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Melanie Dean

SED 335 Assessment

Philosophy of Assessment
Assessment is a technique used to evaluate a students
understanding of content that was learned, as well as used to help
prepare students for what is to come next. Assessment is something
that is important for both the students and also the teacher because
teachers can utilize results from assessments in order to determine
which subject areas their students are strong or weak in. The main
purpose of assessments is to measure students learning and to set
and meet the goals of the students. The assessments must also be
well designed and align to the curriculum standards, Common Core or
PA Keys. Living in the 21st century, assessment is always changing so
its important for teachers to adapt and change their assessments to
effectively meet the unique needs of all their students.
As a teacher of the 21st century, I must be familiar with 21st
century skills when designing assessments for my students. 21st
century skills are very crucial in order for students to succeed and they
include critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, leadership,
research skills and many others. One reason why these skills are so
imperative to student success is because they can be utilized inside
and outside the classroom. One way to enhance these skills is to use
questioning strategies that elicit short answer responses, and not
simply yes or no responses. For example, when doing a formative or
summative assessment that involves questioning, the teacher could
ask a question such as What are the three forms of water? instead of
Can someone tell me if there are three forms of water? Another way
21st century teaching skills can be addressed is through project-based
learning. This is when students learn new skills and are able to then
apply those skills to a task. Problem solving would be one way to
relate 21st century skills with project-based learning.
Curriculum-based assessment is a type of assessment that
teachers use to determine what his/her students comprehend and are
taking away from the lessons. We use the PA Common Core Standards
in Pennsylvania and these include Language Arts, Mathematics,
Science, and Social Studies in the primary grades. In any classroom,
teachers will have students whom have a harder time reaching all of

the standards taught. In these cases, RTII may be needed. RTII
(Response to Intervention Instruction) is a research-based strategy that
is a great option for any students whom may be struggling or may be
behind in the learning process. The RTII process is broken up into three
tiers: tertiary, secondary, and primary, with primary containing the
largest group of students in a typical classroom. These tiers are where
the students in a classroom will fall and it helps the teachers determine
which students are in need of more one-on-one instruction, small group
instruction, or if they are benefiting from regular classroom instruction.
In addition, any students whom may be in need of assistance, I will be
sure to make adaptions to my assessments. For example, allowing a
student to take more time on an assessment or providing larger print
for a visually impaired student are both ways I will adapt my
assessments for students with exceptional needs.
Teachers can best measure their students learning progress by
administering multiple types of assessments including: formal
formative, formative, summative, benchmark, and diagnostic. A
formative assessment is given during the learning process and can be
either formal or informal in format. For example, questioning
strategies, observations, and class discussions are all types of
formative assessments. Summative assessments are given after the
learning process, unit, chapter, or at the end of the year. These types
of assessments are always formal in format. For example, PSSAs, SATs,
and Keystones are all summative assessment options. In addition to
these types of assessments, I will give benchmark assessments in my
classroom if needed in order to track and monitor the progress of my
students in a certain subject or on a certain topic. A benchmark
assessment is a short test that is given periodically that sets a goal
with the students, is followed by instruction, and then is given again to
monitor progress. I also will utilize diagnostic assessments if I notice a
problem or issue with one of my students or if I notice a student falling
behind academically. Diagnostic assessments are used to diagnose
strengths and weaknesses of students, so teachers can see what
he/she needs to work on with individual students. I will use it to
diagnose the issue with my student so therefore I can work with
him/her to help promote success in that area. Aside from tests and
quizzes, I will assess my students through projects, group and partner
work, and presentations. Also I will employ different methods by
utilizing technology through iPads with educational apps.

As a teacher, I plan to grade my students in a variety of different
ways and always be sure my students know how they are being
evaluated. I will be sure to have rubrics for all of my assignments so
students know what is expected of them on an assignment or project.
Also, my students will keep data-notebooks so they can track their own
grades as well and monitor their individual progress. Data-notebooks
are great because they allow for students to write down how they
specifically met a standard or requirement and list reasons why or how
they did so. I will place the utmost importance on my grading
practices because grades are so influential in a students academic
career. They determine if students pass or fail a class or even entire
grade levels, so all teachers should take them very seriously. Though I
will place more importance on academic assignments, I will also place
importance on non-academic portions such as attendance, behavior,
and class participation. I believe those aspects are just as important
as academics because they help to shape a students entire
personality in their academic career.
Overall I feel that assessment is a very important tool in schools
today. I plan to always grade fairly and show my students exactly what
is expected of them on all academic assignments. My students will
also keep data-notebooks in the classroom and I will place importance
on both academic and nonacademic aspects in my curriculum. I will
effectively use the RTII process if I see a student struggling and I will
assess my students in a variety of ways and in a variety of different
formats. My assessments will align with the PA Common Core
Standards and also will relate to the 21st century skills in the
classroom. In the end, the most important part of teaching is the
success of the students so that is, and will always be, my primary goal.
Keeping the students and the students parents in mind when
designing assessments will help teachers, like myself, keep the end
goal in mind and make the entire process immensely simpler. With the
primary goal being the students, making adaptations may be
necessary with some students so I will be more than happy to make
any adaptions needed so that all of my students are able to succeed to
the fullest of their potential inside and outside of the classroom.