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So What Do They Really Know?

Assessment That Informs Teaching and Learning

So What Do They Really Know? by Cris Tovani
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In 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 classroom
  • Templates showing how teachers can use the workshop model to assess and differentiate instruction
  • Student work, including samples from linguistically diverse learners, struggling readers, and college-bound seniors
  • Anchor charts of student thinking
  • Ideas on how to give feedback
  • Guidelines that explain how conferring is different from monitoring
  • Suggestions for assessing learning and differentiating instruction during conferences
  • Advice for managing ongoing assessment

Cris'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.

Stenhouse Publishers; August 2011
176 pages; ISBN 9781571109187
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Title: So What Do They Really Know?
Author: Cris Tovani