Assessment is a process that educators go through to measure

and determine if the students have demonstrated mastery of the
material they are learning. The teacher determines if all of the
students have met the goals and objectives of the lesson and if they
did not, educators have the resources to change their instruction to
help those students. Assessment also helps educators to determine if
they are assessing exactly what they have taught and how best to
assess the students. Since society is different today than it was in the
past, we cannot expect teaching and assessment to remain the same
either, as it would not benefit our students as they strive to be
productive members of society. As philosopher John Dewey said, “ If we
teach today as we taught yesterday, then we would rob our children of
tomorrow” (Goodreads).
In order to succeed in our 21st century society, students not only
have to have textbook knowledge in subjects such as math, science,
English, etc. to help them specialize in a career, we also need to teach
them critical skills that will help them to function in society no matter
what career path they choose. The critical skills students need include;
critical thinking and problem solving skills, collaboration and
communicative skills, the ability to adapt to different situations, ability
to accessing and analyzing information, and imagination and creativity.
As a teacher I will strive to include development of all these skills in my
students, however, as a teacher I can only do so much in developing

these skills, much development goes on outside of the classroom as
well. Since students need skills like critical thinking and problem
solving skills, open-ended questions on tests and essays are the best
way to assess students on these skills and the information. These
types of assessments allow teachers to identify what the students
actually know without providing them with the answer as a choice.
The teacher can see what the student is able to recall from class and
their studying process and this type of assessment also allows students
to practice different writing styles; persuasion, expository, descriptive,
and narrative, although these types of writing tend to be
communication styles in an English class, they can be used in lab
reports, math questions that ask students to explain their answers, and
in reports for an Social Studies Class. In the 21st century classroom, all
teachers are required to incorporate math and literature in all subject
matter based on Common Core Standards requirements, having
assessments where students have to rely on different styles of writing
is a good start to achieving this goal.
Educators must use a variety of assessments to assess students
in all skill and academic areas in order to gain evidence of mastery of
material and concepts. They can determine through documentation
and evidence in what areas a student is strong in and where they need
additional or differentiated instruction in. All students are different,
they have different interests, different abilities, and should be assessed

in different ways as well. When an educator uses many methods of
assessments, they can see where the students demonstrate their
knowledge best. Some students do well verbally, essay formats, tests,
or projects, and by knowing your students and differentiating how you
have them demonstrate their knowledge, it can go a long way with
student success in the classroom.
Assessments can be both formative and summative in the
classroom and teachers need to know how to appropriately use the
different assessments in order to benefit their students. Formative
assessments are low stakes assessments that mainly serve as
documentation and observation tools to understand where students
are in mastering the objectives and meeting the standards set forth in
the classroom. Students should be made aware of the objectives (such
as having them posted in the classroom) so that they are made aware
of what the teacher’s expectations are and what they will be required
to do, having students read the objectives can be very effective as
well. Another important aspect of formative assessment is the
importance of providing feedback to the students about areas of
success and where they need additional assistance. Assessments such
as exit slips, self-assessments, questioning, discussion, amongst others
are assessments I would use in my classroom as an educator. Exit slips
and self-assessments will allow students to reflect on their own
learning and the class as a whole; students can think critically about

what they understand from the lesson, do not understand from the
lesson, what important parts were in the lesson, and what they would
like to learn more about. Another assessment of questioning during the
lesson will be effective because, I will be able to determine right away
what they know and do not know and can adjust my instruction
immediately and provide my students with meaningful and productive
feedback. Finally, I feel assessments such as class discussions or thinkpair-share will benefit students in the classroom because they involve
collaboration and allow students to learn from each other. If a student
is unsure about a particular aspect of a subject, the other students can
provide them with needed information and help them to learn, this
helps with collaboration and communication skills in the classroom.
Summative assessments on the other hand are high stakes
assessments that are used to measure student growth and
achievement in the classroom, and are used to ensure learning goals
have been met in all aspects of learning. Summative assessments can
be used at the end of the term or chapter, such as a unit or chapter
test, project, or presentation. These types of assessments can also be
referred to as standards based assessments, because they relate to
the standards and objectives of the course or class. Summative
assessments can also be statewide tests such as the PSSAs, which
provide no feedback about student progress or areas of weakness until
it is too late for their teacher to adjust instruction. Summative

assessment is not used to help improve instruction; it is used solely to
provide information on student achievement. As I stated earlier all
students are different so they should be assessed differently, if one
way does not work for a student, another way must be presented to
the student until the teacher finds a way that works for the student. I
would provide different ways for my students to demonstrate mastery
of concepts; paper and pencil tests, presentations, performance based
assessments, projects, and essays.
The final type of assessment is CBAs, which stands for
Curriculum Based Assessments. These assessments are used to
“determine how students are progressing in basic academic areas such
as math, reading, writing, and spelling.” The assessment is based on
the curriculum the student is in the process of mastering whether it is
based on the student’s grade level or if it is adapted based on a
student’s individual needs. Curriculum based assessments can be
teacher created or found in the back of the textbook provided by the
testing company. Curriculum based assessments will show me as the
teacher not only if my students have mastered the curriculum set forth
by the district but also how they demonstrated their mastery of the
subjects presented. I will be able to take that data and evidence and
use it to determine and predict future success in my students. It will
also allow me to monitor and adjust my own teaching style and
strategies to better reach my students’ needs.

Project-based learning is a process in which the students take an
active role in their own learning. They investigate, collect and analyze
data, and solve complex questions. Through project based learning
students acquire critical skills they will need for life no matter what
career path they take, as mentioned earlier, these skills include critical
thinking skills, communication, collaboration, and creativity/innovation
also known as ISTE standards. They will also strive and inquire to
answer a driving/open-ended question provided by the teacher in
which they must do research and use resources to find an answer to.
Through Project-based learning and assessments students gain
knowledge and critical skills to help them function in society; it makes
students critical thinkers and effective problem solvers. Students will
be assessed on their ability to collaborate with other students to figure
out the answer to the driving question, their effort and ability to stay
on task with the assignment, and their ability to demonstrate the use
of critical skills that students need to master that were stated above.
My job as the teacher will be to provide timely and effective feedback
which will help guide the students on how they are doing with the
learning and where to go for there and also to track progress with a
variety of effective apps.
Students not only need differentiated assessments based on
learning styles and interests, there are also specific requirements for
adapting tests and assignments for special needs students or ELL

students illustrated in their IEPs. I would of course by law follow my
students’ IEPs and provide my ELL students with adaptations to their
assessments based on their abilities. To provide examples of
accommodations for students, I chose a student who has Asperger’s
Syndrome and another student who is and English Language Learner
(ELL). Students with Asperger’s Syndrome are very bright based on my
observations; however, they act out frequently preventing them from
effectively completing work and accomplishing the objectives in the
classroom. There are many accommodations that can be made for a
student with Asperger’s Syndrome in the classroom, however for
testing and assessment purposes, I found two that would be very
beneficial for students, breaking down assignments and tasks into
smaller parts so they are not so overwhelming for the students and
also providing the students more time to complete an assignment or
test so that it is not so overwhelming for them as well. As for how I
would accommodate for beginning/Emergent ELL students, I would
provide them with images on the assessments to choose from instead
of lengthy responses, which could be overwhelming. I would also have
the students read the questions and answers aloud (if I am working
one on one with a student) and helping them with the reading as
necessary. I did an observation in an ELL classroom where a student
had a minor form of autism. The teacher made both of these
accommodations plus taking one answer away for every multiple-

choice question. These accommodations worked quite well for the
student in question.
RTII stands for Response to Intervention, the program stands for
the idea that all students can learn given the right instruction and
interventions. The RTII model helps me as an educator identify at risk
students and meet the needs of individual students who need
accommodations and modifications in order to meet the objectives of
the class. The model consists of three tiers; tier 1: whole class
instruction (80% of students), tier 2: small group instruction (15% of
students), and tier 3: individual instruction geared specifically towards
individualized instruction and attention (5% of students). I will be able
to determine and group my students where their needs and abilities
are and provide the necessary instructional strategies and attention
that will help them reach the goals of the class. The process of RTII
involves grouping and regrouping students based on their process
towards the learning goals. The students in Tier 1 understand the
material and need little to no additional instruction before completing
the assignment or project assigned to demonstrate understanding of
the concepts. Students in tier 2 meet in small groups to receive
additional instruction and explanation of material, the material will be
presented in a new way that will help the students to understand and
the students may quickly move to tier 1. Tier 3 students however, are
the student(s) the teacher needs to focus on completely and provide

individualized attention and support. These students generally are
students with special needs and have IEPS to help guide teacher
instruction in the classroom.
Benchmark and diagnostic assessments are utilized in the
classroom to provide the teacher with information on students that
need additional supports. Diagnostic assessments are for me as the
teacher to assess my students’ strengths and weaknesses in the
classroom and to implement the correct instructional strategies to help
the students improve. A benchmark assessment is used to determine
if the newly implemented strategies are working to help student
achievement, if it is determined the strategies have not had the
desired effect, new strategies will be implemented and another
benchmark will be given 4-6 weeks after implementation to determine
if they have worked. This process is done until students have achieved
the desired results with the new strategies.
When deciding how to weigh grades in a class, teachers need to
think about the different aspects of a typical classroom day. Students
are not just being observed and assessed on academic achievement
alone, but also behaviors they exhibit during the day such as following
directions, staying on task, participation, etc. A teacher needs to
decide over the course of they year, half year, or nine weeks what
assignments there will be, how often/many there will be of that item,
the number of points they want to assign to the item, and how many

points of the overall grade they want the assignment to encompass.
Teachers need to determine the importance of assignments or
behaviors over others and therefore weigh them more or less
accordingly. An example of weighing grades accurately is when I
created an assignment in my class with grades. I assigned for example
quizzes for my students 9 for a nine week period, the quizzes were 30
points each and resulted in 270 points for the entire nine weeks. A unit
test or midterm grade were only worth 80 or 100 points respectively
out of the entire nine weeks, which shows the students, that the
quizzes can help boost a grade if they did not do very well on a bigger
exam. I do not want my students to feel hopeless and defeated if they
have a bad testing day on a unit test for example and that other
grades they had over the nine-week period and grades yet to come
can still help.
I assigned behaviors such as participation, having tests signed,
paying attention, considerably less points than academic grades
because students should be behaving in class. Letting the students
know that you are assigning any points to the behaviors will make
them behave well, but not telling them how many points are
associated will have them behaving as though their behavior is worth
half their grade while it might only be worth 5 points.
I feel that effective 21st century classrooms all have similar
elements associated with them that allow them to work. A teacher that

has classroom management skills can make or break his/her
classroom. An educator needs to provide their students with strict
expectations and rules of the classroom that the very beginning of the
year and stick with the consequences for behaving or misbehaving. I
feel an important element is following through with consequences,
because if a teacher does not, the students will test the limits and try
to get away with as much as possible. Teachers not only have to be
clear on expectations for behaviors but also for assignments, which
can be done by providing a detailed rubric, and other work, which can
also just be going over the objectives of the lesson on what the
students will learn. Teachers and students both need to be flexible and
adaptable in the classroom in order to work with changes that need
made to the lesson or activity. Teachers should have a “bag” of
multiple effective teaching strategies in order to adjust and adapt to
student learning needs, if one thing does not work another strategy
may work for the student. Clear expectations, flexibility, adaptability,
effective classroom management, and having multiple effective
strategies at hand, are what I feel makes an effective 21st century
classroom.
Finally, two research based trends in education that influence
assessment are, “Classroom assessments of students growth can be
used to evaluate teachers” (Popham) and an article about
differentiating instruction and how learning has differed from the 20th

century (Price). The article stating that learning has changed since the
20th century deals with finding new ways to assess students rather
than strictly paper and pencil testing and how new assessments and
strategies can shed new light on the students’ strengths and
weaknesses in the classroom and how the teacher can accommodate
for the students. The article walks educators through six effective
assessment strategies that are not strict paper and pencil tests and
what makes the strategies effective. The strategies highlighted in the
article are; rubrics, performance-based assessments, portfolios,
student self-assessments, peer-assessments, and Student response
systems. Many of these strategies deal with the students thinking
critically about and evaluating their own learning. This allows the
teacher to see the students’ thought processes as to what they felt
they learned and how they felt they learned it.
The other article about evaluating teachers based on students’
growth on tests talks about 2009 Race to the Top and how schools
were offered money to the aggressively reformed their schools for the
better. In order to improve their schools and students scores on
standardized tests, a requirement was that teachers were evaluated
more harshly than in the past based on how students performed.
Teachers were evaluated based upon how they helped support the
success and growth of the students based on how effective the
teaching strategies they chose to employ in the classroom were. The

validity and credibility of the assessments teachers were using were
also evaluated.
Assessment is a powerful tool in the classroom for educators to
assess student achievement and knowledge. Teachers need to be able
to accommodate and adjust instructional strategies in order to make
sure all students are able to succeed and reach learning goals and
objectives set forth by the curriculum and course. Through different
modes of assessment educators can determine where their students’
abilities lie and can best develop strategies that can used to help this
students reach their fullest potential in the classroom.

Work Cited

"A Quote by John Dewey." Goodreads. Web. 28 Apr. 2015. 
<http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/833916­if­we­teach­today­s­students­
as­we­taught­yesterday­s­we>.
Popham, James W. "Can Classroom Assessments of Student Growth 
Be Credibly Used to Evaluate Teachers?" Ncte.org. 1 Jan. 2013. Web. 28 
Apr. 2015.
Price, Jon K., Elizabeth Pierson, and Daniel Light. "Using Classroom 
Assessment to Promote 21 St Century Learning in Emerging Market 
Countries." Cct.edc.org. 1 Jan. 2011. Web. 28 Apr. 2015.