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Discussion: Developing classroom-based assessments and using them in professional development.

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posted by: Brian Drayton on June 26, 1998 at 3:07PM
subject: Summary to date
Summary to date:

We are entering the final week of this discussion. The basic question
that this discussion has addressed is,
"How have projects used student work for professional development
related to classroom based assessment?"

So far, the 10 contributions have addressed the feed-back loop between
classroom assessments and teacher professional development. There is no
substitute for time spent in detailed discussion of student work in

The following 4 excerpts give the flavor of the contributions thus far.
We encourage you to comment on these, or point out new aspects of the
question not yet addressed, during the next week.

Post your comments to the site; direct questions or requests for
technical assistance to Brian Drayton (brian_drayton @


"Part of our work this year has been assembling a portfolio of student
work which will communicate to other teachers whether a student is
competent in reaching benchmarks in math and communication skills. One
of our teachers recently submitted a portfolio of math work in eighth
grade based ... the work she submitted really revealed that students
were learning to understand the math they are using.... We plan to use
her work as part of our summer CMP training, as well as asking
experienced teachers to bring samples of student work to illustrate the
varied levels of student understanding when they are given specific CMP
tasks." (M. McCary)


"The PRIME data ... indicates it may take more than one year to see the
gains in procedural as well as conceptual knowledge. How 'bout the rest
of you? What are your teachers experiencing from accountability measures
re what is important for students to learn in math? Are you finding any
assessment tools that are useful in measuring conceptual understanding
and application, as well as procedural proficiency? " (M. McCary)


" I've been spending quite bit of time trying to sort out how to help
teachers (and me!) (1) believe that it is important to listen to
children's thinking about mathematics and (2) to develop ways that
promote children's thinking and their developing (inventing)
mathematics that makes sense to them... I think we're beginning to find
ways to accomplish these goals with teachers. But, in reality, the whole
purpose for this is to be able to design more appropriate instruction
for the students you are listening to as a form of ongoing assessment...
how to help teachers link listening to children's mathematical thinking
with instructional planning?" (S. Friel)


"We have found that it is crucial to have as broad a spectrum of
evaluation results as possible. For example, standardized tests ...;
tests ...including more problem solving and conceptual understanding,
and content in probability, statistics, and discrete mathematics
(project-constructed tests); and attitude measures (project-constructed
tests). These data are complemented by more qualitative data from
things like student interviews and portfolios...At least with a full
battery of evaluation results it is easier to address concerns." (E.
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