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Hello Ken - Thank you for taking the time to read this email. I am a teacher in Grand Rapids, Michigan and will be listening to you speak at Forest Hills auditorium April 25th.
Recently, our administrator dictated to our staff that we are going to follow the 15 fixes next year at our school. Some staff members received 4-5 days of training. Others, like myself, only received a 3 hour long in-service (and a free copy of your book :). Though I agree with pretty much most of your fixes, I do have some questions.
1. Do you have a model of lesson plans/ tests/ projects to look at for ideas on how to implement a test-only grading system? ( I teach middle school Social Studies)
2. How do you incorporate learning styles into your tests so that all students strengths are recognized in the grading process?
3. Do you have any examples of tests that are differentiated?
4. I use the tests that came with our textbook. WE are now to re-write these tests, making one set that focuses only on the state GLCEs and another for re-takes. I believe that we will also need to write a 3rd test so that special education students have a test that accommodates their unique needs. Do you have any test frameworks or guidelines to follow to make a reliable and valid test? Most teachers are going to have to write their own ... and I, for one, do not want to spend so much time writing tests that my marriage falls apart and my children forget who I am ;)

I realize these are big questions and I appreciate any and all answers you can provide. Again, thank you for your time!!!
3.

2011-04-11
Elizabeth Brownell
 

The
Grade
Doctor
says:


1. Do you have a model of lesson plans/ tests/ projects to look at for ideas on how to
implement a test-only grading system? ( I teach middle school Social Studies)

I do not advocate a “test-only grading system;” I believe we should have variety in our
assessment plans and make use of tests, performance assessments and conversation to
develop the body of evidence for each student that is the basis for determining grades.

I do not have models but I suggest you look at Wiggins and McTighe’s “Understanding by
Design” materials and Damian Cooper’s “Talk about Assessment“ books.

2. How do you incorporate learning styles into your tests so that all students’ strengths
are recognized in the grading process?

By having variety in your summative assessments not just paper and pencil tests that are
heavy on selected response questions.

3. Do you have any examples of tests that are differentiated?

No but there are many books available with lots of examples. Start by looking at books
written or co-authored by Carol Ann Tomlinson.

4. I use the tests that came with our textbook. WE are now to re-write these tests,
making one set that focuses only on the state GLCEs and another for re-takes. I believe
that we will also need to write a 3rd test so that special education students have a test that
accommodates their unique needs.

I believe teachers should never have relied on tests that came with textbooks. Every
teacher should be assessment literate and able to develop quality assessments. I think it is
quite reasonable that you develop assessment ‘banks’ so that you have readily available
assessments for retakes and differentiation. When I say ‘you” I do not mean ‘you’ singular.
I mean ‘you’ plural; it requires teachers to work collaboratively so that the burden is
shared.

Do you have any test frameworks or guidelines to follow to make a reliable and valid test?

See books by Wiggins and McTighe, Cooper and Stiggins.

Most teachers are going to have to write their own ... and I, for one, do not want to spend
so much time writing tests that my marriage falls apart and my children forget who I am.

I certainly do not want that to happen but as a teacher I wrote almost all the assessments
for my students and I believe that is what all teachers should be doing but as a shared, not
an individual, responsibility.

 

 

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