Saturday, July 21, 2012

Guided Math ~ Chapter 8: Assessment


We hear that word all the time. 

This chapter of Guided Math did an outstanding job breaking down assessment and evaluation.  The similarities and the differences, as well as how their roles work together, must be fully understood by any teacher who aims to be successful!

It basically boils down to assessment for learning versus assessment of learning…the old formative versus summative assessment discussion.  However it is a necessary discussion and one every teacher should spend some time thinking about and getting a firm grasp on.

I could close my eyes and almost feel myself in a faculty meeting hearing my administrator discuss the importance of formative assessment and maybe more so, actually doing something with the formative assessments we conduct in our classrooms on a daily basis!

My administrator is very keen on the use of best-practices in the classroom and strives to keep our school on target for providing the best possible learning environment for our students.  As a faculty, we have read and conducted book studies on several of the books Sammons refers to in Guided Math.  In fact, as a Lighthouse School, some of the authors and contributors of those books have visited our school.

In other words, Chapter 8 felt like home to me.  Most of the concepts are already fully in place, not only in my classroom, but also in the entire school.

Having said that, in there room for improvement?  Absolutely! 

I think any teacher who says they have no room for improvement probably hasn’t really sat back and reflected on their teaching.

The 3 things I need and PLAN to improve on related to Chapter 8 this school year are:

1.  Do a better job of using the formative assessments to guide my next lesson.
2.  Provide more specific feedback to students more often.
3.  Incorporate more rubrics into my teaching.

Maybe I should’ve added a fourth idea after going back and rereading the other 3.  I would love to keep a better record of the formative assessments and what I did because of them.  As of right now, I just keep in my head.  When my curriculum group meets twice a week, all 3 of us talk about how things went and make some adjustments – often even rewriting lesson plans.  However, I would feel more….better….hmmm, I can’t really come up with exactly how to explain it.  Let me put it this way.  Knowing I could pull out a record sheet and show another teacher, an administrator, a parent, or maybe even the student himself, exactly what I did on what day and the results of that decision would give me a very empowered, prepared, responsible, doing-all-I-can-do feeling.  There we go!  How about explaining it like that?

Again, I have to say that I LOVE this chapter!  I’m so excited to read Chapter 9, but very sad that the book is almost over!

For more reviews of Chapter 8 from other great bloggers, check out Joy in 6th.  She's the host for this chapter.

joyin6th Homepage

Enjoy J

Making It {and smiling},


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