Increasing Student Achievement:

1.  Communicate, orally and in writing, the learning objectives, content and skills that will be assessed.
2. Use a variety of assessments to measure the curriculum standards comprehensively (e.g., selected responses constructed responses, products, performances, process-focused). Match assessment type(s) to the standards you want to assess.
3.  Align the assessment tasks and thinking you want students to perform with your classroom instruction and balance assessments based upon the emphasis placed during instruction.

4.  Give frequent assessments on less content rather than infrequent assessments on more content.
5.  Use formative assessments (e.g., pre-tests, mini-quizzes, summaries) to determine student progress, to diagnose learning needs, and to modify instruction and activities.
6.  Show and tell students the product and presentation criteria (i.e., rubric, checklist) when the assignment is given.  Provide guided practice to refine products and presentations using the stated criteria and exemplars.
7.  Provide opportunities (e.g., periodic personal conferences, guided questions, journals, portfolios) for students to monitor incremental progress, to celebrate success, and to establish improvement goals and plans.
8.  Tag (i.e., match test items with learning objectives) your assessment items to make sure that you are assessing essential content and skills comprehensively.
9.  Analyze the assessment results to determine the strengths and needs of students related to essential content/skills and re-teach standards that have not yet been mastered.
10.  Make assessment documents (e.g., tests, rubrics, homework-task directions) student friendly.
•Highlight and/or underline directions.
•Highlight, boldface, and/or enlarge key words.
•Change spacing to include more white space between words and between lines.
•Use at least 14 point sans serif fonts. Popular sans seriffonts include Helvetica, Avant Garde, Arial, and Geneva.
•Place definitions/ descriptions in the left column and vocabulary/ key people/ideas in the right column on matching tests.
•List only 5-10 matching items in one group.
•Use word banks on essays and fill-in-the-blank tests.
•Limit multiple-choice items to four choices.
•Avoid using multiple-choice items that use response patterns that require two choices in one item (e.g., AC or BE).
•Group questions assessing similar objectives when possible.
11.  Make accommodations for special-needs students by considering the following factors:
•Size of test (e.g., number of items, choices)
•Time (e.g., extended time, pace, timeline)
•Level of support (e.g., co-teachers, teaching assistants)
•Input (e.g., visual and auditory aides, manipulatives)
•Difficulty (e.g., simplifying directions, use of calculator, note cards)
•Output (e.g., taped responses, oral responses, hands-on demonstrations)
•Outcome expectations (e.g., format, quantity, product)
12.  Create multiple opportunities (e.g., test re-takes, re-writes, product revisions) for students to demonstrate content and skills not previously acquired.
District 214 Staff Support

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