How do we know we are learning and growing?
Educational assessment is the process of documenting knowledge, skills, attitudes, and beliefs. What do we assess? Well that depends on your program choice and the unique educational plan that has been created for your student. If you are home educating, you create the plan. (Don’t panic, we have several templates available.) If you are following a school directed program, we use the Alberta Programs of Study. (APS) These can be modified to accommodate students who are ahead or who are struggling! We will give you two handy documents to get you started:
- Grade at a Glance – here is a grade 1 sample from Alberta Ed
- Detailed Alberta Programs of Study for each subject – https://education.alberta.ca/programs-of-study/
- is meaningful to both the teacher, parents and students
- motivates students to higher levels of achievement
- assists students to develop the capacity for self-assessment
Assessment information should be collected in a variety of ways to provide feedback that is useful to student and teacher alike. To be most useful, . . . assessment should have the following characteristics:
- It should be part of instruction and should clearly reveal to students what is expected of them.
- It should be an ongoing process rather than a set of isolated events, with the methods and instruments varied, and used in a variety of contexts.
- It should focus on a broad range of outcomes, reflecting multiple dimensions of skill development.
- The measures should be appropriate to student development and cultural background.
- It should be constructive. It should focus on what students can do, clearly identifying both strengths and areas of difficulty. It should encourage improvement in areas of difficulty, linking new learning to what a student already knows and can do.
- It should involve students in their own assessment. This gives them responsibility for their own learning and fosters lifelong learning. Guide Reference
There are many kinds of assessment.
This handy little chart is included in your school-directed package. Please note that TESTS are just one form of assessment.
This is what we believe assessment should be like and what you can expect from your Learning Coach.Download our guide to assessment here: AGuidetoAssessmentforPhoenixSchools.doc
Assessment Tools We Use and You Can Too!
- Diagnostic – Not sure what is going on? What level our child is working at? We offer several kinds of diagnostic testing – CTBS, Brigance, Reading assessments and so on. Please contact your Coach to chat about this and book a session. We offer group sessions at the beginning of each year and private ones throughout the year.
- Exam bank – Kids at Phoenix sometimes do these test just for fun! We go through almost 1300-1600 tests in a year! Contact your Coach for the password.
- PATs/ SLAs – We participate in the provincial testing initiatives! School-directed students in grades 3/6/9 write at least one exam in a relaxed environment at Phoenix. Exam times are booked on the school calendar. We will also email you, send you a postcard reminder, have an info night and offer free prep sessions. (April 26, 28 and May 3, 5)
- Parent / Teacher / Student Conferences – School-directed families participate in at least three conferences a year. They usually take an hour or more per child and are fun! We ask your child to read for their coach, we talk about your child’s learning, we share what is working and not working. We seek understanding and give support and direction. We encourage your child to bring projects that they are super proud of! Please call the front desk to book an appointment now!
- Rubrics – Alberta Education has developed all kinds of rubrics to help us understand where a child is at! (Just what is a rubric )
- For Language Arts – http://www.learnalberta.ca/content/ieptlibrary/lib03.html
- For Math – http://www.learnalberta.ca/content/ieptlibrary/lib04.html
- Work Samples and Assignments – Your Coach needs to see your student’s work on a regular basis. This helps them understand what they are working on and how it is going. Our Coaches give rich descriptive feedback because a grade, especially at the younger ages tends to discourage learning. For more info, see our philosophy. It’s based on all kinds of cool research and many years of experience!
Here are a few of the planning sheets we use to keep track of where a school-directed child is at with regards to the curriculum:
Your Learning Coach will give you a detailed description of the Alberta Programs of Studies when you meet the first time. You will also get a bunch of summary sheets (We call them LOS – Learning Outcome Sheets) that help you track where you are and what is left to cover. They look like this:
If you have chosen to home education, you need to follow the plan you created. this can be updated or changed through-out the year.
|Sept. 6||Tuesday||9:00 AM||7-0||Group CTBS Testing- Math
|Sept. 8||Thursday||9:00 AM||7-1||Group CTBS Testing- LA
|By appointment||–||7-2||Brigance Testing – PreK, K, Grade 1 (See page 11 for more detail)||$25 p/t||INC|
|By appointment||–||7-3||Fountas & Pinnell – K- Gr. 12 Done twice over the year (Page 11)||$25 p/t||INC|
|Year Round||By Appointment||–||7-4||Private CTBS Testing – Math or LA||$50 p/t||$50 p/t|
|Oct 7||Friday||9:00 AM||7-5||Group CTBS Testing- Math
|Oct 7||Friday||12:30 PM||7-6||Group CTBS Testing- LA
|Oct||Various days||–||7-7||SLA – Grade 3||FREE||FREE|
|Jan 6||Friday||9:00 AM||7-8||Group CTBS Testing- Math
|Jan 6||Friday||12:30 PM||7-9||Group CTBS Testing- LA
|PATS||Various days||–||7-10||PAT – Grades 6 and 9||FREE||FREE|