Assessing Student Talk
Oral language is difficult to assess. Other than the required CELDT test for ELLs, no summative test assesses oral language. If it doesn't get assess, it is deemed not as important as other content.
It is crucial that we teach and assess our own students' oral language proficiency. Not only is communication an important life skill, oral language is the foundation for all subsequent learning. They must be able to speak about the content before we can expect them to read or write about it.
How to assess student talk
Daily Assessment- Talk Detectives
Teachers can listen for a specific content as partner or group conversations are going on. Using a clipboard and a class list, list the skills or content expected in the conversation. The teacher moves around the room and listens to conversations, they can check off if they heard the expected skills and keeping kids from getting off task. Teachers can:
This lets the conversation partners know that there are expectations that need to be met. It also gives the talk detectives the opportunity to hear a variety of conversations.
At the end of the class discussion and reflect on the conversation with the class. Use your notes from the Talk Detective to give feedback.
Rubrics are a great way to assess communication. For a rubric to be effective, students need to know and understand the rubric. Napa Valley Unified School District is in the middle of creating a rubric for Creativity, Collaboration, Communication and Critical Thinking. In 2016-2017 school year, the district completed the Collaboration and Critical Thinking Rubrics. Communication & Creativity will be next.
We have been using the New Tech Network Communication Rubric.
School 21 Rubric & Framework
School 21, the school featured in the Edutopia video, has created many resources including assessment tools. Below you will find a rubric and the framework that their Oracy curriculum is based on. These tools might be useful to teachers and the district as they move to create the communication rubric for NVUSD. For more amazing resources from School 21, click here. (you will need to create a login, but it is free)