After my experience with assessment and evaluation this year, I am excited to plan better for this upcoming year, and to include my evaluation/assessment plans proactively instead of reactively as I did this past year.
Using the framework and questions from www.ascevaluation.ca I have laid out the first draft of my assessment/evaluation plan for next year so that when I start factoring in the curriculum expectations, I can keep this overarching theme in mind, and make sure to focus on overall process in a bigger picture way than last year.
“Monitoring and Evaluation in Arts for Social Change” "Step 1: Why are you doing this evaluation? The monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan should be discussed from the start of planning the ASC project itself. Your plan shouldn’t be an afterthought."
I want to see if I am effective at my job. I want to learn more about the reality of my ability instead of what I think about my ability. My perception of what my impact is on kids/communities etc are not the same as my actual impacts (there are similarities but ultimately they are not exactly the same) and I cant possibly find out what they are unless I evaluate myself. School system is focused on evaluating the kids (with some performance reviews by superiors) but that is not the same as the teachers evaluating themselves systematically. (Ie. The reason why I chose to write my report card and approach this paper in this way). Step 2: Who will you work with? Who do you want to work with in this ASC project?
- My Grade 5/6 teaching partner is the main person I will be working with this year. Last year we planned together but I did not have any clue as to what it was actually going to look like. Now I can contribute more to the comprehensive planning and we can collaborate on it more.
- Also I will work closely with the support team (Social Worker, Counsellor etc) They are both new this year so that will be an interesting transition and learning experience.
- Music teacher - we are going to work together more this year
What community organizations, artists, target population, funders?
- Target population is my students but next up is the parents as I have learned this year just how much their support is key in the development of their kids. While I cognitively knew this was the case, learning it first hand through experience was eye-opening. I plan this year to have one on one parent teacher interviews at the beginning of the year instead of student led conferences to build rapport and relationship with the parents and to learn more about their needs and wants so I can navigate that more successfully during the year.
- Administration having your back is super key. For the most part they are incredibly supportive. There may be a change in Vice Principal this upcoming year which has its pros and cons. One important thing for me to figure out for next year is the professional protocol for giving feedback about administration as there are professionalism concerns I would like to address at the beginning if possible
- Peer teachers: this past year has given me a-lot of insight into the importance of partnering with people who are a good fit to partner with, and setting and maintaining clear boundaries with peers. This is a major area of growth for me to do better with this throughout the year this year as my naive green first year teacher-ness is gone and I am ready to start the year off with clear boundaries instead of struggling to identify them partway through.
- Support workers
You’ll want to include these parties throughout the process - including the initial planning stages.
Step 3: How can you monitor ongoing progress?
Print out, cut out and lay out the curriculum expectations, as well as any I make up for myself, and arrange it in a big puzzle on the floor. Once I have a basic idea of what I am going to do, pin it to my bulletin board at school so it can be a living document that changes as we learn (almost like a matrix curriculum calendar). I can use this web of objectives to see visually where were at and where we need to go and I can adjust it as the year goes on.
What do you want to monitor to assess if you are on track?
This year I would like to use the standard curriculum expectations as a guideline to assess if I am on track and I will make up some of my own objectives if they are not already covered in the curriculum but the curriculum is quite comprehensive so I would like to start there first for this year.
How will you monitor this?
- I will keep track on the bulletin board as to what we have covered/not and use that to keep an eye on where we need to go from there
- Students will monitor their own progress weekly with self assessments of their core competencies as well as what is going well, what is going not so well and what they need to do to improve. I will meet with them weekly to go over this, to give them feedback and to help guide their learning process in the right direction. Last year I felt I did not see the students enough one-on-one to give them regular feedback so this is my way to work on and improve that this year.
- Weekly - I will check in with each student at least once weekly and check the bulletin board at least once weekly as well
- Also daily I will upload work that was completed and post feedback comments so that I can more readily complete this work instead of it being left to the end to do all at once
"Step 4: What methods will you use for formal evaluation?"
Last year I used rubrics for projects, student self reflection/assessment and anecdotal observations.
"Qualitative, quantitative, arts-based, or some mixture of these?"
This year I would like to do the same but also use more arts-based methods and provide more opportunities to evaluate using quantitative by creating rubrics and quantitative frameworks as I am planning to make the meeting of expectations more tangible. I will still use anecdotal observations etc but would like to strengthen my quantitative assessment this year. "Step 5: How will you gather the information you need?
What data gathering techniques will you use?"
- I would like to use the facebook icon packets I created to get quick data when teaching the whole class (I created a pack of facebook "likes" "wows" "hearts" etc for the kids to respond quickly to what is going on without needing to speak. One major issue in my class this year was speaking out when not necessary and hopefully this will help me to be able to collect data more quickly in the moment as I am teaching
- I would like to use more regular core competency and general self assessment (instead of every now and then I would like to use it weekly) as mentioned above
- Assignments are to be submitted to FreshGrade (online Portfolio) to keep things neat and organized and can have more creative freedom over their portfolio this year (after the basics are established). Students will also keep their work in subject duo-tangs in the corresponding subject duo-tang bin so I can check their work whenever doing assessment.
- I will check their work more readily this year to not get so behind and give them feedback more quickly and ask them to redo things in order to help them understand basic work expectations.
- I would like to implement peer assessment this year as well and more self assessment in their projects as part of the overall assessment.
"What instruments, guidebooks?"
- For Language Arts I will be using "Reading Power" by Adrienne Gear
- Science and Math Discovery Education
- Google Drive/Docs
- Aesthetic Perspectives on Art for Change
"This would include not just quantitative data, but all materials that would inform your project." "Step 6: How will you analyze the information? How will you analyze the data you gathered?"
This year I used mostly anecdotal observations to analyze data and then referred to the BC Performance Standards in Language Arts and Math for clarity on assessment. I will continue to do that this year but also when planning would like to proactively create rubrics for the project and/or skills I am looking to assess in order to have a framework in place before we start. Last year was much more reactive but this year I would like to be more proactive in this area.
Rubrics, anecdotal observations based on the outlined objectives, student and peer self assessment etc.
"What underlying theory will you use to make sense of all this?"
I really like the Reggio Amelia approach to documentation and plan to use that as well as the frameworks already available to me within the school district and province. There are SO many resources available and I would love to explore them all next year (there are many variations of ways to follow the pedagogy of the provincial curriculum and I am excited to explore these first before venturing too far away from those models)
"Step 7: How will you share your results? How will you share what you learned to your community, artists, target population, and funders?" - I would like to continue to use my own online portfolio to continue to showcase my own learning in the way I am expecting of my kids (modelling)
- We use Freshgrade to show their work but last year there was VERY little engagement with it so this year I would like to develop a strategy of how to get parents engaged in ways that better supports student learning.
- I will invite the administration into my class more often so they can see what were up to. In the past I regretted not having invited them to see awesome things we are doing and this year I would love to step that up!
- I would like to explore ways to share the student learning with each-other more often, was considering weekly or monthly talent shows/skill sharing as well as them teaching each-other more often as we did in student led gym and other student facilitated activities.
Photo Credit and Reference: http://www.ascevaluation.ca/
Next Steps Moving Forward
Many of these points have been covered already throughout the paper and portfolio but are reiterated again here as a comprehensive list of next steps
Work on planning long term and short term with more detail and forethought in advance
Learn more about teaching content areas (mainly Language Arts)
Work on giving feedback more readily and quickly neater printing
Learn more about theory of kids developmental levels at Grade 5/6 level (especially vocabulary and conceptually the kids of things kids at this age can/cannot get)
Read for pleasure (build habit of reading regularly)
Practice integrating embodied work into academic work (increase fluidity between them)
Uphold higher levels of professionalism in talking about others (even if they did it first)
Read the collective agreement (learn protocol for giving feedback to superiors and other important protocols)
Begin reaching out to teaching folks in Toronto to make contacts to prepare for moving back there eventually.
Begin teaching once a week at a community centre again to begin developing her ASC practice again now that she has learned so much.
Spend time this summer learning the curriculum for herself to be better equipped to teach it next year (lots of times she was exploring alongside the kids this year and leading from beside not as a purposeful conscious choice but out of necessity given time constraints, capacity and lack of knowledge in certain content areas.) Process was upheld often but without much content knowledge to help guide the process (in some subjects more than others)
Write education blog, manage my own websites for teaching and gigs build my educational business and build my ASC programs and projects on the side
In the past things have been all muddled together but now it is time to make finer distinctions, be clear about my work and understand which aspects I want where
Explore a return to virtuosity through training and choreographing artist led pieces again in addition to collaborative ASC projects
Collaborate with my wife on a show in Jan 2019
Use the ASC Evaluation Web-Based Tool as a component of my classroom assessment next year
Reread readings from the course to dive deeper into the readings with the understanding from my latest year experience
Have the kids do more of the documentation and evaluation next year themselves
Have the kids give me a report card
Teach them more about the curriculum in the beginning so they can have more context to why we do what we do
Get clearer on the boundaries of engagement within a classroom to have a more solid foundation of teamwork before venturing into more facilitation. (ground rules established to be able to make the facilitation more effective)
Take the idea of using Freshgrade as an artistic/documentation medium in and of itself to the next level
And SO much more!! :D