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Teachers must know what their students are learning...

Beginning teachers will cope and thrive when they can figure out what their students are learning--or not--, so they can focus their teaching energy on that which most needs to be done.

Teachers find out about learners’ experiences and characteristics by paying close attention to student learning and growth throughout the teaching and learning process, and by providing opportunities for children to talk and write about their experiences and interests. They make it a point to gather many types of information from different sources and in multiple contexts, and they examine both processes and products of learning.

Teachers do not rely on assignments, projects, tests or activities to tell them what students are learning. They also step back from the information gathering to summarize and interpret evidence of student learning and growth, and make professional judgments based on information collected. Students are evaluated on both their own personal growth over time and in relation to standards for a particular subject matter and age group. 

Teachers use what they learn through evaluation to reflect on what they know about their students, make instructional decisions, set goals and then share that information with students, parents, colleagues and administrators. [back]

Assessment increases student learning and provides feedback

Using assessment to guide planning and instruction Think it through… Using assessment to engage and report



On-going assessment



What are students required to know and be able to do?

What is evidence of learning?

What task is likely to generate the evidence?

How will the evidence be judged?

[Key terms]


1. Using standards

2. Engaging students in assessing their own work

3. Reporting to parents and administrators