- In the envisionment-building classroom, assessment is
an on-going process that:
- focuses on how students are thinking and how they
are growing as thinkers;
- focuses on ways students develop interpretations of
- focuses on the expression of multiple perspectives
about texts; and
- focuses on ways of going beyond the text to ways the
text connects with other texts and with students' lives.
- Students in envisionment classrooms participate in self-reflection
- Assessment helps teachers and students gauge how and what
students are learning and thinking.
- Assessment can help teachers shape timely instructional
strategies targeted to immediate student needs.
- Using many different assessment tools provides a rich
picture of students' capabilities as well as a composite
picture of what students are learning.
- By tracking what students are reading, teachers can
assess their growth as readers and help them choose
literature that is right for their abilities as well
as suited to their interests.
- Whole-class and small-group discussions offer teachers
a number of ways to assess student understanding.
- Writing such as reading logs provides a useful tool
for both students and teachers to track students' progress
as readers and thinkers over time. It can reveal:
- the depth of student thinking;
- the quality of student thinking; and
- the strategies students use when they experience
- Portfolios are useful tools to assess students as
developing readers and writers over the course of a
year or over the course of several years.
- Portfolios help develop student awareness of their
growth as readers, writers, and thinkers.
- When students choose specific pieces for evaluation,
they are learning to recognize quality work as they
assess their own efforts.
- Portfolios enable students to choose their best
work to demonstrate their capabilities.
- Self-assessment helps students reflect on what they are
learning and pushes them to think more deeply about what
they are reading, writing, and thinking.
- Self-assessment helps students recognize what they
need to learn next and set learning goals for themselves.
- Self-assessment helps students assume responsibility
for their own learning.
- Teachers in envisionment-building classrooms often use
student projects for assessment or evaluation. Offering
students project choices gives them a sense of ownership
over their work as they demonstrate what they know and what
they can do.
- Rubrics help students understand the criteria on which
evaluation is based. Students can participate in the process
of developing rubrics; doing so helps them understand the
levels of mastery reflected in different grades.
- When developing tools for assessment or evaluation, teachers
should be aware of what they are trying to assess or evaluate,
as well as how the particular tool connects to the instruction
students have received. In addition, teachers should ask
themselves, "What do students need to know and be able
to do in order to succeed?" and "Do they have
the tools to succeed?"
- When developing tools for assessment, teachers might ask
themselves, "What activities do I need in order to
inform my teaching?" and "What activities will
help students understand what they can do and what they
need to learn to do next?"
- Assessment and evaluation should be flexible and determined
by what the students need.
- Standardized tests should be used thoughtfully and viewed
as one part of the assessment/evaluation puzzle and used
in conjunction with other assessment/evaluation tools.
- Students who learn to be good, thoughtful, critical readers
do well on standardized tests and have abilities that will
serve them well throughout their lives.
- Because testing is pervasive in American society
within schools and beyond teachers should help students
learn the test-taking skills they need within the context
of the curriculum.
- When developing assessment and evaluation instruments,
teachers in envisionment-building classrooms focus on the
kinds of thinking they want students to do and develop tools
that allow students to demonstrate it.