see. Parents usually have a better idea of grade level before it comes home, but we, as a school, are trying to work more on descriptive feedback and sending home wishes and stars. It’s been interesting and was VERY surprised I was never questioned. Made me question what happens at home when grades are sent! (Rachel D)

As students all have different abilities and intelligences, how can we make sure our evaluations and assessments are true with regards to each student?

It is important that we know the strengths and weaknesses of our students when performing assessments. If the class is completing a written summative assessment on comprehension and you know that one of your students has weak written communication skills then assess that student verbally. In this example, if you were to continue and assess all students the same way, you will not get true data on each student's knowledge. By accommodating this student and allowing them to show their knowledge orally you are assessing what you set out to assess, comprehension, not writing skills. (Erin)


I think the biggest thing to remember here is that, we work really hard to differentiate our instruction so that it is accessible to all students, it is equally important to differentiate our assessments. Providing choice in how they demonstrate their learning is one way we can be mindful of different abilities and intelligences. (Ashley C)

What practices have you adopted (if any) to assess students’ learning skills? Or do you use classroom observations?

To assess students' learning skills, I have a chart with all the report card learning skills that I have for each child. In this document I have the criteria that outlines what is expected for that learning skill and almost every day (at the end of the day, I try!) I check off skills they have demonstrated and place an 'x' where they have shown the opposite of what is expected. This helps me track their progress in a skill and helps me to individually assess their learning skills. (Christina)


Last year I started to do self assessments on the Learning Skills. My students were excited. I think we tend to focus on the curriculum more, learning goals and success criteria, so I did the same with Learning skills. We made an anchor chart of what I was looking for, I kept it the same throughout the year, for the most part. Although both curriculum and learning skills go hand in hand, I really pointed out what I was looking for. It was easier to hold them accountable because the expectations were shared and clear (and they helped me write my report card comments!). (Rachel D)

What will Reading Assessment look like in your Classroom?

How will you use Reading Conferences?

Shared Resources

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