Link IB World School Assessment
Link IB World School’s Assessment
The Assessed Curriculum: How will we know what we have learned?
Assessment, like in any curriculum model, is a key piece for understanding what was taught and what the student learned. The assessment process involves both formative and summative assessments, using different examples of student work and performance within a given unit of inquiry. Assessments are used to promote student growth and learning. It also allows the educator an opportunity to evaluate the process to determine what will be effective for the student in the future. As IB states, [assessment] “is central to the PYP goal of thoughtfully and effectively guiding students through the five essential elements of learning: the understanding of concepts, the acquisition of knowledge, the mastering of skills, the development of attitudes and the decision to take action.”
The PYP describes the taught curriculum as the written curriculum in action. Using the written curriculum, and in collaboration with colleagues and students, the teacher generates questions which guide structured inquiry in the classroom. Assessment focuses on the quality of student learning during the process of this inquiry and the quality of student learning which is evident in the products of this inquiry. Assessment is, therefore, integral to the taught curriculum. It is the means by which we analyze student learning and the effectiveness of our teaching and acts as a foundation on which to base our future planning and practice. It is central to our goal of guiding the student, from novice to expert, through the learning process.
The Primary Years Program divides assessment into three components:
- Assessing – how we discover what students have learned.
- Recording – how we decide to take note of our findings (data).
- Reporting – how we choose to communicate essential information to the parties involved in students’ learning.
Who is involved in Student Assessment?
Everyone concerned with assessment - students, teachers, parents, administrators and board members - must have a clear understanding of the reason for the assessment, what is being assessed, the criteria for success and the method by which the assessment is made. Students are asked to reflect on their learning using portfolios to document their progress. This documentation allows students to show evidence of their learning and keeps them involved with their learning process. The portfolios should include all subject areas and experiences during their time at Link IB World School. The portfolios are one component of effective assessments that the PYP considers to be effective.
How do we discover what students have learned?
The process of making a conclusion about student progress or the effectiveness of a program based on sufficient assessment information.
Providing information to plan for the next stages of learning, this type of assessment is ongoing throughout the course of the lesson. Formative assessments allow a teacher to provide ongoing feedback to improve their teaching and their students’ learning.
The culmination of the teaching as a learning process, giving students an opportunity to show what they have learned.
Occurring at the end of the teaching and learning process, this allows the teacher to ask further questions about the assessment pros and cons.
The PYP Exhibition
In the final year for all PYP students, their culminating project is the Exhibition. This assessment is a culmination of all concepts and skills learned while in the PYP program. Students will demonstrate their knowledge as well as their connection to the five essential elements, engaging in in-depth research and inquiry. The focus of the exhibition varies from world school to world school, but the project is entirely student-led. Generally, the focus is on one of the transdisciplinary themes with students choosing a situation that has great meaning to them. It is a way for them to use the inquiry process to “solve” a problem within their community. It is a very intense project that students will undertake with the assistance of their teachers, PYP Coordinator, family members, and community members. Once completed, teachers will assess their learning and understanding, using detailed rubrics as guides.
Link IB World School Essential Agreements for Assessment
- Responsive assessments will emerge from the classroom.
- Assessments will be connected to teaching and learning.
- Assessment practice will be student centered and reciprocal.
- Assessments will provide clear criteria that is known and understood by the student.
- Assessments will provide opportunities for students to demonstrate higher order and critical thinking skills through presentation and performances that match their learning styles.
- Assessments will be culturally sensitive to the diverse backgrounds of the students.
- Assessments will support student goal setting, decision making, and development in academics and the Student Profiles.
- Assessments will enable students to know their own abilities, needs, Students Profiles, and instructional possibilities.
- Self-assessments will allow students to set, pursue, and monitor their own learning goals for learning in collaboration with others.
- Assessments will provide evidence of student growth and progress that can be clearly evaluated and understood by all stakeholders.
Student Demonstration of Learning in the PYP
Students will have many opportunities to demonstrate learning in a variety of ways:
- Reflection journals / responses
- Class discussions
- Performance tasks
- 5th Grade Exhibition
How do teachers record student progress?
The Link Elementary staff uses a variety of assessment tools to record student progress in the PYP including:
- Task criteria
- Narrative records
- Trimester reflections
How is student growth reported to parents and students?
- Report cards (three times per year)
- Portfolio* / Attitudes / Student Profile reflection forms (three times a year)
- Student-led conferences and portfolio review (spring)
- Parent-teacher (twice a year) teacher-student and parent-teacher-student conferences (ongoing throughout the year)
- Unit of inquiry reflection reports (after completion of each unit)
- Teacher communication with parents is ongoing (notes, calls, emails, newsletters, web site)
* All portfolios of the Link IB World School children are kept with the teachers for the school year and passed on the following year to show student progress and growth. They are available for review by teachers, parents, students, and administrators throughout the year.
Calendar of Assessments:
Assessment is a continuous process that allows teachers, parents and children to identify areas of strength and areas that need improvement, as well as the effectiveness of the program. It is a daily activity at Link and takes various forms. There are two main categories of assessment:
- Formative Assessment is interwoven with daily learning and helps teachers and students find out what children already know, understand and can do in order to plan for further student learning and growth. Formative assessment occurs throughout a learning unit or process. Within the Program of Inquiry, assessment is embedded for progress monitoring of levels of understanding of the five essential elements.
- Summative Assessment takes place at the end of a learning unit or process. It is a chance for students, teachers and parents to evaluate progress and demonstrate what has been learned over the course of time. It is a formal ending point to a taught unit or of a process but not necessarily the end of student learning in the areas being assessed. Performance-based assessments are designed for all Units of Inquiry to assess the level of understanding of all Unit skills, content and processes. Rubrics are developed for each assessment with specific criteria to inform students, teachers, and parents of growth and progress.
- STAR assessments in Early Literacy, Reading and Math are administered to all K-5 students, three times a year, and provide diagnostic information for progress monitoring.
- Fountas and Pinnel miscue analysis are administered at least three times a year by classroom teachers and Literacy Specialists to all students K-5. This qualitative assessment provides information on students’ growth and progress as a reader—strategies, skills, level of complexity of text, metacognitive behaviors.
- Math Benchmark Assessments are administered by classroom teachers and Math Specialist to students demonstrating gaps in learning.
- NYS ELA and Math assessments are administered to all students yearly in grades 3-5.
- NYS Science assessment is administered to all 4th grade students yearly.
 Making the PYP Happen: A Curriculum Framework for International Primary Education, pg. 44
 Making the PYP Happen: A Curriculum Framework for International Primary Education, pg. 45