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Differentiated Assessment. How to Assess the Learning Potential of Every Student (Grades 6–12)

  • ID: 2213603
  • Book
  • December 2010
  • 192 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Every teacher and school leader has had the frustrating experience of knowing that a student had high intellect although his or her test data indicated otherwise. Tests tell one story but looking at students′ work and observing them in the daily act of learning tells another. From veteran educator and leader in assessment Evangeline Harris Stefanakis,
Differentiated Assessment provides a comprehensive system to assess students′ individual talents, regardless of language or learning differences.

The book helps educators understand how each student learns and how instruction should be tailored to serve individual needs. Throughout, Stefanakis places special emphasis on two assessment approaches: Student Portfolio Assessments, where selected student work is collected periodically and commented on by teacher, student, and parents; and Personalized Learning Profiles, which provide vital details about each student′s cultural background, interests, and strengths, as well as their learning and language needs.

Filled with helpful examples from model assessment programs at real–world schools, the book provides useful guidance and practical tools for implementing an effective, comprehensive assessment program at the classroom or school–wide level. It also explains how to integrate assessment into the instructional process and how to use portfolios for transfer, graduation, and college application purposes. The bonus DVD provides sample assessments, rubrics, forms, and video.

Praise for Differentiated Assessment

"There is a real need for the kind of differentiation that Evangeline Stefanakis writes about. Her extraordinary work in the use of ′portfolios′ of real student work as an approach to assessment and accountability is critical in order to achieve an authentic approach to the simple fact that (1) we are all unique and (2) the world needs our uniqueness."
from the foreword by Deborah Meier, educational reform advocate and author of Many Children Left Behind and The Power of Their Ideas

"Stefanakis understands something that many policy makers don′t seem to get: assessment is only a tool and students don′t get any smarter or skillful through assessment. However, when assessment is used in the ways described here, it can become a powerful tool to facilitate learning, guide instruction, and make it possible for the needs of individual learners to be met."
Pedro A. Noguera, Ph.D., executive director,Metropolitan Center for Urban Education, New York University

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About This Book.

About the Author.


Foreword (Deborah Meier).



1 Education for the 21st Century.

Addressing the Landscape of Assessment Policies and Practice.

To Sum Up.

2 Differentiated Instruction Starts with Differentiated Assessments.

A Window into Learners Abilities: Adolescents with Learning Challenges.

The Demographic Landscape of Assessment Policies and Practice.

A Differentiated Assessment System: A Sociocultural Approach.

A Comprehensive Assessment System in a High School in the Bronx.

To Sum Up.



3 Differentiated Assessment In Middle Schools.

Case Studies in Developing Differentiated Assessment.

Grant as Catalyst: A Community Designs a System of Differentiated Assessment.

Leaders′ Lessons: Looking at Students Work Makes Learning Visible.

Building a Collaborative Culture: Key Practices Structure Assessment Conversations.

Differentiated Assessment Guides Instruction: Portfolio Rubrics as Common Criteria.

Institutionalize Portfolios for Grading and Conferences: Celebrating Student Work.

Leaders′ Stories: Identifying the Assets of Diverse Groups of Language Learners.

Teachers in Middle School Create Classroom Assessment Systems: Setting Standards.

Teacher′s Classroom Assessment Is Based on "Sitting Beside" the Language Learner.

How Portfolios Help Teachers Become Researchers of Individuals.

Profiles and Portfolios: The Window into the Learner′s Mind and Potential.

Reaching Every Language Learner Personally: Creating a Profile.

Good Seeds Grow in Good Cultures: Teachers Create a Portfolio Culture for Learning.

To Sum Up.


4 Differentiated Assessment in High Schools.

Why Differentiate the Assessment? A Story of High Schools′ Challenges.

Differentiating Learners: Knowing the Adults and Children as a Community.

Differentiated Assessment: Developing a Classroom Assessment System.

Digital Portfolios Introduced as Personal Stories: Windows into the Learner′s Mind.

Guidelines for Classroom Assessment: Creating/Maintaining Portfolios.

To Sum Up.

5 Classroom Assessment with Digital Portfolios.

Differentiated Assessment: Seeing the Learner′s Abilities.

Making Learning Visible with Portfolios.

Portfolio Assessment at New Day Academy.

New Faculty Getting Started with Digital Portfolios.

The Class and the Challenges.

Students and Teacher at Work.

To Sum Up.



6 Differentiated Assessment, Instruction, and Accommodation.

Knowing Your Learner: Understand Cultural and Linguistic Assets.

Knowing Your Learners: Building a Comprehensive Assessment System.

Using the Student′s Assets: Sociocultural Framework to Differentiate Assessment.

Classroom Performance Assessments.

Differentiated Instruction: Knowing Your Learners and Finding Their Strengths.

Creating a Student Profile: A Teacher′s Story of Differentiated Instruction.

Differentiated Instruction: Knowing Individual Learners′ Multiple Intelligences.

To Sum Up.


7 How Differentiated Assessment Guides Instruction.

Knowing Your Learners: Using Portfolios to Differentiate Assessment.

Multiple Entry Points to Instruction: The Physical Environment Supports Learning.

Anchor Activities and Flexible Grouping.

Differentiating Instruction: Lesson and Unit Development for Secondary Students.

Voices from the Field: Differentiated Instruction at the High School Level.

Differentiated Curriculum: Meeting the Needs of All Learners.

Implementing Differentiated Assessment and Instruction in the Classroom.

To Sum Up.

Appendix: DVD Table of Contents.

References and Resources.


How to Use the DVD–ROM.

System Requirements.

Using the DVD–ROM with Windows.

In Case of Trouble.

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Evangeline Harris Stefanakis
Deborah Meier
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