Stamford American Elementary School Curriculum Guide - page 35

Ongoing assessment provides insights into students’ understanding, knowledge, skill and
attitudes. These are necessary to plan further activities, which address issues of concern
to the teacher and the students. Teachers will use some of the following methods for
collecting data about students:
– Students are observed often and regularly, as part of a group or as
an individual and both with teacher guidance and without.
Performance Assessments
– Assessments are goal-directed tasks with established
criteria. They are meaningful and significant challenges and problems. In these
tasks there are numerous approaches to the problem and rarely only one
correct response. Audio, video and narrative records are often useful for this kind
of assessment.
Process Focused Assessments
– Students are observed often and regularly for
typical and non-typical behaviors. Teachers use multiple observations and often
use checklists, inventories and narrative descriptions.
Selected Responses
– These are single-occasion, one-dimensional exercises. Tests
and quizzes are familiar examples.
Open-Ended Tasks
– These are situations in which students are presented with a
stimulus and asked to communicate an original response. The answer might
be a brief written answer, a drawing, a diagram or a solution.
– This is a purposeful collection of a student’s work that is designed
to demonstrate successes, growth, higher order thinking, creativity and reflection.
Portfolios should not be thought of as a collection of work but rather as an
exhibition of an active mind at work.
Teachers evaluate the types of assessment using the following:
– These are an established set of criteria used for scoring or rating
students’ tests, performances or portfolios. The descriptors tell the assessor
what characteristics or signs to look for in students’ work and then how to rate
that work on a predetermined scale. Rubrics can be developed by students as
well as by teachers.
– These are samples of students’ work that serve as concrete
standards against which other samples are judged. Generally there is one
benchmark for each achievement level in a scoring rubric.
MAP – AERO Standards
Assessment of student performance takes place within the school on a regular basis.
External testing provides a benchmark for student progress and allows Stamford to
monitor the achievement of individual students and also the value of the written
curriculum. Stamford administers the adaptive NWEA Measures of Academic Progress
(MAP) standardized testing, which is aligned with the American Education Reaches
Out (AERO) standards. Testing takes place in the Fall and in the Spring and progress of
students as individuals and by grade levels will be measured and used to support our
highly differentiated approach.
Students will have individual performance targets based on their internal and external
assessments. Student reading levels (lexile level) are used in conjunction with other
assessments to develop individual plans for reading development. Student mathematics
scores are used in conjunction with MAP mathematics standards to plan a differentiated
and targeted path for each student.
Youth Chinese Test (YCT)
Mandarin students in Kindergarten 2 to Grade 5 are assessed once a year through the
administering of the YCT . This test allows us to mark the progress of students’ Mandarin
level and to chart their growth. Students receive a certificate following the test which lists
scores. This test is regarded and recognized worldwide. At Stamford we use the data for
student grouping and to evaluate our program.
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