My notes and thoughts on Chapter 1 from Marzano's book: "The Art and Science of Teaching"
"More frequent formative assessment leads to greater gains in student sucess." I am trying to get my teachers to do more of this informal formative assessment, such as during lecture to do a think-pair-share. I think Marzano shows us again how critial formative assessment is.
Learning goals are statements that tell a student what he will be able to do when the lesson/concept/unit over. They are not activities. Marzano recommends learning goals be state in the following format: Students will be able to.... or students will understand....Next, teachers need to create a rubric or scale for each learning goal.
One way to enhance student involvement with the goal setting is to let them develop a goal of their own by examining what interests them about the topic to be studied. They should also have s simplified scale to determine how they did on their own goal.
During assessment, students should see progress up the scale. Having students chart or graph their progress can be very helpful. These charts can help the teacher have discussions with the students as well as communicate to parents have their child is doing.
Using a scale of 0-4 to track progress towards a certain goal, students might start off with a one and finish at a 3.5. Or a stuent might start off at a 1.5 and finish at a 2. Both students have learned, but one has gained more knowledge. "Knowledge gain is the currency of student sucess in a formative assessment system." Knowldege gain should be recognized and celebrated.
I am really excited about the idea of looking at knowledge gain instead of actual grades. Every kid could feel sucessful this way. This would differenciate instruction. Students who made the most significant gains can get the A and students who make less significant gains would earn a lower grade. I can see students getting excited over this. It would require teachers to think about grades differently. It would require extra work from teachers to develop the scales and the learning goals, but I think it would be exciting to see if students respond to it.