Future Goals for Assessing Gifted Students

And My Final Reflection

GOALS:

1. Student Self-Assessment

2. Student-led Parent Conferences

3. Student Created Digital Portfolios


Note to parents: This is perhaps the most important page for parents of my gifted students to see. These goals are very worthwhile goals for your child. I feel that these goals will make a significant difference in the academic endeavors of any student, but especially the gifted student. I am looking forward to implementing these activities in the near future.


My future goals for assessing my gifted students are centered on each student's "academic self-efficacy." Academic self-efficacy is described by Stiggins as “the evaluative judgment one makes about one’s possibility of success and/or productivity in an academic context.”  Students need to understand and evaluate their own self-efficacy. 

My first goal is to access academic self-efficacy at least three times during each unit of study.  These times are the beginning of the unit, midway through the unit, and at the end of the unit.  At the beginning of the unit, students will complete a questionnaire designed to measure the “intensity and direction” of each student’s academic self-efficacy toward the unit.  As we work through the unit, I will interview students individually.  The order of the interviews will be determined by the responses to the initial questionnaires.  In other words, the students with the lowest self-efficacy will be interviewed first in order to provide immediate support and encouragement.  At the end of the unit, students will create an essay entitled, “Myself as a Learner of This Unit.”

Students will be given the following guide to help them with their essays.

Paragraph #

Guiding Ideas and Questions for Students

1

Paragraph 1 is your introduction.  In this paragraph, you should answer the following questions: What was the unit of study?  How long did the unit last?  Briefly summarize what the unit was about. 

2

Review your pre-unit questionnaire.  In paragraph 2, describe how you felt about the topic at the beginning of the unit.

3

In paragraph 3, use your teacher’s interview notes and anecdotal records, as well as memories and daily assignment grades to describe how you worked through the unit.

4

In paragraph 4, you will describe how you worked through the unit.  What activities did you enjoy the most?  What activities were the most meaningful?  What was your grade on the final assessment?

5

In paragraph 5, describe what you learned about yourself as a learner in this unit.  Which activities helped you learn?  What do you wish that you had done differently?  What support did you need that you did not get?  What will you do differently during the next unit of study?

 

These essays will be completed after each unit of study.  The essays will be saved and compared at intervals throughout the year and in years to come.  One very positive aspect of my position is that I get to work with my students over a number of years -- some from kindergarten through fifth grade. 

My second goal is to have my students compile digital portfolios of their work. Their portfolios will include the essays discussed in the preceeding section and other artifacts that they choose. These portfolios will be saved throughout their years in the elementary gifted program.

My third goal is to initiate student-led parent conferences where students will share with their parents their own evaluation of their achievement. There are numerous benefits for student-led parent conferences.  Stronger accountability, sense of pride in achievement, more productive student-teacher relationship, improved student-parent relationship, sense of community, and leadership skills are listed as benefits by Stiggins.  Also, greater parental participation is listed as a benefit of student-led parent conferences.

Through self-assessment, compiling portfolios, and leading parent conferences, students will become responsible for their own learning.  They can then communicate their needs and accomplishments as they become confident, responsible learners. As Stiggins says, “through their involvement in assessment, record keeping, and communication, we hope to help students develop a ‘can do’ perspective in the classroom” (p. 225).

Reference:

Stiggins, R.  (2008).  An introduction to student-involved assessment for learning.  Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.

 

My Final Reflection

Assessment and Technology, ECOMP 6102, at Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, has truly changed the way I view assessment. Prior to this course, I relegated assessment to the regular classroom and the homeroom teacher. The weeks of standardized tests, though they are necessary, were merely an interruption in our schedule. I was interested in my students' scores because I wanted to verify that they were meeting "prescribed academic achievement standards" (Stiggins, 2008, p. 1). Beyond that, I wanted to continue with our investigations, problem-solving, and research because I thought that was what would make the difference on meeting vs. exceeding expectations.

Now I see the importance of reflection and self-assessment. Through the Coastal Georgia Writing Project, I learned the importance of reflection in writing. Now I understand that reflection is important in all academic endeavors. My cohort of elementary gifted teachers and I have had students keep portfolios of their work to demonstrate growth over time. I can only begin to imagine how much more meaningful their portfolios will become with self-assessment and reflection. With these portfolios, conferences with parents led by the students will also be more meaningful to the student and parents. The gifted students will be the leaders off tomorrrow. Planning and leading parent conferences will be a step along the pathway toward leadership.

As Vygotsky says, what a student can do with help today, they can do alone tomorrow. By helping my students assess and reflect on their learning during the years in elementary school, they will be able to be more responsible throughout their lives.

 

Introduction, Short Story - The Lesson, Conceptual Framework, Module 1-2, Module 2-2, Module 2-3, Module 3-2, Module 6-1,

Module 7-1, Module 10-2 and 3, Module 11-3, Module 12-1, Course Goals and Outcomes, Future Goals and Final Reflection