Responding to GSC with clarification:

By "summative" I mean  NCLB standards based assessments that are aggregated across categories, and compared by school, state and nation. 

I think these assessments are primarily for policy makers and do not help teachers that much in driving instruction day after day in the classroom. Instead they take away critical time that students need to think deeply and instead force us teachers to focus and spend extra time checking for and building skills. ( I do think skills are important, but  they are only one piece of the puzzle. )

I also believe these tests cannot adequately assess the whole child and students' innate ability to learn. Again I assert, a primary purpose of life is to learn and we are born knowing how to do it. It seems that whether  students believe in themselves and their ability to succeed plays a huge role. Somewhere along the way many students often question whether they can do it. I tell my students they can do it and stretch them as far as possible with high expectations, then modify expectations for those who really need it.

Anna


On Tue, Mar 5, 2013 at 9:42 PM, GS Chandy <gs_chandy@yahoo.com> wrote:
Anna Roys posted Mar 5, 2013 7:29 AM:
>
> Hi all,
>
> As a teacher, I find myself wanting to constantly
> assess, check for
> understanding on the fly, as I go;
>
Indeed.  There is (and should be) this kind of 'assessing' and 'checking' going on all the time.  Little of this is quantitative.  Most of it is, I believe, the sudden 'look of comprehension' ("EUREKA!") that appears on the student's face when he/she has 'got' a new concept.  I am not a professional teacher myself - but I've seen it and it is truly the most rewarding part of teaching (IMHO).

(Probably more often,) the puzzled looks on the student faces shows the teacher what he/she needs to do to enable/ ensure comprehension.
>
>I find it very
> valuable, as this can
> inform  me on where re-teaching may be needed.
>
Indeed!
>
>  My educational philosophy is
> for mastery of content,  not just a lot of content
> coverage at superficial
> levels.  Informal assessments are great, however,
> there are times I think
> the summative assessments may not reflect true
> pictures of student
> abilities and achievement levels.
>
If by 'summative' you mean 'quantitative', I agree entirely!
>
>Notice I do not see
> abilities as
> achievement levels. To me the ability is the ability
> to learn, the purpose
> of life,  which all humans are born with and may be
> developed, whereas,
> achievement levels are what we see on  the summative
> test scores.
>
Perfect!

GSC