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Authentic Assessments in the English Classroom
Transcript of Authentic Assessments in the English Classroom
Authentic Assessments was written by teachers, for teachers. It is a practical tool to assist language arts educators in creating curriculum that uses authentic assessments as the cornerstone of middle and high school instruction.
The book is a field manual that documents how East Side Community High school, structures their entire English language arts curriculum around year-long authentic assessments.
Joanna Dolgin, Kim Kelly, Sarvenaz Zelkha
Teachers at East Side Community High School
Chapter 1- Reading Crisis to Reading Culture
Goal: to get all students, teachers, and parents to buy-in to ensure every student becomes a powerful reader
School wide, top-down initiative
Professional development in reading and writing instruction for ALL teachers (Teacher's College)
Gathering and analyzing relevant reading data
Building "sexy libraries"
Emphasis on independent reading
Implementing Reading Conferences
Chapter 2- Independent Reading to Graduate
Goal: Students showcase growth as "literate, articulate, and persuasive adults" (Dolgin, 2010, p. 19)
Seniors select one text from limited list
They hold an analytical discussion with another adult who has read the book
Expectations clearly communicated from day 1
Teachers spend the year modeling analytical discussion of texts
Student leads the discussion
This skill is more reflective of real world tasks than writing essays
“...the end goal is for all students to feel the power of their own voice”
(Dolgin, 2010, p. 63).
Chapter 4- The High School Roundtable
portfolio with larger body of work than middle school
Begin gathering material in 9th grade
1 narrative piece, 2 literary essays, 1 creative writing piece, 1 public speaking doc, 25 books, 1 roundtable graded at practitioner level
40 roundtables total
Chapter 3- The Middle School Roundtable
Takes the place of mid-term/final exam
Showcase and Celebrate student learning
Students present their portfolio to classmates, teachers, family members, and guests.
More accurate assessment of learning than tests
Chapter 5- Authentic Formative Assessments- High School
balance of authentic assessments & high stakes tests
authentic assessments require more skills
Screenplay panel presentation
integrates tradition with authentic assessment
Chapter 6- Next Steps
student learning not captured by one exam score
authentic assessment=higher standards than high stakes tests
suggestions for implementation
Class Experience- Roundtable
Prepare/Organize portfolio with teacher help
Create cover letter explaining learning from your point of view
Present portfolio and discuss learning
“...good readers are powerful human beings because they have access to learning beyond the classroom, can read meaningful text about issues that affect them, and have a better chance of overcoming academic and social barriers” (Dolgin, 2010, p. 5-6).
“...understanding can be developed and evoked only through multiple methods of assessment"
(Dolgin, 2010, p. xiv).
“We do not need to ‘teach to the test...’ Rather, through the construction of a rigorous, relevant curriculum, with authentic assessments that call on students to truly show their knowledge, we provide students with the preparation they need for the test” (Dolgin, 2010, p. 70)
Will kids be ready for standardized tests this way?
“We are not interested in preparing our students to succeed on exams; we are preparing them to hold their own in college classrooms” (Dolgin, 2010, p. 78)
Questions to Consider
How do we know that students have learned?
Should students be given the opportunity to defend their learning?
Should students be able to choose how they demonstrate their learning?
At the base level, assessments are student’s communication of their own learning- with this definition in mind….
Should students have the opportunity to choose how they communicate what they have learned?
Screenplay Panel Presentation
How do you know you've grown as a writer since arriving at Dr. Muhammad's Writing Institute?
What was your process in writing your _____________?
How did the resources and feedback from Dr. Muhammad and the literacy collaborative help you in your revisions?
Are you a successful __________ writer? How do you know?
Worth the money to have as a resource? Yes
Worth the read? Yes
“High stakes does not equal high standards”
(Dolgin, 2010, pp. 77).
“...knowing and learning take on importance only when we are convinced it matters, it makes a difference”
(Dolgin, 2010, p. 62).
Screenplay adaptation of a novel from class
formally pitch to guest judges
deeper text understanding
public speaking skills