Assessing students’ readiness for learning in 2020

The need to assess students’ knowledge is vital to enhancing teaching and learning. But with so much disruption to the school year last year, assessments this fall 2020 are even more important than usual. In order to prepare for the school year, ATT teachers attended a workshop with Rabbi Dr. Dovid Jacobson, Educational Consultant, Yeshiva Educational Services, Inc.,  about the types of assessments they can use.

 There are 4 types of student assessments:

  1. Placement testing: a pre-assessment before instruction begins. This creates a baseline for instruction.
  2. Formative assessment: done by the teacher at the beginning and during instruction to note students’ progress and check for understanding. This is not necessarily for a grade, it is to help the teacher assess the progress of the learning.
  3. Diagnostic testing: used to figure out if there is an impediment to learning so that the teacher can make accommodations or provide extra resources.
  4. Summative assessment: tests at the end of a chapter, unit, year, course for purpose of giving a grade or advancement to next level of learning and to collect data on the student progress.

Placement testing and formative assessment are used to assess readiness, and teachers might need to adjust their teaching accordingly. This is always important, but it’s more important this year since students have not been in the traditional classroom since March. 

Once you have your assessment results, you’ll need to  

  • Revisit the plan for the course/unit/lesson and make adjustments as needed.
  • Provide or seek support for students who are below (and above!) level,
  • Implement differentiated instruction based on student needs

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