Overview of Research

Pre Primary Support Materials

Pre-primary Arts snapshot: Dance ideas (Australian animals)

Assessment Principle 2: Assessment should be educative

Reflecting on the Assessment Snapshot

The teacher in this snapshot provided students with feedback they could incorporate into their final dance. In this way, she ensured that her assessment contributed to student learning.

Effective feedback:

  1. Directs attention to the intended learning, pointing out strengths and offering specific information to guide improvement.
  2. Occurs during learning, while there is still time to act on it.
  3. Addresses partial understanding.
  4. Does not do the thinking for the student.
  5. Limits corrective information to the amount of advice the student can act on (Chappuis, 2009, p. 57).
Reflection questions
  • What strategies do you use to assess your students’ progress?
  • How do you incorporate planning for assessment into your lesson plans?
  • How do you refine your lessons based on the information you collect?
  • How do you use feedback to students to guide future learning?

Pre-primary English snapshot: Telling a story

Assessment Principle 1: Assessment should be an integral part of Teaching and Learning

Reflecting on the Assessment Snapshot

The teacher in this Assessment Snapshot assessed a small sample of students to better understand the specific needs of different ability groups. Research shows teachers who are aware of the oral language developmental stages and average rates of oral development, are more likely to be effective in raising students’ oral development to new and higher levels (Snow, Burns and Griffin, 1998; Snow, Griffin and Burns, 2005).

Highly effective literacy teachers demonstrate very high levels of oral language teaching and learning, and use fine-grained knowledge of children’s literacy performance in planning and teaching. The authors of Teaching for growth: Effective teaching of literacy and numeracy note that there was a stronger focus on the development of oral language in the more effective teachers’ classrooms. They were more likely to integrate their oral language teaching into a theme and to develop context-specific vocabulary; to engage children in extended and scaffolded discussions; to provide opportunities for children to remember information, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information; and to provide targeted support to individuals. (Louden, Rohl and Hopkins, 2008).

In 2006, Professor David Andrich recommended to the Curriculum Council (now the School Curriculum and Standards Authority) that fine-grained assessment take precedence over broad classifications of student performance. Curriculum documents, like the Western Australian Curriculum, and standards frameworks, like the Achievement Standards, inherently provide broad classifications of student performance. The teacher in this snapshot devised an assessment strategy which allowed her to examine her students’ language skills at a more fine-grained level than is specified in the curriculum.

Reflection questions
  • What strategies do you use to assess your students’ oral language?
  • How do you incorporate planning for assessment into your lesson plans?
  • How do you refine your lessons based on the information you collect?

References

Andrich, D. (2006). A report to the Curriculum Council of Western Australia regarding assessment for tertiary selection. Retrieved http://www.scsa.wa.edu.au/internet/Publications/Reports/General_Reports

Chappuis, J. (2009). Seven strategies of Assessment for Learning. Victoria, Australia: Hawker Brownlow Education.

Louden, W, Rohl. M., & Hopkins, S. (2008). Teaching for growth: Effective teaching of literacy and numeracy. Graduate School of Education, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA.

Snow, C. E., Burns, M. S., & Griffin, P. (Eds.). (1998). Preventing reading difficulties in young children. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Snow, C. E., Griffin, P., & Burns, M. S. (Eds.). (2005) Knowledge to support the teaching of reading: Preparing teachers for a changing world. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.