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Methods of Assessment

 

Assessment is a very important aspect of learning. It is the product of learning that allows the student, teacher, parent and community know when learning has been accomplished, what needs to be learned next, and how successful the instructional experience has been for the students. Assessment has two unique purposes, Assessment for Learning and Assessment of Learning.

 

Assessment for Learning:
This is also known as formative assessment. Assessment for learning is to inform the teacher and student about what the student has learned and what the student needs to learn next. This type of assessment is used to guide a learning experience as it provides specific details regarding what the child has mastered and what are the next items to be accomplished. There are many tools used in District 58 for this practice. These include, but are not limited to, questioning in class, homework assignments, class projects, exit slips, videos, presentations, the NWEA MAP assessment and the AIMSweb assessments. Each of these instruments can provide specific information about what the child has mastered and what concepts a child show work on next.

 

Assessment of Learning:
This is also known as summative assessment. Assessment of learning is a final measuring stick of what has been learned. Summative assessments are used to rate or rank a student’s performance, program’s effectiveness, school’s achievement or district’s achievement. Tools used for Assessment of Learning are often for reporting aspects. These tools provide finality and closure, but do not inform specific instruction. District 58 has several tools that provide data regarding Assessment of Learning. These include, but are not limited to, common curriculum assessments (which demonstrate whether the child mastered the concept to the district standard),  Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC (which provides information on child, school or district rank in State performance), NWEA MAP and AIMSweb assessments (which tell us how the child or district ranks in comparison to district or national norms).

 

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District 58 believes a blended approach to assessment can provide the fullest picture of student assessment. The diagram below identifies the assessment tools our district utilizes to analyze student achievement from a local, state and national lens. At times these assessments are used to guide specific instruction where as at other points, the assessments are used as a universal screener in order to identify groups of students who may need additional enrichment or remediation.

 

Assessment Tools: District 58 utilizes several assessment tools for formative and summative assessment. These tools include, but are not limited to:

AIMSweb: These tools are used as a general indicator of a student’s reading health. Assessments include:

 

Letter Naming Fluency (LNF) – which analyzes students’ capacity to name upper and lower case letters.  Assessment is administered beginning in Kindergarten through mastery. Students participate in September, January & May assessments.

 

Initial Sounds (IS)which analyses students’ capacity to identify (or produce) the sound that begins a word. Assessment is administered beginning in Kindergarten through mastery. Students participate in September, January & May assessments.

 

Letter Word Sounds Fluency (LWSF) – which analyses students’ capacity to say the sounds of visually presented letters, syllables and words. Assessment is administered beginning in Kindergarten through mastery. Students participate in September, January & May assessments.

 

Phoneme Segmentation (PS) –  which analyses students’ capacity to analyze groups of letters and decode the sounds of these letter combinations. Assessment is administered beginning in first grade through mastery. Students participate in September, January & May assessments.
Word Reading Fluency (WRF)  –  which analyses students’ capacity to read a word list aloud. Assessment is administered beginning in first grade through mastery. Students participate in September, January & May assessments.
Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) – which analyzes students’ oral fluency – administered beginning in first grade to students until they reach district graduation requirements. Students participate as a universal screener in September, January & May. Additional assessments may be administered to monitor student growth.

 

 

Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measure of Academic Progress (MAP): Administered to grades K-8 in September, January and May to identify student achievement levels in Language Usage, Reading and Mathematics.  This is an adaptive assessment; that is, when a child answers a question correctly, their next question is a more difficult question.  If a child answers incorrectly, their next question is a less challenging question.  Each child takes this assessment on an iPad or Chromebook.  Children taking the MAP for Primary (kindergarten, first and some second graders) use headphones and have an auditory portion to the assessment. Children taking the standard MAP do not need headphones. Each test is untimed, can be paused and restarted at any time during the testing window (generally 3 weeks), and can be taken in multiple sessions.  For more information you may visit https://www.nwea.org/

 

Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) : PARCC is a computer-based state assessment and accountability measure for Illinois students enrolled in a public school district. PARCC replaces the annual ISAT, and it assesses students on their academic strengths related to college and career readiness. PARCC is aligned with the New Illinois Learning Standards and the Common Core Standards in English/Language Arts and Mathematics.  For more information about PARCC, visit www.parcconline.org.