Session 6: Debating and Responding to Assessment Issues

Materials you will need for this session: Post-it notes, 11 x 17 sheet of paper for each teacher,  tape, staplers, glue sticks to attach materials to the poster. You will need to bring the teacher time capsules that they turned in session 2 and constructed in HW 1.6. During session 7, teachers will have time and space to work on their Final Project so remind them to have the materials they need with them next week. 

LA 6.1 ( 20 min) Debating the Value of High Stakes Testing. You will need to identify two spaces one labeled Pro one labeled Con where the groups can post their final assertion. the activity is a modified debate. It involves the pro group making assertions and then the con group countering them. Then the con group makes assertions and the pro group counters. After this interchange, each group writes a post-it note summarizing their position. After they post their assertions, they will review the statements made by others. The time is short here. 

LA 6.2 (40 min) ESL Assessment Issues (Note that this is a layered assignment with analysis through the use of several different frameworks and documents. In addition to engaging teachers in examining assessment issues, this activity promotes higher-order thinking. Remember that teachers who are more cognitively complex are more willing and capable of taking up more complex practices--don't simplify such activities).

Teachers consider an assessment scenario for an EL using charts found by scrolling down below the scenario. They evaluate the reform test from HW 5.2 in terms of language. Working in partners, each pair considers a different student and report their results in the group. Together they make a list of suggestions for adjusting tests for ELs (as they finish the list check each group or ) have them turn in the list to you. (You could suggest they share the list with their grade or content level team).

LA 6.3 (60 min) Making My Deliberations Public Teachers create a poster including documents from their final project. We gave you reminder notes about this in the facilitator guide in 5 and in HW 5.3 we provided the details for creating the poster for the teachers. Teachers use post-it notes to provide feedback to at least three other posters. They should begin with others who teach similar grades or focus on similar content. Make sure you leave at least 5 minutes for them to review their feedback and make notes on how they want to adjust the final project.

If you are concerned that a group might not receive feedback you can assign teachers at least one poster to look out and you should note who you think will not get feedback and make certain you use post-it notes and provide feedback to them. 

LA 6.4 (20 min) Assessment Literacy for Alternative Assessment Teachers working together brainstorm a list of alternative assessments then choose two or three (they might only complete one). The group uses the Assessment Literacy Chart (Useful, Meaningful, Equitable) to examine how the assessments meet the criteria. They turn in one chart that records their deliberations.

AVG 6.1 (20 min) Assessing Student Development This is Session 8 segment 1 from the course videos. 

LA 6.5 (5 min) Final Project Review The purpose of this assignment is so that you can return their time capsules and they can quickly review the directions that will guide them in completing this portion of the final. 


During session 7, teachers will have time and space to work on their Final Project so remind them to have the materials they need with them next week. The links for the final projects are all located in LA 6.5.

In Session 7 they will participate in three kinds of activities. They report their learning from HW 6.2 through a shower of ideas. They will participate in an MSDLA for LA7.2 through LA 7.6. The final kind of activity will be space for them to work on their final project. They will need to remember to bring everything they need to work on their final project to session 7. Remind them the teachers that there are two presentations for the final projects.

FYI: Description of what an MSDLA is can be found in the booklet linked here. Teachers will construct one for their classrooms in the course on integrating content and language instruction.) The final category of activity in session 7 will be time to work on their final project. You will need to prepare a rotation chart for session 7. (The form for this is linked here and each student will need their own copy).

HW 6.1 Actions Taken in Learning. This is the regular reflection assignment. Next week we ask them to review all their reflections and then report on their best experience. 

HW 6.2 Examining Alignment and Coherence They review the assessment literacy chart and an article and use them to analyze three cases. Have the teachers select two cases they will review in homework (If you want you can ask them to have each person in their group do two of the three but make sure all three cases have two reviews). They report these in their groups in LA 7.1 and then participate in a shower of ideas. 

HW 6.3 Issues in Grading In this homework they focus on grading and in the next homework they focus on record keeping and tracking student learning. They will report their findings about grading and record keeping in LA 7.4 (Center 3) during session 7. This homework and Center 3 in LA 7.4 is the only place they talk about this difficult issue. So if you have space you may want during the debriefing for groups to share the best ideas with the entire group. 

HW 6.4 Tracking Student Learning This homework and HW 6.3 ask them to develop knowledge on grading and record keeping and they will share their ideas in LA 7.4 (Center 3). To complete this activity, you will ask them to confer with colleagues (or interview them) about how they record student learning, keep notes on student progress and other practices used to track student learning. You can suggest that they might propose this as a topic for a PLC meeting or team meeting this week. They might also introduce this topic in the teachers lounge or other informal group interaction. 

HW 6.5 Creating and Revising My Final Project. They work on their final project. They will have some time in Session 7 to get feedback from colleagues and the instructor. This is in LA 7.2 (Center 1). This is the teacher center where you will have space to review and provide guidance for their final projects. As you construct the rotation charts you will need to make sure that partners are in the same Center through assigning them on the Rotation Charts. The rotation chart should allow participants to work with everyone in the class across the time but will allow you to work with a specific group together in the teacher center. 

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