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Monday, 18 August 2014

Preparing for the New School Year #4

Planning for Students to Communicate Evidence of Learning to Others

After involving students in assessment it just makes sense to extend the process and have students collecting and communicating evidence of learning to others.

When students communicate with others about their learning, they come to understand what they have learned, what they need to learn, and what kind of support may be available to them. They receive feedback and recognition from themselves and from others that guide and support their learning. The process of preparing and presenting gives students an opportunity to construct their understanding and to help others make meaning of their learning.

Successful communication about learning includes:

  • Students collecting, selecting, and preparing evidence of learning in relation to criteria and standards
  • Students showing and demonstrating their learning using actual artifacts of their learning and showing how they have met the criteria and the standards

Active involvement by students means teachers' roles change from doingthe communicating to guiding the process and organizing students, who then show or demonstrate their own learning. 

Once students have collected evidence of their learning, a next step is showing their evidence to others since the presence of others influences what and how we present.

Students show the evidence to teachers. This process of communicating evidence of their learning assists learners to step back and reflect – to assess what they are doing and reexamine their current practices. Some of the ways learners present evidence of learning include sharing student work samples, professional portfolios, or postings online. 

Conferencing and Reporting – 2nd EditionWhen parents and others watch demonstrations of learning or attend student-parent conferences, it can help inform them about progress as well as serve to increase their appreciation of their son or daughter as a learner, his or her level of skill development, the breadth of the classroom and school curriculum, and the efforts needed on everyone’s behalf to make learning possible.In Conferencing and Reporting there are ten ways to involve students in communicating evidence of learning to others including parents and guardians as well as detailed information and reproducibles for student-parent-teacher conferences, IEP conferences and student-teacher conferences. This book will soon be available in French.

No matter what the format, it is important that learners identify what has been learned and what the evidence shows, then ask for specific feedback that can help them frame their own next learning steps.

Three Actions for Teachers:
  1. Read Chapter 8 of Making Classroom Assessment Work. Pay attention to the process of communicating evidence of student learning during the term and do the end-of-chapter assignment.
  2. Read Chapter 1 of Conferencing and Reporting with your colleagues. Adapt the ideas to use with your learners. Consider downloading free reproducibles here.
  3. View this video selection of a fifth grade class making work sample selections to show their parents during their at-home student-parent conference.  

Two Actions for Leaders:

  1. Read Chapter 8 in Leading the Way to Assessment for Learning: A Practical Guide. Pay particular attention to the section at the end titled, “Being a Leader.” There are ideas for supporting teachers and for ‘walking the talk’ yourself.
  2. Sign up to share a Professional Learning video with the colleagues you support on the topic of involving students, parents and teachers in Student-Involved Conferences.

If you need any assistance, please call our office and speak with our helpful staff. They will connect you to the resources and support that will best suit your learning needs.  

We hope you are enjoying these last days of August. The Leaders' Institute in Fredericton, NB, has been fabulous. We can’t wait to begin working with our colleagues in a variety of different locations over these last couple of weeks before school begins.

All our best,

Anne and Sandra

PS If you have questions or need help, just call 1.800.603.9888 or 250.703.2920.

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