Evaluating English Language Arts

Chapter 10

How do we evaluate students?

Formative Assessment: (pg. 259)



  • Helps students figure out what they need to improve on without giving a grade
  • Observations, discussions, self assessment, exit tickets



Summative Assessment: (pg. 260)


  • Reports overall comprehension of content.
  • Tests, quizzes, projects, benchmarks


Authentic Assessment: (pg. 258)



  • "A form of assessment in which students are asked to perform real-world tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills." John Mueller
  • Oral interviews, demonstrations, student portfolios



Which of these is the best choice in the classroom?

Authentic Assessment

But how can I utilize authentic assessment in my classroom Ms. Berry?

Easy! Take some tips from the book:


Evaluating Literature: (pg. 261)


  • Whole Language Approach: Don't limit your students to what you have read.
  • Put less emphasis on basic understanding and more on the art of literature.
  • Not all assignments should be graded (yay!)
  • Measure the involvement of students with the text.
  • Have class discussions!



Evaluating Writing: (pg. 264)


  • Level 1: Journal writing, rough drafts, brainstorming, jotting down notes. This is not graded, but completion grades are acceptable.
  • Level 2: Checks student comprehension in a more formal way. Homework assignments, essays, or writing with more than one draft. Students' peers and teachers will read this. Allow students to challenge their vocabulary skills!
  • Level 3: Most ~formal~. Students write for "audiences outside of the classroom" and should be "error free". This can be the shortest assignment, but it needs to be the one with the most effort put into it.



Evaluation of Oral Skills: (pg. 275)


  • Grade as if you were reading a student's essay. Use level 3.



Evaluating Units: (pg. 277)


  • Use all three levels of grading when evaluating units.
  • Journal entries= level 1
  • Homework/group work= level 2
  • Essays, final projects, etc.= level 3
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But my kids get so bored with my grading style!

Try some of these ideas! (pg. 266).


Impression Grading: Read student's writing and check for effort, but don't formally evaluate them. Comments on the writing should expand student's thinking.


Holistic Grading: Grade the paper as a whole. How competent is the student's writing? Did they get their point across?


Self Evaluation: Create a rubric for students and have them evaluate their own writing based on your requirements.

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