Middle School Assessment Chart
High-performing middle schools offer high-quality classes. They challenge all students to use their minds well. All means all.
- All students are expected to meet high academic standards.
- To explain the expected standards, teachers provide students with examples of high quality work by other students at their grade level. Teachers also develop and use scoring guides for all major projects.
- Students know what high quality work should look like. The expectations are clear.
- Conferences with families focus on learning goals and student's progress towards meeting them.
- High standards provide a clear picture of what students should know and be able to do. Instruction, curriculum, and assessment together reinforce this picture of student learning.
- Students, teachers, and families understand what students are learning and why.
- The course of study flows logically from year to year. Each piece fits with the others.
- Students do not repeat material needlessly from year to year.
- The work is demanding and moves forward at a steady pace. The level of student work clearly increases between fall and spring, and from one grade to the next.
- Assessments cover what students are really learning.
- Students learn important concepts and skills.
- Learning goals push students to understand "big picture" ideas, draw connections between subjects, and apply what they learn to solve real-world problems.
- Students learn problem solving skills and how to think critically about issues. They learn
- how to research and analyze rather than just memorize facts for a test.
- Students draw on what they are learning in all their subjects. For example, they use math in social studies and writing in science.
- Teachers use a variety of methods to help students master the standards.
- Class activities are interesting to students and clearly related to the concepts and skills being taught.
- Students are excited about what they're doing and want to talk about it.
- Students have chances to solve problems that interest them and often design their own projects.
- Teachers invite students to think about how they can use what they're learning. Students can explain the learning goals for each project and class activity.
- Teachers use many different instructional strategies to reach students. These strategies include use of computers and other technology, the arts and other media, and students working together in groups.
- Teachers use a variety of methods to make sure students have learned the material and to asses their progress. They don't just rely on paper and pencil tests.
- Students can explain their work and judge its quality against the standards. Students know how to use scoring guides to critique their own and each other's work.
- Students have varied chances to demonstrate what they're learning. They give talks, perform their works, and debate each other.
- Students often exhibit their work so that parents and community members can come to see and hear about it.
- The school makes sure that students have enough time and chances to learn.
- The school schedule is flexible. There are blocks of time for extended projects and hands- on experiences.
- Students can have more time to learn content, concepts or skills if they need it.
- Class time is spent learning and using knowledge, concepts, and skills. Little time is needed for discipline and students see their job as learning, not doing what teachers tell them to do.
- If students need extra help or support, they get it.
- Teachers understand students' learning styles and offer students different ways to learn.
- Teachers know what each student has learned or not yet learned. They make sure no one falls seriously behind.
- Students get extra help as soon as they need it. This may mean help from a tutor, resource teacher, or another student.
- If students have trouble learning, they can take extra time. They revise their work until they get it right. Extra learning time is built into the class and school schedules.
- The school staff members are always improving their knowledge and skills.
- Teachers work with each other to improve their practice. They look closely at student work in order to improve their teaching and help students learn.
- Teachers visit and observe each other's classrooms, and the principal visits several classrooms each week.
- The principal and teachers review their progress by looking at data on student performance. Then they decide what the staff learning program should be.
Reprinted with the permission of Schools to Watch. ©1994-2006 National Forum. All Rights Reserved.
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