Assessment is an integral part of our planning, teaching, and learning. Assessments assess students’ prior knowledge and determine areas of focus for new instruction. They are used to assess student growth over time.
We use a wide range of assessment tools such as skills-based exams, open-ended questions, investigation projects, performance tasks, and portfolios that show student work and progress over time.
School Mandated Assessments
- The California Lions Tests given five times per year testing students’ reading fluency, comprehension, spelling, and writing skills. These exams correspond to the National Standards and Skills taught in the state adopted language arts text.
- Quarterly math Exams corresponding to grade level standards
- IB Assessment Pieces and Projects for each inquiry unit
- Self Assessments
- Attitude and Profile Assessment
Optional Assessments used by many teachers:
- Weekly Houghton Mifflin math exams.
- Weekly Open Court language arts exams
Teachers meet frequently to assess data. School assessment data in language arts is gathered every six weeks in order to make modifications in instruction. Teachers frequently score writing pieces as a team using the same prompts and scoring rubrics.
IB Assessment Policies
- Our inquiry units have formative, summative, and self-assessments,. These assessments also give students opportunity to reflect on their own learning. Expectations for assessments, especially the summative assessments, have been made clear to students. In designing these assessments, teachers have developed assessment or project checklists and student/teacher generated scoring rubrics.
- Assessments include or address most of these elements: key concepts and skills, knowledge or content taught, and the PYP profile and attitudes.
- Summative inquiry unit projects are often done in presentation style sharing their learning with other students, classes, or their parents.
- Teachers meet in their teams after the culmination of every unit in order to evaluate the unit’s effectiveness.
We have various portfolios for Documenting students’ work and growth
- All students have working IB portfolios where students keep their notes, ideas, on-going projects and work related to the current IB unit of study.
- The blue IB portfolios contain the work of the students throughout the years. Every year students add additional pieces meeting the standard in our essential agreements:
- Entries will include choices from students, teachers, and may also include parent chosen selections or comments.
- Entries will reflect the child’s growth over time, their strengths and weaknesses, and their ability to reflect and improve.
- Portfolio entries will include all subject areas including:
- the inquiry process
- demonstration of the IB attitudes and profiles
- one project demonstrating the use of technology
- two writing samples
- one math sample
- Entries should include self-reflection.
- Portfolios will be available for the students at all times for on-going collection and reflection of entries.
- Electronic portfolio containing digital media projects are housed on students’ individual zip disks or on the Lab computer desktop and they are burned onto CD-ROM when they leave Willard Elementary after the fifth grade.
- Students’ writing folders are used to help assess students and drive further instruction.
Recording and reporting of student data
We have a school-wide approach toward gathering, recording, and reporting of assessment data.
- Through Data Director, a computer data system, we track students’ scores in both language and math.
- Feedback is promptly given to students and parents in the form of signed assessments, and papers, newsletters, conferences, and calls home. Some classes have been doing student led conferencing.
- We send home four district report cards yearly. IB report cards go home to students/parents in these same envelopes.
- IB report cards report to parents:
- Student’s grasp or understanding of the central idea.
- Grades or rubric scores on large projects.
- Formative and summative assessments.
- Transdisciplinary skills
- The attitudes and the profile
- Student’s ability to take action