Start with assessment

From Assessment for Learning: A Teacher’s Story:

Hannah wanted to know her students better; that is, she wanted to learn more about their literacy and interests. She observed them, talked with them, and had them perform different literacy tasks. She started with assessment.

Teachers like Hannah are thinking about their work differently.

  • First, they assess or get to know the literacy needs and interests of each student in their classroom.
  • Then, they reflect on and interpret the information.
  • Next, they plan lessons based on the needs and interests of the students.
  • Finally, they teach according to the students’ needs and interests.

I love that this starts with assessment, not finishes. That is the key here. Don’t teach to the test, assess and then teach. As it says in the last line, “teach according to the student’s needs and interests” not your own, or the school’s, or the district’s….


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