21 Aug 2014
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Assessment Literacy Gives HSD Teachers New Outlook on Teaching

At Tuesdays HSD Board of Education meeting, Hazelwood School District teachers spoke about how assessment literacy is incorporated into student's every day learning.

Assessment Literacy Gives HSD Teachers New Outlook on Teaching

Hazelwood School District (HSD) teachers a part of the district's assessment literacy committee gave an update at Tuesday's board of education meeting about how the strategy is changing HSD classrooms.

Assessment Literacy Strategy involves how students comprehend the way teachers assess (grade) them on classwork and projects. The thought is that if a child can understand how they will be graded on coursework, they can better understand how to complete the coursework, as well as identify areas of weakness in learning.

At the meeting teachers gave examples of assessment literacy sheets used in classrooms settings, as well how students self-access learning goals.

"Students are now able to tell me what they're learning goals are and what they need to work on," said Dannah Steele, a 4th grade teacher at Twillman Elementary."

HSD Board of Education member Brenda Youngblood asked what percentage of students have a positive outlook on the assessment literacy program as well as how the teachers see reeling those students that do not like the program.

"I think all students enjoy being involved in their own learning," said Robyn Gray, a West High School Math teacher, who also said at least 80 to 90 percent of students at the high school level enjoy assessment literacy. "One of the things that we can do as teachers is teach them what they are good at.

"Once they start seeing that they are good at quite a few things, that persistence in wanting to be successful keeps them going."

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One area Yougblood identified through questioning that needs work is parent involvement in the program. She asked if parents are brought in on the program and if they are giving feedback.

"We have a monthly sheet that we send with our students to bring home and show their parents the levels of work," Gray said. "It outlines our main objectives and targets so I hope the parents are seeing them, but I haven't gotten any feedback."

Assessment Literacy has been around in the news going back to 2009, but much long in education circles. For a while the question was whether it was a real technique or a fad that would eventually fade, but within HSD and around the nation it appears to have held its ground.

The teachers expressed students have monthly assessments that track learning progress with specific learning targets they should know for end of year exams.

Click here to see more about assessment literacy within the Hazelwood School District.

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