Assessment, which involves collecting information about or evidence of your students' learning, is a continual and integral part of quality teaching. In fact, teaching without continual assessment is akin to "teaching without the children.
Fountas and Pinnell, 2001
Assessment is a critical component in the learning process. As teachers and students work towards a learning outcome, assessment informs instruction, guides students in setting learning goals, and measures progress and achievement.
There are two forms of assessment: formal and informal.
Formal district-wide literacy assessments measure overall student achievement. These measures help identify whether a student is meeting district benchmarks, or where the child is along a developmental continuum of literacy learning.
Informal assessments are performance driven; this type of assessment provides ongoing feedback to both student and teacher, and helps to drive focused and meaningful learning. Informal assessments help students to identify their strengths and challenges and set meaningful learning goals. They also help teachers to adjust instruction to support or extend learning for students based on their progress and need for differentiated instruction.
In September, January, and June, Mamaroneck teachers conduct district-wide formal assessments; they assess all students in the areas of reading and spelling against established district benchmarks. In the intervening months, teachers use a variety of informal methods of assessment during the daily reading and writing workshops and word study lessons. In some cases, additional assessment and differentiation is required to meet a student's learning needs. For additional information, visit the district's Response to Intervention page.