Begin with the end in mind
After spending a day learning about and planning for the implementation of the Common Core standards, I walked away with Stephen Covey’s famous habit in mind. Successful implementation, in my view, will call on us to take a critical look at assessment. By beginning with the output of what we want students to achieve in mind, we can focus on the instruction that will lead to mastering the new standards. In looking at sample items from the Smarter Balanced assessments, several key things jumped out to me.
To be successful:
Students will need to think about a process to think about the question
Students will need to think through the questions, do some analysis, and answer.
Students will need to take more time for each question. Time on task has to increase.
Students will need to to know the basic facts, assessments go way beyond knowing multiplication facts.
Students will need to the ability to read complex text.
Students will need the skills to flip back, look again at text, examples, etc.
Students will need to be able to seamlessly use technology.
Students will need to be able to spend considerable time on task.
Planning to “get there” hinges on strong classroom, formative assessments that hinge on evidenced based, reflective practices that answer the question “What does the learner need to know and do in order to be successful on this task?”
As a school administrator, student achievement for the children who attend our school is one of my top two priorities (safety being the other). As I plan my goals as a second year principal, this focus on assessment will be vital.