Session 1: Understanding My Role as an Assessor

Developing Deeper Knowledge of Identification Processes and Assessment Tools

You will need the book, Assessing English language learners: Bridges to educational equity: Connecting academic langauge proficiency to student achievment, 2nd ed., by Margo Gottlieb in this session so bring the book to class and distribute copies to members. You will need to keep track of who has which book so that you can track who returns them (You might number the books and assign numbers to facilitate the process). 

As you organize teachers into groups for this class, you need to be mindful of the final project as you assign. Basically, as you design groups you are expecting them to function as PLCs on some occassions on others they can work on their final projects in partnerships and on others they just work as collaborative groups. As you assign groups be aware of the various ways they will work together in groups and partnerships. 

Teachers can work in partners on the final project if they work at the same grade (or contingent grades) and want to work on the same content standards. If they are not teachers but have other assignments in the school, you should cluster them together. If they are secondary, it would be helpful if they were at the same school level if they partner on the project (e.g. middle or high school and the same content area). There are also activities where they confer and critique the project work. For these times, if they are not working with a partner, you need to make sure that within their group they can pair with someone helpful. For example, in the collaboration partnerships, they should work with someone who is working at a similar grade level. If a secondary teacher, then the match is best with a similar content area. With an elementary teacher, proximity of grade level is important but subject matter could vary. If not a teacher, hopefully they can work with people at their level of school (secondary or elementary) or their employment focus.

LA 1.1 (15 min.) Exploring our Assessment Practices Begin by organizing the teachers into working groups of 3-5 people. Teachers can work jointly on their final project, so you may want to pair them in the groups so that it can facilitate their work on their final project (However this may be too difficult for this first session). You can think of these as PLC groups and cluster them thinking in that way as a grade level, administrative, or content team. 

For this activity each group will need a sheet of large chart paper and markers. They will create a chart with five columns (You might want to prepare the chart sheets for them). You only need to put abbreviations for each of the columns but we have included the descriptors here and in the directions. These are the headings: 

Another caution is the time allowance for this activity (it might be tight). 

LA 1.2. (30 min.) Considering a Learner's Assets.

Teachers will use two tools (Asset Graphic Organizer and the Inclusive Pedagogy Framework). These are tools they can use to gather information from an asset perspective on their own students. In this activity, they are asked to respond to the tool analyzing themselves as learners and then considering how their own education might have differed had their teachers taken an asset approach. Again 30 min. is a tight timeline. If time is short, you could interrupt during the time they are completing the IP Framework tool. It should take 5-10 min. to complete the activity after that. 

LA 1.3 (35 min.) Assessing for Placement

This is a complex, multi-task activity. Teachers watch a video, engage in a jig saw and discussion using the book, Assessing English language learners: Bridges to educational equity: Connecting academic langauge proficiency to student achievment, 2nd ed., by Margo Gottlieb. 

First the teachers watch a video. The directions say that you watch together and their is a note taking sheet. You could have them watch in their groups and skim the powerpoint noting particularly the legalities for assessment and the processes for assessing and placing ELs. 

Next, the group divides into pairs and using Gottlieb they review assessment resources and processes described on pages 32-38. Using a Resources for Gottlieb worksheet, each group reviews 3 resources and collects information then shares details with their group members. They then all look at resource 1.7 on page 38 and compare it to the other resources again making notes on the note taking sheet. 

Then they pull up the Hellman chart and make notes about the assessments listed that are of interest to them. They review the assessment and placement process used in their school in comparison to the guidance on the powerpoint and the Gottlieb resource 1.7 on page 38. They may not know what the process is in their school. If this is so, you might want them to do this for homework and then have a few minutes for them to report to their group their findings and how the school might improve and steps they will take to make this happen at the beginning of next time.

AVG 1.1 (20 min.) The Assessment Process

You are watching the first video segment in Assessment. Follow the link and then just start the video. The Active Viewing guide for this video is linked.

LA 1.4 (15 min.) Outlining and Applying the Assessment System

Teachers are asked to create an outline of the identification, placement, monitoring and exiting steps and processes based on the information they collected in LA 1.3. Since they are to focus on either an elementary or secondary student based on their teaching assignment, you may need to reconfigure the groups.

Watch for groups that may be struggling in creating the outline. Remind them to pull up the powerpoint which has a chart on one slide and/or pg. 38 of Gottlieb to help them.

The cases they will apply the process to are listed below the instructions. If they think they need more information tell them to build on their experience to add more detail. 

LA 1.5 (35 min.) Building Knowledge of Types of Assessment

This is a complicated assignment. It is divided into three sections and uses a worksheet (Building Assessment Literacy) to capture thinking and work in each section. You may want to time this so that at 10 min. you push for them to have finished section 1, at 20 minutes section 2 and then at 30 minutes quickly ask each group to report one new idea.

They will use the assessment literacy chart for section 1 and it is linked.

In section two they consider formal/informal and formative/summative assessment distinctions (definition sheets for Formal/Informal and Formative/Summative comparisons (if needed)). They are asked to form a matrix with these four distinctions and provide a sentence describing each cell, list an assessment for each cell explaining why they listed it in that cell. (Remember which cell an assessment is listed in depends on the purpose so an assessment might be listed more than once and listed in more than one cell--so the explanation is important.)

Finally, in section 3 they choose one category of assessment formal or informal or formative or summative and examine it using the Assessment Literacy chart and then examine it in terms of Useful, Meaningful, and Equitable. 

We ask each group to share two ideas from their learning.

Review of homework. Remind them that HW .1 in every session is the reflection assignment where they take action in their classroom or school and reflect on it.

NOTE:  For this session teachers are supposed to identify WIDA scores for their ELs but also choose a particular EL that will be the focus student for their final project.

In Session 3, HW 3.6 asks them to construct a profile of an English Learner. It will be helpful if they select and begin gathering information on this student as part of their homework for this session (There are worksheets to support them in this). They will use this profile and this student to guide decisions about the adjustments and accomodations they make for the assessment unit for their final project. You might reveiw what they are going to do and suggest they begin collecting information.

HW 1.1 Actions Taken in Learning

This is the reflection assignment. Remind them that they will have one of these for each week. It asks that they take action in terms of trying a new practice in their classroom or school. They should try out the practice and then using the reflection model create a reflection on what they did. they have engaged in this activity in each of the other two courses so this is just a reminder. 

HW 1.2 Attending to Equity and Oral Language in Assessing ELs

For this homework, teachers will read chapter 1 and chapter 4 in the Gottlieb book and use the reading guide to both guide and record their learning. If your district doesn't yet have the books you can give students this link to a pdf of Chapter 1. Since they will review and answer slightly different questions for Chapter 4 later if you do not yet have the books they can do Chapter 4 in session 4 homework. The focus here asks them to uncover informaiton about oral language assessment. 

HW 1.3 Identifying Issues with Assessment

Teachers review four assessment cases and identify the assessment issues the cases raise. They also provide a written resonse to two questions:

 As you start class next time give them time in their groups to review what they learned. 

HW 1.4 Reading about Professional Learning Communities

The short summary article they read informs the teachers about PLCs and then asks them to consider how their group in this course might function like a PLC. 

As you start class next time give them a moment to review HW 1.3 and HW 1.4 in their group.

HW 1.5 Identifying WIDA Scores

The teachers are identifying the EL they will take into account for their final Assignment.

NOTE:  In HW 3.6 they collect information and construct a profile for this student that includes additonal information--so they may want to review this homework as they find the WIDA scores for this student and the other ELs they teach. 

You will need to provide instructions for how the teachers can access the district student data system and obtain the WIDA scores of their students and record the scores for the student of interest to them. They access the WIDA site and identify the Can Do Descriptors relevant to the EL identified for the project. In addition they will use the student profile form to gather additional information about the student. 

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