K-5 Language Arts Curriculum: K-2 Module lesson Assessment

How do we assess primary learners?

Created By

EL Education

The terms "assessments" and "primary"  can often evoke a shudder or a sigh.  But, assessments can be a powerful tool for teachers and students.  In this section, we will dig into the structure of the assessments and consider how assessments can be a powerful instructional tool.  

Created By

EL Education

The terms "assessments" and "primary"  can often evoke a shudder or a sigh.  But, assessments can be a powerful tool for teachers and students.  In this section, we will dig into the structure of the assessments and consider how assessments can be a powerful instructional tool.  

"If you don’t know where you are headed, you’ll probably end up someplace else." Douglas J. Eder, PhD, professor

In the K-2 module lessons, each module has three assessments, one for each unit.  The unit assessments assess students’ progress towards mastery of the reading, writing or speaking and listening standards.  The lessons preceding the unit assessments provide scaffolding towards the unit assessment and prepare students for both the content and structure of the assessment.  In K-2, the assessments are designed to feel like typical lessons for students.
Students also complete a performance task at the end of the module, but this is not considered an assessment because it is highly scaffolded and often collaborative.

(*Note: This PD Pack page does not address the assessments in the Reading Foundations Skills Block.)

Learning Targets:

  • I can describe the assessment structure of module lessons.
  • I can explain how assessments are designed to assess students’ progress towards the Common Core State Standards (Reading Literature, Reading Informational, Writing, and Speaking and Listening).
  • I can explain how assessments are an important instructional tool for teachers and students.  

Read: Assessments

One important part of backwards planning is unpacking the assessments for the module and analyzing the learning targets that scaffold learning for students. 

First read the assessment documents for your grade level.  What will students need to know and be able to do?  

Next, locate the Unit-at-a-Glance that corresponds with the assessment that you read.  Look at the learning targets in the lessons leading up to the assessment.  Consider “How does the learning scaffold to the assessment and support student success?”   

Dig Deeper: Writing Rubrics

Below you will find links to grade level writing rubrics for each of the three types of writing laid out in the new standards: opinion/argument (W.1), informative/explanatory (W.2), and narrative. EL Education created these K-5 rubrics based on an analysis of the grade-level demands of the CCSS, rubrics used by PARCC and Smarter Balanced, and EL Education’s own professional expertise (including attention to the Writing for Understanding framework).

As you review the rubrics for your grade level, consider:

  1. What are the differences among advanced, proficient, developing and beginning for your grade level?
  2. How will you support student learning at each level of proficiency?

Try It: Test drive an assessment!

An important step in backwards planning and preparing to teach is to analyze and test drive the assessments.  Doing so helps you identify what your students will need to know and be able to do,  determine possible misconceptions students will have and prioritize learning targets along the way.  

Use this assessment task card as you analyze a future assessment.

Dig Deeper

  • The “Secret Sauce” of Formative Assessment“ Read the second part of a two-part blog series featured on Education Week’s Classroom Q&A, Libby Woodfin, EL’s Director of Publications.  In this post, she answers the question posed by Larry Ferlazzo “What are effective formative assessment techniques?”  

Synthesize:

For Teachers:

  1. How will you collect and use assessments from the module lessons to plan and adjust instruction?
  2. How can student work (assessments) be effective and powerful evidence that informs your instruction?

For Leaders:

  1. How will you support teachers as they collect and analyze student assessment data?  What systems and structures for support are currently in place?  What systems and structures need to be in place?
  2. How will you create (or do you create) a culture of data among your staff that supports student achievement?