1st Edition

So What Do They Really Know? Assessment That Informs Teaching and Learning

By Cris Tovani Copyright 2011

    So What Do They Really Know? Cris Tovani explores the complex issue of monitoring, assessing, and grading students' thinking and performance with fairness and fidelity. Like all teachers, Cris struggles to balance her student-centered instruction with school system mandates. Her recommendations are realistic and practical; she understands that what isn't manageable isn't sustainable. Cris describes the systems and structure she uses in her own classroom and shows teachers how to use assessments to monitor student growth and provide targeted feedback that enables students to master content goals. She also shares ways to bring students into the assessment cycle so they can monitor their own learning, maximizing motivation and engagement. So What Do They Really Know? includes a wealth of information: Lessons from Cris's classroomTemplates showing how teachers can use the workshop model to assess and differentiate instructionStudent work, including samples from linguistically diverse learners, struggling readers, and college-bound seniorsAnchor charts of student thinkingIdeas on how to give feedbackGuidelines that explain how conferring is different from monitoringSuggestions for assessing learning and differentiating instruction during conferencesAdvice for managing ongoing assessmentCris's willingness to share her own struggles continues to be a hallmark of her work. Teachers will recognize their own students and the challenges they face as they join Cris on the journey to figure out how to raise student achievement.

    Chapter 1: Assessment: It Doesn't Have to Be the Enemy; Chapter 2: Let's Get Personal; Chapter 3: Game-Time Assessment; Chapter 4: Off the Field and Into the Classroom; Chapter 5: Annotations: A Trustworthy Source of Data; Chapter 6: Feedback That Fortifies; Chapter 7: Grading Is Killing Me; Coda: Break the Fake


    Cris T Tovani taught elementary school for ten years before becoming a high school reading specialist and English teacher. In In addition to teaching full-time, full-time, she is a nationally known known consultant focusing on issues of reading and content comprehension in in the high school classroom. Cris has also worked for many years as a staff developer for the Denver-based-based Public Education and Business Coalition (PEBC), the consortium that that has received national acclaim for its work in in r reading comprehension reform. She is the author of the book I Read It, It, but I don’t Get It (Stenhouse(Stenhouse 2000).

    "Tovani provides an extensive list of formative assessment ideas so that teachers can gather a range of data and discover what their students really know." - Professionally Speaking