FVHS, a Formative Snapshot

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May 3, 2013 by sz

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This last week we debriefed on our Rounds for Formative Assessment. Keep in mind that during our period by period observations we also held debriefs with a small group of teachers that focused on our shared observations. These smaller debriefs are much more focused and effective as we can really get down to the nitty gritty details of instruction.

Let me give you an example. During one observation, we saw student presentations and afterwards we discussed the different ways to engage the students watching the presentations. We talked about giving students rubrics to check off during the presentations, but then they couldn’t be fully present while their peers were speaking. One of our fabulous student teachers suggested using an abbreviated rubric and directing the students to fill it out after the presentation. That way students can be engaged during the presentations and participate in the assessment afterwards.

A simple solution? Yes. But sometimes simple solutions slip our minds. Without this debrief I may have missed out on using an effective strategy for another year or more, doing things like I’ve always done them. For me, this is one of the great benefits of Instructional Rounds: making the time and space to reflect on my practice, with my pedagogical pals!

Because a larger group of teachers participate in our main Rounds debrief (which happens during a thirty-one minute lunch period) we can’t explore instructional practices as deeply, rather we get a snapshot view of several classrooms. Mind you, the conversations are no less stimulating. In the table below, you can see our notes from our debrief. Keep in mind this is only a fraction of what we observed and even a smaller fraction of all the great use of formative assessment that happens everyday at Fountain Valley High School.

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