|Zebra Staff Note:|
|The Teacher Feature highlights the positive impact or innovative work of a South Dakota teacher each month. If you have a suggestion for a Teacher Feature, contact Laura Haatvedt at (605) 773-2593 or email@example.com.|
NOTE: This month’s Teacher Feature is a guest column written by Meghan Wounded Head. Meghan is a high school English teacher in the Hamlin School District, and was part of one of the teams working to create sample items for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.
Involvement, collaboration ease assessment concerns for South Dakota educator
Common Core Standard implementation is in full swing, and at my school district we are updating our current curriculum to align to the CCSS. Yet, a question for me remains: In the midst of adding rigor and text complexity to my curriculum, what is the assessment by which students will be measured?
I was able to answer my assessment concern when I attended the Initial Achievement Level Descriptor (ALD) drafting workshop for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. In short, a group of educators including K–12 educators, specialists in curriculum and instruction, and content experts from each governing state collaborated to write rubric-like performance descriptors for each Common Core standard.
The highlight for me in my ALD experience is developing an understanding of the potential assessment for Common Core Standards. I feel it is important for me as an educator to know what the assessment could look like. And after seeing Smarter Balanced sample test items, I feel the test potential is amazing! (Click here to access.) I am taken aback at the possibilities of how children could be assessed. For me, it seems a much more authentic assessment with a truer measure of where students are as learners.
The ALD drafting workshop for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium was an excellent experience for me, as I collaborated with educators from various levels. I now have a firm grasp of college and career readiness expectations because of working with college professors. In addition, I further understand alignment as I was able to collaborate with 6-12 educators and content specialists in developing ALDs.
Finally, I look forward to the potential for an authentic measure of learning after seeing Smarter Balanced assessment possibilities. Overall, after the Smarter Balanced workshop, I feel positive that my implementation of CCSS is headed in the right direction, giving me a sense of confidence as I continue to lead my students to college and career readiness.