Each new school year is a time of hope – this year will be the best year ever! Taking the time to create an assessment plan will help you make this hope a reality. This blog post is part four in a series of five designed to take you through the process of building an assessment plan for the beginning of the year.

  1. Step One – Beginning with the end in mind.
  2. Step Two – Preparing to evaluate by considering evidence of learning
  3. Step Three – Planning to collect baseline evidence of learning 
  4. Step Four – Planning to involve students in the collection of evidence (this post)
  5. Step Five – Planning to have students working harder than you are 

Getting students involved is easier than it sounds. Consider the Science example shared in step one and think about the ways students can be supported to collect and file the products in a digital file folder or a paper-based one. A crate or part of a file drawer can keep the evidence safe as the learning time unfolds.

Students can be responsible for this task if they are supported to collect and file the ongoing evidence of learning. This allows teachers the time to focus on collecting other important evidence as well as observations. In the example above, a teacher might choose to make and record the following on-going observations:

(O) Observations are detailed
(Q) Questions about scientific world
(P) Makes realistic Predictions

(E) Engages productively in activities and experiments
(S) Works by Self
(W) Works as part of a small group
(U) Understands scientific concepts being taught
(C) Makes Connections to new scientific situations

How to make these observations both possible and practical? Consider setting up your observations in either digital or paper form in the following way:

Now you can efficiently make observations as students engage in being scientists day-by-day in your classroom. Select a few students to observe each class and then take a few seconds to use a highlighter to note what you have observed.

As the term progresses, your ongoing observations provide you with the data – the evidence of learning – you need to evaluate the parts of the curriculum that are not evident in products. Because you’ve taken a few minutes every week to record what you have witnessed students actually doing, you can look at the pattern and trend over the term. You can speak confidently to what students are able to consistently and independently do as scientists. Everything else you need to have “proof” is present in the products students have been collecting. This is one way to both ensure you have the evidence you need to evaluate at the end of the term as well as engage students in providing evidence of their own learning.

In the final blog of this series, the focus is on planning to have the students working harder than you are.

Anne Davies, Sandra Herbst, and Brenda Augusta

Anne Davies, Sandra Herbst, and Brenda Augusta

Anne Davies, Sandra Herbst, and Brenda Augusta are educators, consultants, authors, and presenters who are highly sought after, both locally and globally. Their energy, passion, and expertise have helped teachers, leaders, schools, and systems to move forward with competence and confidence. Learn more about the team here...


Like most education professionals, we have a burning desire to make a difference in the lives of learners. We started as teachers and leaders, but saw the potential to drive greater transformation by creating and sharing methodologies with other educators.

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