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Triangulating: The Importance of Multiple Data Points When Assessing Students

No data point for any child stands alone.  Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan write about the importance of triangulating data when looking at student assessments, and in the process affirm the value of classroom observations.

Easing into Assessments During the First Six Weeks of School

Franki Sibberson and Karen Szymusiak have suggestions for integrating observations and assessments of students naturally into reader's workshops during the first six weeks of school.

Looking for Evidence: Seven Questions

With all the things teachers could focus on in their observations of students, what are the key behaviors to look for in assessing literacy growth and development? Ruth Shagoury notes the questions she uses to focus her observations and assessment of student comprehension of texts.

From “Data Drowning” to “Data Wise”: What Are We Doing Now?

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan  provide an activity for staff meetings designed to help schools sort through the purpose and value of current assessments.

Moving from Data to Practice

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan give advice for how to create databases and graphic analyses of assessment information that teachers can readily access and use.

Conversation Turns: Recordkeeping and Analysis Tool

Suzy Kaback provides a template for helping students note and reflect upon their talk.

The Draw-a-Reader Test: Informal Assessment Supporting Teacher Inquiry

The Draw-a-Reader test from Suzy Kaback is a fun way to get to know the readers of any age that also provides insight into their background knowledge and personal reading histories.

Bucking Broncs and Spitting Bulls

Andie Cunningham finds a rodeo reminds her of the opening days of school, and how timed assessments can cloud our vision of students early in the year.

Reflecting on Student Work in Staff Meetings (TEMPLATE)

Jennifer Allen describes a protocol for analyzing student work in teacher study groups and staff meetings, and includes a template for discussing classroom artifacts.

Fostering More Curricular Collaboration in Teams: The Meeting Notes Form (TEMPLATE)

Katie Doherty faces daunting challenges as a grade-level team leader in her middle school. A simple notetaking form works wonders in elevating the conversations and collaboration.

An Assessment Notebook That Works for Me

After lots of trial and error, Franki Sibberson finally has a format for her assessment notebook that works well.

Assessing Spelling in Writing Workshops Part 1: Thinking Through the Assessment

Katie DiCesare takes on the challenge of developing a one-page assessment tool to analyze the spelling needs and abilities of each of her 1st graders. This is the first in a series, as Katie takes us through the use of the tool in her workshop.

Middle School Readers at Mid-Year (SURVEY TEMPLATE)

Katie Doherty finds surveys of student reading habits and preferences are really useful in the winter, after she knows her students and they’ve settled into a routine.

Assessing Spelling in Writing Workshop Part 2: Noticing Patterns in Individuals, Small Groups and the Whole Group

Katie DiCesare took on the challenge of developing a one-page assessment tool to analyze the spelling needs and abilities of each of her 1st graders. In the second of her three-part series, Katie shows how she translates the findings from individual students into instructional plans.

Assessing Spelling in Writing Workshop Part 3: Embedding Instruction

In the last installment of this three-part series, Katie DiCesare shows how she translates the findings from individual students into instructional plans when she uses a spelling assessment in her 1st grade classroom.

Notetaking Series, Part IV: What Counts and Writing the Unwritable

Here are some strategies for getting out of notetaking ruts.

Notetaking Series Part V: Getting Out of Notetaking Ruts

It's a quick journey from notetaking routines to notetaking ruts. This installment of the notetaking series focuses on ways to get out of the ruts that emerge naturally whenever any notetaking routine is established.

Establishing a Routine for Notetaking

We close out the notetaking series with advice on setting notetaking goals.

Grade Level Team Meeting: Test Preparation

In this video of a 3rd grade team meeting, literacy coaches Janet Scott and Gail Boushey help third-grade teachers think through what is going well with test preparation, and what might be adapted before the tests begin in a few weeks.

Student Reading Interview: Assessing Ana Part 2

This is the second video in a two-part series. Principal Karen Szymusiak interviewed Ana, a second grader, to learn more about her strengths and needs as a reader. In this week’s installment, Karen will share her findings with Ana’s teacher.

Notetaking Strategies Part I: “In the Midst” and “After the Fact” Notes

There is a difference between “in the midst” and “after the fact” notes, and different methods might work better in different observation contexts once you know your options.

Notetaking Series Part III: “Raw” and “Cooked” Notes

In "Raw and Cooked Notes," the value of uncensored notes is presented, as well as a simple strategy for beginning to code and analyze the observations you are jotting down.

Student Reading Interview: Assessing Ana

Principal Karen Szymusiak interviews Ana, a second grader, to learn more about her strengths and needs as a reader.

Helping Students Set Nonfiction Reading Goals

Franki Sibberson finds nonfiction reading goals elevate the value of nonfiction in her grades 3-4 classroom.

Talking About Tests

Franki Sibberson prepares her grades 3-4 students for state examinations by helping them observe attributes and patterns in test questions.

Test-Taking Skills: Reading Strategies for Word Problems Part I

Question It – Know It – Show It  are the keys to test preparation in Andrea Smith's 4th grade classroom.

Data Cards: Assessment Profiles at a Glance

"Data Cards" are ingeniously designed to allow an entire grade-level team to look at the reading levels of all students in the grade. In this four-minute video, "The Sisters" (Gail Boushey and Joan Moser) explain how they work.

Conferring Close-Up: Test-Taking Strategies Part II

Andrea Smith confers with two 4th graders in her classroom as part of test preparation.

Test-Taking Strategies Part III: Whole Class Debrief

Andrea Smith’s 4th graders debrief together after a test preparation workshop.

Collaborative Team Meeting: Assessing and Planning Together

Gail Boushey leads a collaborative planning meeting between 4th grade teachers, literacy coaches, and the principal early in the year.

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