Sharing My Practice * Linda Kroll * Mills College

How do we connect assessment with teaching?

A major goal in our class is to learn to assess children's literacy behavior, skills and knowledge, and design appropriate instruction for them based on the assessments. Making connections between assessment and instruction is not easy. It is probably the key to becoming an effective teacher. Looking at how the teachers in the Quest sites made those connections and instructional decisions allowed all of us to be in on the conversations about how to teach literacy.

In the fall, each student carefully documents the literacy understanding of one of the children he or she is teaching. They collect writing and drawing samples. They conduct running records or informal reading inventories. If they are working with preschoolers they conduct a"concepts about print" (Clay, 1993) assessment. They may also interview their subject with regard to reading and writing opinions and preferences. They may tape a child retelling a story or participating in a class discussion. Several times during the semester they bring the data they have collected to discuss with one another. In these clips you see what Brooke, Ben and Ben have observed about their students and the sorts of data they are collecting.

Child Study and lesson planning

One way we used the QUEST sites was to both observe how other teachers assessed their students' reading and to begin to assess ourselves based on what we observed in the video.

For this exercise, we watched Jenn Myers conducting a guided reading group, keeping in mind what we could learn about particular readers. Small groups and pairs of students were assigned to carefully observe one of the 6 children in this video. After watching it more than once, the students shared back what they had learned about the child they had been assigned.

Jenn Myers guided reading lesson

Guided reading observation guide

Brooke presents her bilingual subject 

Brooke talks about her 1st grade bilingual Spanish/English subject. She presents his reading and writing.

Click the image to view the video.

Ben presents his 1st grade ELL student 

Ben presents his teaching adn assessment of "Maria". He shares his excitement about assessment and how it supports his teaching.

Click the image to view the video.

Ben presents a preschool student 

Ben presents his findings on a 4 year old preschooler. All four students in this group are familiar with this child, as they all teach him in one context or another.

Click on the image above to view the video.

This electronic portfolio was created using the KEEP Toolkit™, developed at the
Knowledge Media Lab of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
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