Multiple assessments are one of the keys to successful teaching because it allows you to monitor students’ progress over time and formulate future assignments accordingly. Furthermore, it is important to differentiate by choosing a variety of methods in which students can demonstrate their knowledge. According to Tomlinson & McTighe:
“Although summative/evaluative assessments often receive the most attention, diagnostic and formative assessments provide critical “along the way” information to guide instruction in response to the nature and needs of the diverse learners…In a differentiated classroom, a teacher continuously examines ongoing assessment data for individuals as a means of adapting “up-front” teaching plans so that they address particular learner needs” (71).
Therefore, not only will I assess my students using pop quizzes or short essays, but I will also assess them through reading logs, daily journal entries, creative projects such as music or video presentations, and even mock Facebook pages that allow students to create a profile for characters in a text. I believe that it is especially important for English teachers to somehow incorporate social media into their lessons because whether it is on Facebook or Twitter, or through texting, students are writing every day. By addressing students’ writing skills within these spaces, we are able to impact those skills tremendously. Therefore, I will make sure to incorporate a variety of multi-layered instructional activities within the curriculum that cover a wide range of learning styles. By offering my students choices, I will be able to keep them engaged in what we are doing in the classroom. They will also realize that their opinions and thoughts do matter. I believe that this will lead to increased participation and a much more stimulating experience for all.