After our team of 23 individuals returned from the Dylan Wiliam presentation in Fresno we were "fired up." Teachers immediately began trying out various formative assessment strategies in their classrooms and reported great results. Two weeks after our event, 22 out of the 23 teachers, principals and D.O. staff voluntarily reconvened after school for two hours to discuss how we would message formative assessment practices to other OUSD staff. In addition, teachers enthusiastically shared their experiences and strategies with our group. Teachers volunteered to share their knowledge, strategies and experiences relative to formative assessment to other teachers during our site lead teacher trainings (K-8), grade level teacher trainings (K-8) and on site PLCs. The deeper dives into the meaning, and philosophy, of embedded formative assessment aligns beautifully with our embedded days and has provided opportunities to explore and experiment with formative assessment from new perspectives.

Following our reconvening after Fresno our teachers posted their reflections online. See the response from Cathy below:

I thoroughly enjoyed the professional discussion we had yesterday afternoon.  What an incredible group this is!  It feels like a true Teacher Learning Community.  Perhaps if we can continue to meet and have discussions such as this, we will become more proficient at them and be better able to facilitate similar conversations at our sites.

I feel like we have gained such incredible insight from our Fresno experience, and I want to find a way to share the highlights with our colleagues without intimidating them and making them feel like this is "just one more thing" to add to their already overflowing plates.

I loved Lisa's idea of modeling a formative assessment strategy during a staff meeting. I would love to try this, encourage teachers to try out the strategy in their classrooms, and then provide feedback in a Canvas discussion similar to this one.

One formative assessment activity Jeaneane and I are very interested in trying in our classroom is to write comments for 4 pieces of student work on separate pieces of paper and have the students try to match the comments with the work samples.  We comment all the time on our students' work in their math journals but don't give them time to read them and rework their problems.  An activity such as this could be the beginning of helping students realize the value of our comments.  It also helps us make the bridge to formative assessment rather than just comments that nobody reads.


As a potential next step to further integrate formative assessment practices into instruction we are considering purchasing Dylan Wiliam's 2-year formative assessment professional development series and taking a cohort of volunteers through the program. Thank you Ca Ed Partners for bringing us Dr. Wiliam!

 

 

 

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