Blog #121 – OUTSTANDING TEACHERS ARE ALWAYS ASSESSING THEIR STUDENTS

During my career, I have observed that outstanding teachers are always assessing their students. Teachers are constantly trying to determine the strengths and weakness of each student that they teach. They do this by questioning done in the classroom, grading class work, grading tests or studying the results of state-mandated tests.

During the development of lessons, I subdivided topics being taught into subtopics that could be taught in a step-by-step format. Besides presenting the content that I wanted to teach, I made sure that I was asking questions that would let me know the level of comprehension of my students. The information that I gathered allowed me to make adjustments to how I taught concepts and how I illustrated solutions for problems.

Another tool that assisted me in assessing my students was the grading of class work. Whether I graded class work or if the students graded it, I always made sure that I studied all graded class work. I wanted to determine the problems that were missed the most so that I could focus on those during lessons that I was presenting. Most of the time, I wrote the problems that were done as class work. I made sure that I incorporated common errors when applicable. I also included a variety of problems that could assist me in determining if concepts being taught were mastered.

When I administered tests, I always did a tally of problems missed. This provided information on class weaknesses. Besides this, I looked at individual results to determine individual weaknesses. After tests were returned, I reviewed the problems missed the most. I discussed these to reinforce concepts that students needed to master. I also made an effort to answer individual questions. Tests provided the best way of assessing my students. To determine my effectiveness as a teacher, I would do a class average for each test. My goal was to have an average of 80 or better. Assessing myself helped me determine changes that I needed to do with how I taught certain concepts and how I solved certain problems.

The last way I assessed students was by studying the results of state-mandated tests. These tests allowed me to compare my student’s performance to a state average. Class performance and individual performances could be observed by studying the tests. State-mandated test results from a previous year assisted me in developing a plan for success for each student. State-mandated test results from the end of the year determined how effective I was as a teacher. All results became an integral part of the assessment process that I used to improve my student’s chances for success.

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