Posts Tagged ‘feedback’

New Teacher Evaluation Instrument: Standard #4

March 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Standard IV: Teachers facilitate learning for their students

Teachers know the ways in which learning takes place, and they know the appropriate levels of intellectual, physical, social, and emotional development of their students.

Teachers know how students think and learn. Teachers understand the influences that affect individual student learning (development, culture, language proficiency, etc.) and differentiate their instruction accordingly. 

Teachers keep abreast of evolving research about student learning. They adapt resources to address the strengths and weaknesses of their students.


Teachers plan instruction appropriate for their students.  

Teachers collaborate with their colleagues and use a variety of data sources for short- and long-range planning based on the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. These plans reflect an understanding of how students learn.

Teachers engage students in the learning process. They understand that instructional plans must be consistently monitored and modified to enhance learning.

Teachers make the curriculum responsive to cultural differences and individual learning needs.


Teachers use a variety of instructional methods.  

Teachers choose the methods and techniques that are most effective in meeting the needs of their students as they strive to eliminate achievement gaps.

Teachers employ a wide range of techniques including information and communication technology, learning styles, and differentiated instruction.


Teachers integrate and utilize technology in their instruction.  

Teachers know when and how to use technology to maximize student learning.

Teachers help students use technology to learn content, think critically, solve problems, discern reliability, use information, communicate, innovate, and collaborate.


Teachers help students develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.  

Teachers encourage students to ask questions, think creatively, develop and test innovative ideas, synthesize knowledge, and draw conclusions. They help students exercise and communicate sound reasoning; understand connections; make complex choices; and frame, analyze, and solve problems.


Teachers help students work in teams and develop leadership qualities.  

Teachers teach the importance of cooperation and collaboration. They organize learning teams in order to help students define roles, strengthen social ties, improve communication and collaborative skills, interact with people from different cultures and backgrounds, and develop leadership qualities.


Teachers communicate effectively.  

Teachers communicate in ways that are clearly understood by their students. They are perceptive listeners and are able to communicate with students in a variety of ways even when language is a barrier.

Teachers help students articulate thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively.


Teachers use a variety of methods to assess what each student has learned.  

Teachers use multiple indicators, including formative and summative assessments, to evaluate student progress and growth as they strive to eliminate achievement gaps.

Teachers provide opportunities, methods, feedback, and tools for students to assess themselves and each other.

Teachers use 21st century assessment systems to inform instruction and demonstrate evidence of students’ 21st century knowledge, skills, performance, and dispositions.

Examples of Artifacts

Lesson Plans


Use of Student Learning Teams 


Collaborative Lesson Planning

Display of Technology Used to Facilitate InstructionDocumentation of Differentiated Instruction Professional Development

Materials Used to Promote Critical Thinking and Problem Solving


To access the full North Carolina Teacher Evaluation Process Document, click here:   (Pages 5-9 of this document will provide you with background information, definitions, and a rationale for the changes in the teacher evaluation process and instrument.)

To access all documents, videos, forms, PowerPoints, and charts related to the New Teacher Evaluation Process, click here:


Formative Assessment and Benchmark Testing

October 18, 2009 2 comments

pic 1As I continue to meet with teachers regarding results of benchmark testing, I am reminded that sometimes we just need to take time to reflect on why we do what we do. As a school and a district, we are challenged to decrease the achievement gap between white students and students of color by 25%.  Research shows that high quality formative assessment does have a powerful impact on student learning. Black and Wiliam (1998) report that studies of formative assessment show an effect size on standardized tests of between 0.4 and 0.7, an effect larger than most known educational interventions.  Effect size is a measure of the impact of an intervention or strategy on student outcomes.




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Data from formative assessment/benchmark tests provide us with a better understanding of gaps between learning goals and students’ current knowledge.  The feedback you provide to students following a formative assessment/benchmark test helps them become aware of their specific learning gaps.  The clear and specific feedback you provide guides students through actions necessary to achieve the learning goal (Ramaprasad, 1983; Sadler, 1989).

The most helpful type of feedback on tests and homework provides specific comments about errors and specific suggestions for improvement (Bangert-Drowns, Kulick, & Morgan, 1991; Elawar & Corno, 1985).  When we encourage students to focus their attention thoughtfully on the task rather than on simply getting the right answer, we move them toward mastery learning, not just performance on a particular assessment on a specific date.




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Specific feedback is particularly helpful to lower achieving students because it emphasizes that students can improve as a result of effort. Formative assessment helps support the expectation that all students can learn at high levels and counteracts the cycle in which students attribute their poor performance to lack of ability (Ames, 1992; Vispoel & Austin, 1995). When students become discouraged, they are unwilling to invest in further learning; formative assessment coupled with specific feedback provides a second chance for students to relearn and master previously taught concepts.





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Admittedly, feedback generally originates from a teacher. However, some of you are allowing students to play an important role in the formative assessment process through self-evaluation. Two experimental research studies have shown that students who understand the learning objectives and assessment criteria and have opportunities to reflect on their work demonstrate greater improvement than those who do not (Fontana & Fernandes, 1994; Frederikson & White, 1997). Furthermore, students with learning disabilities who are taught to use self-monitoring strategies related to their understanding of reading and writing tasks also show performance gains (McCurdy & Shapiro, 1992; Sawyer, Graham, & Harris, 1992).




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During our last session on The Power of Formative Assessment, I found it interesting that our students struggle with self-assessment, as evidenced by the posting regarding using Stoplight strategy. When students indicated that they positively knew the answer to a specific question and coded it green only to discover that they were wrong, we must reevaluate why students harbor these misconceptions.  This posting tells us that we must teach our students how to self-assess and guide them through that process as a procedure promote mastery learning.

As we continue to learn about formative assessment, whether through our benchmarks or our daily assessments, our goal is to make necessary adjustments in our instructional practices to improve student achievement.


Ames, C. (1992). Classrooms: Goals, structures, and student motivation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 84 (3): 261-271.

Bangert-Drowns, R.L., Kulick, J.A., and Morgan, M.T. (1991). The instructional effect of feedback in test-like events. Review of Educational Research, 61 (2): 213-238.

Black, P. and Wiliam, D. (1998b). Inside the black box: Raising standards through classroom assessment. Phi Delta Kappan, 80 (2): 139-148. (Available online:

Elawar, M.C., and Corno, L. (1985). A factorial experiment in teachers’ written feedback on student homework: Changing teacher behaviour a little rather than a lot. Journal of Educational Psychology, 77 (2): 162-173.

Fontana, D., and Fernandes, M. (1994). Improvements in mathematics performance as a consequence of self-assessment in Portuguese primary school pupils. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 64 (3): 407-417.

Frederiksen, J.R., and White, B.J. (1997). Reflective assessment of students’ research within an inquiry-based middle school science curriculum. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.

McCurdy, B.L., and Shapiro, E.S. (1992). A comparison of teacher monitoring, peer monitoring, and self-monitoring with curriculum-based measurement in reading among students with learning disabilities. Journal of Special Education, 26 (2): 162-180.

Ramaprasad, A. (1983). On the definition of feedback. Behavioral Science, 28 (1): 4-13.

Sadler, D.R. (1989). Formative assessment and the design of instructional systems. Instructional Science, 18 (2): 119-144.

The concept of formative assessment. Boston, Carol. (n.d.). Retrieved October 18, 2009, from

The Value of Formative Assessment | FairTest. (n.d.). Retrieved October 18, 2009, from

Vispoel, W.P., and Austin, J.R. (1995). Success and failure in junior high school: A critical incident approach to understanding students’ attributional beliefs. American Educational Research Journal, 32 (2): 377-412.