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Connected Educator Month, Week 4

banner-760Connected Educator Month kicked off October 1! As shared in an earlier post, NCTE is a theme leader on the topic of “Innovations in Assessment“. For the final week of CEM, October 23rd-31st, NCTE is focusing on “Artifacts and Analysis”.

You’d never take a picture of a garden on one day in February to make a sweeping assessment of its health over the course of an entire year. Rather, you’d use a variety of measures – soil samples, plant measurements at different times of year, samples of plants over the course of different seasons, analysis of weather patterns and their impacts on growth, etc. in order to create anything approaching an overall “picture” of how well that garden grows. We’ve spoken already about the need for multiple measures in any assessment system but this week we take a closer look at some of the particularly interesting comprehensive approaches currently in use. What does it take to implement these approaches school wide? What conditions must be met in order for such approaches to thrive? And as we conclude this month-long look at assessment, how might these compelling innovations be scaled so that they begin to shift the way we think about assessment on a national scale?

Please also join us as we participate in these activities all month long:

  • Innovations in Assessment: Read and React discussions will be occurring throughout the month of October. Join this discussion group on the National Center for Literacy Education’s network, the Literacy in Learning Exchange, to read and discuss research articles and studies from a variety of organizations on the topic of assessment. Join Community Facilitator and Professional Learning Specialist Lara Hebert in facilitated conversations around two articles each week. Topics include formative and summative assessment, standardized assessment, portfolios, standards-based grading, and more. Go to the Literacy in Learning Exchange to learn more.
  • Using Social Networks to Build and Share Collective Wisdom: #WhatWeHonor. When we begin to think about meaningful and equitable assessments, we inevitably think about those measures of learning that deserve as much and even more honor than standardized assessments because these measures can tell us more about student learning, growth, context, and ongoing needs. And different situations call for different tools and strategies. During the month of October, follow and contribute to the #WhatWeHonor conversations and sharing of assessment tools and artifacts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Tag resources and blogs related to formative assessment; share your most tried-and-true rubrics, observation protocols, conferencing strategies, and more; post a video of your collaborative team discussing the power of looking at student work together; and make any other contributions you can think of that can change the conversation about assessment to focus on more than annual standardized testing.