How do you capture all of the learning that occurs during discussions, hands-on exploration and collaborative group work? When there is a written product… we know we can collect and correct (ugh)… but that’s not always my first choice. When I collect and correct too much, I lose the ability to catalog and analyze and make instructional decisions based on the evidence. Instead, my school bag gets heavy and my back sore!
Additionally, I found that the learning experiences going on did not always naturally end in a collectable product… so why force it? I often had students recording observations and new learnings in notebooks, which they would self and peer assess regularly. The answer to this debate for me was the formative assessment checklist. Here, I could keep track of my observations of students’ progress toward objectives on a clipboard. I’d add evidence from classwork, discussions, journal entries and conferences. I didn’t find it necessary to record for each student each day~ and therefore became much more effective at purposefully checking in with all students. I think this CCSS checklist link is a great place to start thinking about how checklists might support assessment in your classroom! You may find that you become more adept at communicating your learning objectives with students as a result. Many teachers have shared that unintended (but welcomed) consequence of beginning to use checklists in their classrooms.
How have you used checklists? Any other positive consequences we might notice?