On April 6th – 7th, 2009, PYP teachers at Sekolah Ciputra were engaged in an Assessment in-school Workshop, led by the International Baccalaureate Workshop Leaders. They were Chris Frost, David Kainey, Helen Morschel and Nicole Ginnane.
The workshop aimed to evaluate the practices of assessment and how to make some improvements, so students can be supported through their assessment. There were four sessions on the first day, dedicated to various strategies of assessing and how to use the assessment for continuous teaching and learning.
David Kainey led the session on Strategies for Effective Questioning, in which teachers were exposed to different prompts of questioning to get deeper insight into student’s understanding. He was explaining about strategies for effective questioning to provoke students’ thinking
Chris Frost led the session about designing A Framework for Summative Assessment, with lots of samples of summative tasks provided for the teachers to gain further knowledge and understanding on the matter.
Helen Morschel, was a Coordinating Principal of Sekolah Ciputra and one of an IB Workshop Leader, led the session on Using a Success Criteria. During this session, teachers further developed their skills in designing criteria to help students measuring and achieving their success in learning by making sure that they understand the standard of expectations required for a task or a project.
Nicole Ginnane led the session on The Importance of Giving Positive Feedback, in which teachers were involved in a discussion about the impact of positive feedback, not a mere compliment, for students. Also, following from the discussion, Nicole shared some structures in giving positive feedback.
The next day, teachers were involved in a professional reading session. In this session, groups of teachers were given different article to be shared later in a kind of performance. As always, the enthusiasm of Sekolah Ciputra teachers was visible through each of the performance and sharing of knowledge.
This in-school workshop is part of our school philosophy to achieve better education for the students.
Well, I found out that it is important to share learning intention of the task to the students so that they know the purpose of the lesson and are motivated and oriented toward developing new skills, trying to understand their work, and improving their level of understanding. I begin to realize that sharing an effective learning intention means that we give the students clear statement and unambiguous that make sense to the children. Also, I found out that sharing learning intention has the great impact on students’ understanding of the task and their progress as well includes SUCCESS CRITERIA and it needs to be the main focus on Teacher giving feedback.
I understand that by knowing the success criteria, it can led the students trying to think before working so that they are more focused on the task given and enable them to take more ownership of their learning. One of the strategies of sharing success criteria is by doing WALT (We are learning to) and WILF (What I’m looking for). It is expected that students are able to show more focused on the task because the WALT and WILF strategy has a clearer expectation on what students need to focus after their learning.
I believe that the power of formative classroom assessment depends on how the teacher uses the result (Thomas R. Guskey). Formative assessments enable both students and teachers to pinpoint what concepts and skills have been learned well and what learning problems still exist. Teachers have to give effective feedback to identify students’ individual learning difficulties.
I also believe that informative assessment is not just about tests and is not always formal. Standardized test do not assess students learning progress. What about if a student who did poor on test but showed other evidence of learning; contribute to discussion, give good ideas, and engage well in the classroom activities. Informative assessment enables the students from different range of abilities, intelligence and learning styles to show their understanding and express their thoughts in multiple ways.