Making Learning Visible

This is from Annemarie Orth in Maine:

I have been thinking lately about how to make the learning visible in a TCI classroom.  There are a few reasons why I’ve been thinking about this.  In February I’m going to attend a monthly event at HGSE (Harvard graduate school of education) called “rounds” in which teachers gather and look at student work together. I’m not necessarily going to bring in something, but I will participate in the discussion.   It also would be cool to bring in some learning from a TCI classroom and have other non-WL TCI teachers discuss it!

Also, the WL middle school teachers in our district are collaborating on a common assessment in which we can show student progress over a period of time in order to demonstrate our capability as teachers (the data forms part of the teacher evaluation portfolio.)

The most concrete form of “making learning visible”  I can think of is a free write.  What else can you or people on the blog think up?  In other classes  students do projects, etc.  And ironically here at King as we are an Expeditionary Learning school, “final products” are valued as excellent way of making learning visible.

I’m also curious about the relationship between documentation and assessment.  How do others document student learning in their classrooms?





5 thoughts on “Making Learning Visible”

  1. We do proficiency checks school wide(not sure if that it is something our admin dreamed up or if it is standard) where we HAVE to assess students BEFORE we start a unit (or teach something) and then give the same assessment after to demonstrate student learning.

    For example, we gave a listening assessment on the all of the structures that the Spanish 1 students draw on their cards (CWB). (All students fail – which is tough – but I explain the process and why we are doing it) and then, after we have covered all or most of the cards, we give the same assessment – to show student growth. All three teachers give the same assessments and we analyze the data together.

    We could do the same with reading.

    We also have every student do a free write in September, January and June (not graded in levels 1 and 2) so students can reflect on their progress over 4 years for those that take 4 years.

    just what we have to do

  2. Could you bring in a video clip from early/late in the year to show how the discourse grows by leaps and bounds? Perhaps caption it with translation (if nec) and/or notes for the clueless that reflect the comprehension? To me that’s always the most powerful – to observe and behold the level of comprehension during class.

  3. I really love this expression, “making learning visible.” I have said something similar, “making TPRS look like school.”

    I use that expression as part of keeping the wolves from hunting down and attacking a CI teacher. The visiblity of language acquisition is a “cover your butt” move that is important to be aware of.

  4. I have always used timed writes, because they are the quickest, easiest, and best-understood (ie by outsiders) way to show productive fluency.

    If this was needed before the kids have had at least 50 hours, not sure what I’d show. Maybe a captioned (2-3 sentences per box) film strip that the kids must illustrate.

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