Bryce On The Assessment Game

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7 thoughts on “Bryce On The Assessment Game”

  1. Thank you Bryce. I like this. Like you said, it is a starting point. It also fits nicely into the simplicity mode I am trying to stick to. Just having finished my first full week, I have not had any “formal” assessment like this. So far I’m doing the quick quizzes and I hope to do one of those big “100 questions about the class members” after we get through everyone’s cards.
    My question is about connecting the 3 levels to the grade (blech!) that I am supposed to use. Our school just has the traditional A B C s. From some of the other assessment threads (the proficiency-based ones), I’m reading that we teach for proficiency being a B. So in this quiz, would basic be a B?I know there is no “right way” and obviously we tweak how we do things as necessary. I’m just asking how you would plug this in. I know I am splitting hairs here, which I hate, but if I try this it needs to be clear to the kids what the levels are. Kids will definitely split hairs!

  2. Jen,
    I totally understand the need to measure this and be precise for the kids. that is important to many of them. I also want to be careful explain explain to them how language acquisition works and the tremendous variability involved and how different it is than other disciplines.
    The way i am grading this right now is:
    19-20 correct = 100%
    16-18 correct = 95%
    11-15 correct = 85%
    9-10 correct = 75%
    less than 8 = come in to get some help and re-do when you have convinced be that you get it, or take the actual %.
    How are you thinking of doing it, Jen?

    1. Looks good to me. I will probably try your system. I have not thought about this at all. Just being honest. It is all I can do to get the system up and running, so I’m focusing on what’s happening in the classroom. In my course description I was purposely vague and did not mention grades. I did mention assessment and that the level 1-2 kids would not be assessed on output skills. I think I gave myself some wiggle room for the level 2s. For the level 4s I said output assessment would begin 2nd or 3rd quarter. So I’m really glad you posted this now, so I can integrate it into what I’m doing. I also am reminding the kids frequently about language acquisition and how it is not a “subject.”
      Btw…I don’t get the sense from anyone in this group that anyone proclaims exclusive expertise and “it must be done this way.” That is what I love: everyone acknowldeges that our students and circumstances are different and that we are all at different stages along the path! That said I totally trust your experience 🙂
      Thank you again! We’ll see how it goes!
      🙂 Jen

  3. Just so everyone knows, I am not putting myself in a position of all-knowing expert here. This is an open exchange among dedicated professionals and I am totally open to being argued out of my position. Explain your ideas and tell me how we can do it better.

  4. I teach a three-tiered class: 3, 4 and AP. Either I teach different materials or I use different scales for assessment. My master teacher many years ago convinced me of the utter insanity of trying to split the class and teach different curricula at the same time. Observation of teachers who have tried it has only served to reinforce that conclusion.
    If I give a 20-question test, AP gets a score out of 20, 4 gets a score out of 16, and 3 gets a score out of 12. (That’s arbitrary, and I reserve the right to change it at any time.) Then, instead of a point score, I put it in my gradebook as
    5 = Advanced (95%)
    4 = Proficient (85%)
    3 = Basic (75%)
    2 = Below Basic (65%)
    1 = Far Below Basic (55%)
    Where my quizzes/tests need work is in writing questions that involve higher-level thinking skills. The end-of-class quizzes are really all level 3(-4) questions; students can’t show advanced status on yes/no questions. For readings I can ask students to draw conclusions, make inferences, etc. Presentation also gives opportunity to show advanced skills, so does class interpersonal participation (acting, contributing well-conceived questions, etc.).
    Also, note that the only way a student can get less than 55% is to do nothing, e.g. be absent and not do any makeup or simply refuse to turn in the quiz/test. (A test with nothing but a name on it will get 55%, because that is obviously Far Below Basic work; it’s sort of like “thanks for showing up” and it’s still an F but it doesn’t devastate the grade.) Students always have the option to re-take a test, but they must show me that they have done something to master the material – it can’t be just another “stab in the dark” because I don’t ask exactly the same questions on a makeup.
    Back to you Bryce.

    1. This is fantastic Robert. I am going to pass it onto a colleague who is teaching a level 3-4 class, and also to my dept. head so she can see how we might think about combining levels (since our student population is so small). I love the simplicity of it, and I can see how the key is to craft the questions to require higher-order skills and/or more complexity for the upper level students.
      Also love the 55% as the lowest mark. We have endless debates about that issue!
      Thank you!

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