B: Instruction and Assessment (evidence)

B1: Communicates effectively

Wherever possible I give students clear instructions both verbally and in writing (either a handout or notes on the board). Instructions for homework are always on the same place on the board as well as written on my blog. I ask clarifying questions to check that students have understood projects, assignments, and discussion tasks. I also frequently model what is required. I think the commentsbelow from the 2010 parent survey show that students and parents are satisfied with the way I communicate with them.
Mrs. Kemsley communicates well with her
students. Students in
her class learn well. My child told me Mrs. Kemsley
is her best English teacher so far! Thank you, Mrs.
Kemsley!

B2: Defines learning expectations and provides timely evaluative feedback on student performance

I always provide rubrics to students at the same time as their assessments; in this way learning expectations are clearly defined. In line with SAS policy I use the six traits criterion when designing new writing rubrics, and the oral rubric adapted by the Language Arts Task Force for speaking assignments. In order to consider the students' developmental needs, I adapt these rubrics each time I use them, in order to focus the students on the most important aspects of the assignment.
Furthermore, I am very competent using IB rubrics and make sure my students know them very well, right from the beginning of the course.Example: Adapted 6 traits rubric for Grade 12, with a focus on narrative essay writing

I always try to return graded student work within one week, and it's my policy to identify strengths and two to three key areas for improvement.
When working with IB students on internal assessment I give detailed formative feedback at each stage of the writing process. Please see this example of feedback given to students while working on their IOP:


B3:Uses appropriate assessment techniques to guide instruction

I always provide rubrics to students at the same time as their assessments; in this way learning expectations are clearly defined (Please see sample rubric for B2 above). I monitor individual student and class progress using powerschool, entering grades regularly. I also keep notes about students from formative assignments and observation, as per this document:

I regularly use the results of assessments to guide instruction. For example, the document above detailing formative feedback given to students working on their IOPs was then used to inform my lesson planning - I identified weaknesses and areas for improvement and planned lessons on these prior to the IOP. In Grade 9 I guides all the students in self- assessment using quarterly self-assessment sheets, which are used to encourage metacognition and set learning goals: In the IB I use the rubrics to help students reflect on their own learning and to set targets for improvement. Whether using formative or summative assessment it is my firm belief that every assessment leads to a learning opportunity.

B4: Uses appropriate assessment to measure and report student learning

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  • Formative assessments of writing and speaking skills
  • Diagnostic assessments of learning needs, particularly at the start of the year
  • Self-assessment forms (as per example in B3 section)
  • Peer assessment, particularly of written work at the draft stage
  • Informal and formal observation of group work projects
  • Summative assessments across a range of skills: reading, writing, and speaking

All of the above strategies are used to measure and report student learning. I use appropriate assessment tools; mostly rubrics and anecdotal notes. As described above these rubrics are clear and made available to the students.
I create reports using multiple sources of information; skills, work habits, and targets for improvement.
I celebrate achievement of student learning goals in several ways, three of which are: displaying students work, verbal and written praise in feedback, and encouraging students to reflect on their own progress.
I maintain accurate documentation in three main ways: powerschool, student portfolios, and written notes and observations as per the student notes posted above for the B3 criteria.

B5: Motivates and engages students

Part One: Parent Comments
I think the comments below from parents during the 2010 parent teacher survey show that many of my students feel motivated and engaged:

Ms Kemsley really sees the positive qualities in all of her students and looks to build on those.

Very encouraging to my daughter! Makes her feel like she can achieve anything!

My child finds the class inspiring. Ms Kemsley encourages her students to think. She emotes a positive attitude and students find it easy to connect with her.

Ms Kemsley is creative in English class, making it more fun and interesting.

My child tells me Ms Kemsley is a very enthusiastic teacher. Her teaching methods are effective and engaging.

She is knowledgeable in her area of expertise, she gets the students to actively join in the class, and she is constantly changing the way that the students learn, she has a good sense of humour.

Makes class very fun and interesting. Has a good relationship with her students. Seeks out to personally help them.


Part Two: Motivating through Assessment

During my research on assessment for my master's degree I read a very interesting article about how assessment methods affect student learning:

Ruth Butler found that the way to inspire intrinsic motivation in one’s students is to create interesting tasks and encourage mastery of them through precise, explicit feedback. In a controlled study, she confirmed her several hypotheses about intrinsic motivation. Results showed clearly that the groups of pupils who were just given a comment on their first task, of three, maintained significantly more interest in the following tasks, and also improved more. Those given grades or grades plus comments lost interest and didn’t improve so much:
Thus task-involving feedback does seem to have different effects on both interest and performance than ego-involving feedback. In addition, while teachers seem to feel that any negative effects of grades can be ameliorated by personal comment, the above results suggest that this practise too will induce an ego-involved
orientation. This suggestion was further supported by the finding that pupils did indeed tend to recall the grade rather than the comment (Butler 1988, p.11).
Therefore, I now tend to leave formative assessment assignments ungraded - I simple give comments and feedback on strengths and weaknesses. I then follow up with a summative assessment with a similar format later. Students have improved both their performance on summative assessments, and their motivation and metacognitive awareness.