Assessment Guide for Curriculum Adoption
Assessments aren't just state tests. They include homework assignments; quizzes; and teachers observing their students' performance. In this year of Common Core challenges, good assessments can make a huge difference in teacher effectiveness and student outcomes. They show what's being learned, and help create a blueprint for next steps in teaching.
Creating a School-Wide Assessment Calendar
Having structures and systems in place for assessment is critical to adjusting instruction, monitoring progress and improving student success. The first step is establishing a calendar that outlines and coordinates all key assessments including end-of-year, benchmark and unit. Ideally, this process would take place as early in the school year as possible.
Using Baseline Assessments
Baseline assessments are typically given as close to the start of the school year as possible to provide information about the skills and understandings students bring into the classroom. The resulting data enable teachers to target instruction appropriately, and have a basis for measuring student progress across the year.
Using Formative Assessments within Curriculum
Formative assessment is a process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning with an eye toward improving students' achievement of intended instructional outcomes.
Using Interim/Benchmark Assessments
In addition to monitoring student performance and adjusting instruction through formative assessments embedded within the curriculum, it is important to pause periodically and assess students’ performance on "interim" assessments (sometimes also called "benchmark" or "periodic" assessments). Interim assessments are typically common assessments administered at multiple key points throughout the year.