Thursday, June 20, 2013

Assessment, Collaboration and Instruction

posted by: Michelle Roland-Semenchuck [Instructional Consultant]
Damian Cooper, in Talk About Assessment, discusses how “assessment and instruction are inseparable”. As we are aware, one purpose of assessment is for educators to reflect on the information obtained from the assessment and then make the necessary adjustments to instruction in the classroom. Instruction becomes stronger when we have conversations regarding assessment. A positive outcome to reviewing assessment results as a group is the opportunity to collaborate with other teachers as well as ancillary professionals to plan for revisions in classroom instruction.  This blog post illustrates an example of the collaborative process based on the results of the initial EYE (Early Years Assessment) at Douglas Park School.
When our Student Achievement team met with the Pre-K and Kindergarten teachers in December 2012 to review the EYE data, we discussed the possibility of working together and flexibly grouping the students in these classes to work on gross motor skills. A subsequent planning meeting was held including Esther Maerrs and Marnie Hubbard (Pre-K teachers), Diana McDowell (Kindergarten teacher), Susan Getz (Pre-K Inclusion teacher), Krista Tameling (Occupational Therapist), and Sharia Warnecke, Terry Mario, and Michele Roland Semenchuck (Instructional Consultants). Following this meeting, Krista Tameling designed five stations for the students to work through focusing on a variety of gross motor skills. The implementation of the “Gross Motor Collaboration Event” occurred over a number of days, as we combined the Pre-K and Kindergarten classes and flexibly grouped the students.  Each station was led by one of the adults involved allowing the other adults to observe and learn the activities to be practiced in the classroom.  We also used a variety of areas in the school  to demonstrate the versatile use of space.
Gross Motor Collage
Collaboration allowed for discussion of the data results and the exploration of instructional options. Each member of the group was able to share their insights into the data and contribute to the planning process. Collaboration allowed multiple perspectives to contribute to the planning of richer learning experiences for students.  By implementing a collaborative approach to both assessment and instruction, we were able to learn from each other professionally and support student learning in the area of gross motor skills.
I encourage you to consider the following question: How can you create an on-going process in your school where collaboration becomes an integral part of assessment and instruction?

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