The most important thing for us to focus on is the continuation of teaching and learning. Assessment is part of that process in terms of helping find out what kids are learning, but we need to look at it through a formative lens.
In planning instruction for the coming school years and supporting students with unfinished learning, teachers should consider these principles:
- stick to grade-level content and instructional rigor
- prioritize content and learning
- identify and address gaps in learning through instruction
The documents that follow illustrate how to prioritize the grade-level content and learning, where to focus, and where concepts can be combined. Concentrating on the grade-level curriculum will reveal the prior understandings and assets of students, so that teachers can build on those understandings efficiently to access the topic at hand, “just in time.”
The documents also provide suggestions to help uncover and formatively assess unfinished learning. The assessments should be used to determine how to bring students into a unit of grade-level instruction, not whether to bring them into it. The point isn’t to generate data about what students get right and wrong; it’s to understand how to support students as they work.
In a distance learning scenario, one-on-one check-ins with students are likely the best way to understand how they are thinking about some of the important particulars and to help them understand how those particulars connect to the current grade-level content they are about to engage with.
Based on guidance from Achieve the Core