Category: Formative Assessment

Animal Farm, Technology & Formative Assessment

written by Todd Beach “Obviously he would not have become a famous philosopher had he confined himself purely to listening to others… He just asked questions, especially to…

In Defense of ‘Teaching Students How to Write’

written by Todd Beach
special thanks to statistician Randy Bailey
“I could barely understand what the professor was talking about but I was very impressed… I thought teaching was a simple matter of telling the class what you knew and then testing them and giving them grades. Now I was learning how complicated the life of a teacher could be….” (McCourt, 2005:41)[1]

In my recent post, ‘Teaching Students How to Write’, some colleagues articulated skepticism regarding the process used in teaching students writing skills, while others had questions about the validity and reliability of student’s grades since they were provided additional opportunities to correct the deficiencies in their writing. I’d like to address both of these concerns and provide evidence, which defends the practice.

Teaching Students How to Write

How often do you have your students write?  This is one of the many paradoxes teachers struggle with when designing curriculum and instruction.  Since writing is a skill,…

Continuous Improvement

Written by Todd Beach Throughout my career I have appreciated the time during the summer to reflect on my teaching practice from the past year and examine areas…

Testing for Grades or Learning?

“If teaching was as simple as telling, we’d all be a lot smarter than we are.” -Mark Twain Teachers, how confident are you about the validity and reliability…

Maintain Your Balance

I sent an email to a friend the other day asking why in higher education is the Department of Curriculum and Instruction titled as such.  Given the current…

The Purpose of Schooling

Why are you here?  I often ask the freshmen in my American Government & Citizenship class this on their first day.  What is the purpose of schooling?  Is…

Students – How do You Get ’em Thinking?

“I could barely understand what the professor was talking about but I was very impressed… I thought teaching was a simple matter of telling the class what you…

How’s Your Teaching Practice?

If you would have asked me how my teaching was going during any of the first three years of my career I would have sheepishly replied that “everything…

A Better ‘Gates’ Solution

Well known entrepreneur, philanthropist, and billionaire Bill Gates has stated through his foundation website that, “The evidence is clear that teachers matter more to student achievement than any…

How Well Do You Question?

A key strategy of formative assessment (FA) practice is questioning and facilitating discussion in the classroom.  For some teachers this practice is almost second nature, they have developed rhetorical…

You Can Lead a Horse to Water…

Researchers, parents, students, politicians, indeed all stake-holders in education agree that good teachers are essential to helping students learn.  Furthermore, there is broad consensus that improved training and…

Traditional meets 21st Century – a Synthesis

Socratic seminars for many teachers are a traditional teaching practice which facilitates an opportunity for students to critically interrogate various genres of text and ideas through a face…

Good Teachers Matter!

Some of the most passionate, hard-working, and talented teachers I know are finding it very difficult to keep a positive perspective surrounding our profession.  The ‘Waiting for Superman’ effect…

How’s Your Feedback?

I ran in a 10K race on Thanksgiving morning.  It was cold and the road conditions were icy so needless to say when the race started I was…