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Beyond the Stacks
Resources & News for High School Educators from your teacher-librarian
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PBL: What Does It Take for a Project to Be "Authentic"?

PBL: What Does It Take for a Project to Be "Authentic"? | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
John Larmer of the Buck Institute for Education looks at the criteria determining whether or not project based learning is authentic, and how important this distinction might be.
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53 Ways to Check for Understanding

53 Ways to Check for Understanding | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it

"This big, printable list of assessment strategies will help you identify new ways to check for understanding and verify what students have learned. Read more about these strategies in the associated post: "Dipsticks: Efficient Ways to Check for Understanding. http://www.edutopia.org/blog/dipsticks-to-check-for-understanding-todd-finley "

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What If Tests Were Only Used for Guidance, Not Consequences?

What If Tests Were Only Used for Guidance, Not Consequences? | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
As opposition to testing rises nationally, the NAEP offers a sharp contrast: it provides insight into K-12 education without imposing consequences on anyone.
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In 2014, One Size Didn't Fit All

In 2014, One Size Didn't Fit All | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
Kids were fed an alphabet soup of uniform standards and tests, and no one was happy about it.
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Response: 'The Grading System We Need to Have'

Response: 'The Grading System We Need to Have' | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it

Larry Ferlazzo and Rick Wormeli explore the question of what grades should do for students and teachers.

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Turnitin - New Grading Forms in Turnitin

Turnitin - New Grading Forms in Turnitin | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
Turnitin’s new Grading Forms are simple rubrics that allow an instructor to give free-form feedback and scores for students broken out across a list of criteria.
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Educational Leadership:Informative Assessment:The Best Value in Formative Assessment

Educational Leadership:Informative Assessment:The Best Value in Formative Assessment | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it

by Stephen Chappuis and Jan Chappuis


"Ready-made benchmark tests cannot substitute for day-to-day formative assessment conducted by assessment-literate teachers.


Definitions of formative assessment abound, resulting in multiple and sometimes conflicting understandings. And in part because of these varying definitions and views, practices labeled as formative assessment in schools today vary widely."

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Courageous Conversation: Formative Assessment and Grading

"With all the education action around Standards-Based Instruction,Understanding By Design, Assessment for Learning, Grading for Learning,Project-Based Learning, Competency-Based Instruction and more, we need to have a frank conversation about formative assessment and grading. This may be a difficult conversation to have."

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Types of Feedback and Their Purposes

Types of Feedback and Their Purposes | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it

This ASCD book review/highlight features excerpts from Chapter 2 of Susan M. Brookhart's book, "How to Give Effective Feedback to Your Students." The chapter is titled "Types of Feedback and Their Purposes," and includes specific examples of good, well-timed feedback on assessments.

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Our View: Public school rankings don't make the grade | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Our View: Public school rankings don't make the grade | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
The initiative stigmatizes lower-scoring schools but gives them few resources to fix what's wrong.
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Are ePortfolios Still Relevant for Today's Students

Are ePortfolios Still Relevant for Today's Students | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it

EmergingEdTech blogger Elyse Hartman writes that we don't hear about ePortfolios as much as we used to because they've become standard practice.

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From Grading to Helping Students: A Mind Hack - ProfHacker - The Chronicle of Higher Education

From Grading to Helping Students: A Mind Hack - ProfHacker - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
Suggestions about how to make grading less painful. Not pain-free, but still.
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State High School Exit Exams: A Policy in Transition, by Shelby McIntosh at the Center on Education Policy

State High School Exit Exams: A Policy in Transition, by Shelby McIntosh at the Center on Education Policy | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it

"CEP’s 11th annual report on state high school exit exams finds that states are embracing higher standards on their exit exams, which means schools and students will feel the impact. The report, based on data collected from state education department personnel in 45 states, discusses the present status of state exit exam policies, the future of these policies as states implement the Common Core State Standards and common assessments, and lessons that can be learned from states’ past experiences with implementing new exit exam policies." 

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How Should We Measure Student Learning? Five Keys to Comprehensive Assessment

How Should We Measure Student Learning? Five Keys to Comprehensive Assessment | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
Stanford professor Linda Darling-Hammond shares how using well-crafted formative and performance assessments, setting meaningful goals, and giving students ownership over the process can powerfully affect teaching and learning.
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The Inconvenient Truth About Assessment

The Inconvenient Truth About Assessment | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
Assessments can obscure more than they reveal. If the assessment is precisely aligned to a given standard, and that standard isn’t properly understood by both the teacher and assessment designer, and there isn’t a common language between students, teacher, assessment designer, and curriculum developers about content and its implications, there is significant “noise” in data that can mislead those wishing to use the data, and disrupt any effort towards data-based instruction.
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Free Digital Formative Assessment Tools: Important Thoughts Before Implementing | Tech Learning

Free Digital Formative Assessment Tools: Important Thoughts Before Implementing | Tech Learning | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it

Several mobile apps and tools that can be used for formative assessments are reviewed and considered here, including Kahoot, Infuse Learning, Answer Garden, Quizlet and Socrative.

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Dipsticks: Efficient Ways to Check for Understanding

Dipsticks: Efficient Ways to Check for Understanding | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
Through alternative formative assessment, teachers can check for student understanding without falling back on the tedious or intimidating pop quiz.
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Use GRASPS to design Performance Assessment tasks

Heather Perkinson's insight:

Ken Templeton, with The Great Schools Partnership here in Maine, shared this useful graphic organizer for designing assessments on the #edchatME Twitter chat this evening (go to Twitter and type in that hashtag to scroll through the whole chat if you missed it). It's adapted from Grant, Wiggins & McTighe's Understanding By Design (2004). 

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What are assessment capable learners?

What are assessment capable learners? | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it

“In education, assessment is at its best when it is ongoing and most difficult to distinguish from the teaching that is occurring.” — Changing the Way you Teach, Improving the Way Students Learn, published by ASCD (2009)"

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The Best Resources On Grading Practices

The Best Resources On Grading Practices | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it

From Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day blog, lists of links about performance assessment, formative assessment, standardized tests, designing effective assessments and alternatives to traditional assessments.

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Formative Assessment That Truly Informs Instruction

Formative Assessment That Truly Informs Instruction | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
Formative Assessment That Truly Informs Instruction, NCTE October 2013
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Maine schools learn how they rate in new A-F grading system | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Maine schools learn how they rate in new A-F grading system | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it

The grades are out and that sound you just heard was the morale of 75% of Maine's educators plummeting.  Educators in this state are already feeling besieged by shrinking budgets and students who show up for school with less of what they need to prepare them for success.  The governor has created an unfair system for "grading" our schools and the results came out this afternoon.  75% of our schools got a C or lower. Links in this article take you directly to the "report cards."

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New Test for Computers: Grading Essays at College Level

New Test for Computers: Grading Essays at College Level | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
A system developed by a joint venture between Harvard and M.I.T. uses artificial intelligence to assess student papers and short written answers, freeing instructors for other tasks.
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Cool Tools for 21st Century Learners: Flubaroo: Automated Google Docs Self-Grading Quizzes

Cool Tools for 21st Century Learners: Flubaroo: Automated Google Docs Self-Grading Quizzes | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it

Math teacher Jason Phelps shared this tool with me and it is ridiculously easy to use with Google Forms.  You certainly can't use it for every assessment but it will make your life easier, it's well worth spending a little time learning how to use it.

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SAT reading scores hit a four-decade low

SAT reading scores hit a four-decade low | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it

Nationwide SAT reading scores for the class of 2012 are lower than ever--but more students than ever are taking the SAT.

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