PD: Reading and Assessment – Learning Together

As a community, we are studying reading and assessment.  Let me be clear.  We are studying the teaching of reading.  We are studying assessment. Our journey started with The Art of Questioning theme for our summer reading.

Kathy Bruyn, Caroline Peevy, Rhonda Mitchell, Michelle Perry, and Pam Lauer serve as lead-learners and committee c0-chairs for assessment and for reading.  Led by this team, the Faculty Staff Leadership Team (FSLT) committees met with in August to collaboratively build a common agenda (lesson plan) for these two study groups.

The agenda for today’s meeting sent via Google Doc is shown below.

Maryellen and I combined our slides for the assessment and reading presentations to tee-up these learning experiences.

For the overviews, I was charged with establishing common language around formative assessment and summative assessment.  Maryellen’s mission was to forward the importance and impact of reading as well as remind us and reinforce the message that we all teach reading.

Continuing with learner voice and choice, we asked each team to meet and choose a strand.  We need and want to have representation from each team in both the Assessment Cohort and the Reading Cohort.

Once settled in our smaller groups, the FSLT leaders asked teams to discuss their current practices and record what we are doing now in a common Google doc (Assessment and Reading) to share with other teams.

We take the last five minutes of each meeting to complete the Attendance and Feedback form so that we are doing the work in the meeting.  We model the “exit ticket” method using this form.

So, here are my questions and reflections:

I continue to worry about serving 90-100 faculty during this hour.  I  reflect on the faculty question Are we meeting just to have a meeting? Our Wednesday meetings offer job-embedded time for our community to learn. ALT and FSLT take the lead to teach – to facilitate learning.  How do we blend meeting together as a community and differentiating for individual needs and interests? We have a reading committee and an assessment committee.  What if we design learning episodes that differentiate and offer learner choice? What if our committee members collaborate to design paths and progress check points? How will we model mission and vision of learning?

I like that the agenda was a collaboration between FSLT and ALT.  I like that the agendas for reading and assessment had a common objective.  I wish that I could be in both meetings. I like that my teammates will be able to teach me what I missed in the reading meeting, and I can return the favor about the assessment meeting.

We can celebrate the active engagement and energy of the faculty.  We can celebrate our culture and that we can say I don’t know what formative assessment is and not feel judged.  I celebrate that we are a learning community where questions are encouraged.

We can grow by practicing the art of questioning.  When the learning experience does not appear to directly impact my work, how will I connect ideas to continue to learn and grow? Do I see myself as a teacher of reading? How can I take my assessment practices to the next level? Do I use assessment to alter my daily practice? Do I analyze assessment results to differentiate, enrich, and intervene? How might I teach the learners in my care to use assessment for learning? How can I contribute back to my team?…my grade level team? …my division level team? …my whole school team?

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