Practicing what I teach.

As we finish up our current workshop-based writing assessment, I’m thinking about what comes next.

draftsI spent this afternoon creating multiple drafts of my first reading summative.  In pencil.

Next up for us is a unit on “coming of age” novels, and I’ve chosen four books for my students to choose from as we study this genre.


Pretty psyched about these choices.

I’m a huge supporter of backwards-design.
(In my brain, it’s the only way that unit planning actually clicks for me.)

So first:
Before I even think about what we’re DOING with these texts, I need to think about what I want them to demonstrate at the end.  DOK chart

One of my favorite tools for assessment planning is this chart that includes Bloom’s taxonomy and levels of DOK.  I try to design my assessments (and rubrics) to include all levels of thinking, and this visual is such an easy reference as I work.

I work in pencil and paper and type it up later.
On a computer, it’s too easy to Google.  On paper, I have to think for myself.

I use essential questions to guide me.
…but I struggled with this essential question:


This one was stupid and didn’t address the idea of reading at all. But it was a start.


I don’t hold back when I’m brainstorming…clearly.

EQ final

I eventually settled on this one.  (I think) this question seems both general and specific, and gives my students a little room to think.

After creating two drafts of my assignment (erasing and arrowing and crossing out along the way),  I finally settled on my final draft and corresponding rubric.

Since I used my DOK chart to guide what my final assessment would include, creating my rubric was easy.

final draftsWhen I sit down to type this up, I’ll clean some of the language up, but now that this is done, I can breathe a little easier and start planning how we’ll actually reach this goal successfully.


3 thoughts on “Practicing what I teach.

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