Determine Assessment Evidence
How will I know that students have achieved the desired results? What will we accept as evidence of student understanding and their ability to use (transfer) their learning in new situations? How will we evaluate student performance in fair and consistent ways?
Let's think about how we can determine assessment evidence with the Units of Study for Reading.
You will want to think about how you can collect notes and record milestones for each of your students as readers. You want to have routines and systems in place for getting to know each of your readers.
Ways to Collect Evidence
Assessment at the Start of the Year
When you begin the year, I encourage you to lay out your curriculum and school calendar and plan an assessment schedule, especially those assessments that will stretch across a whole unit or multiple units of study.
Let's talk about getting to know your readers at the start of the year.
Here are some ways to assess your students at the start of the year:
As you plan your first unit...
Last year's reading levels can give you a great place to start when making instructional decisions. As you look at your class' reading levels and you are noticing that they are reading significantly below grade level for the beginning of the year, then you might want to look in the IF...THEN...Curriculum for a different unit to start with as an extension to Unit 1. Here's an example:
As you can see, I have 3 options for my 2nd graders:
Well, I need to go back to student data. What skills did majority of my students lack that I need to teach and coach into?
After analyzing my student data so more...this is what I noticed:
My students' fluency and decoding scores were low. They need to practice strategies for solving words and for reading smoothly and quickly. So I have decided to do a couple of weeks of the unit called "Word Detectives Use All They Know to Solve Words" before I launch into the Unit 1 spiral.
What do you expect students to learn by the end of the unit? Begin with the end in mind. There are 3 stages to the Backwards Mapping design.
Stage 1: Identify desired results
Stage 2: Determine assessment evidence
Stage 3: Plan learning experiences and instruction
I found a great Universal Design document that will walk you through these 3 stages in more detail. Please click on the document below to access the document.
Now for the 3 ways you can use the Backwards Mapping approach to planning your units of study.
Quick Tip # 1:
Read the section in the spiral called "Welcome to the Unit." Or if you are planning an If/Then unit, read the section called "Rationale/Introduction. This will give you an overview or sneak peak into the unit you are about to embark on. It will walk you through:
- what to expect
- why this unit is important
- provide a overview of the unit
- how you are meeting Common Core State Standards
- how to get ready and gather materials for the unit
- a summary of each bend
- and ways to use assessment throughout the unit
I provided a picture below to show you what to pay attention to and what to flag as important when reading the Welcome to the Unit. I decided to model this using the 2nd grade writing unit of study called "Writing Gripping Fictional Stories with Meaning and Significance."
Here are 4 steps you can follow when reading the "Welcome to the Unit:"
1. Identify the big goals of the unit.
2. Highlight all the skills students should already know how to do that you can reinforce and review in conferring or small group work.
3. Flag examples of good writing strategies that you want to remember to teach or use in mini lessons, mid-workshop teaching, share, conferring or small group work.
4. Categorize each writing strategy using the writing checklist or rubric.
Quick Tip # 2:
Read the summary of the bends starting with the last bend.
Here are 4 steps you can follow when reading the summary of the bends:
1. Each summary begins with a bold statement which is the big learning target for that bend.
2. Take note of the main skills and strategies you will focus on in that particular bend.
3. Highlight the number of stories students are expected to write.
4. Flag about how long the bend should take.
Here is a picture of how I used these 4 steps as I read the summary of the bends for the 2nd grade unit of study called "Writing Gripping Stories with Meaning & Significance:"
Quick Tip # 3:
Read over the Welcome to the Unit with a focus on standards.
Here is a summary of important key steps you want to remember when reading over the standards:
1. Find at least 4 different color highlighters.
2. Highlight your grade level standards in one color.
3. Highlight any previous grade level standards in another color.
4. Highlight above grade level standards in a third color.
5. Highlight how the unit of study will support the standards OR what you will need to teach in order to help your students meet the standards.
I provided two pictures below of how I marked up the "Welcome to the Unit" section with a focus on learning and understanding the standards being addressed in this unit. The writing unit I used this time is 2nd grade's "Lessons from the Masters."
Here is the key of colors I used to highlight each part:
Orange is Grade Level Standards
Green is Previous Grade Level Standards
Pink is Above Grade Level Standards
Blue is How the Unit Supports the Standards or What I Need to Teach to Support the Standards