Formative Assessment: Learning Progressions (Week 2)

This is part two of a six part series on formative assessment and the attributes that make it effective in the classroom.

Learning involves progression. Think of a learning progression as a pathway that students travel as they progress toward mastery of the skills needed for the next level in their journey. Each path follows a direction composed of building blocks that are defined by the content standards. Along the path there will be many benchmarks; these benchmarks are the building blocks students will need to master as they progress toward more complex skills. Ultimately, learning progressions provide teachers with the opportunity to determine whether students have steered successfully along the path and are able to move forward in their learning. Learning progressions should clearly articulate the targets of the ultimate learning goal.

The following is an example of how learning progressions could work and how each standard builds and increases in complexity on the previous standard.

ELAGSEKRL7: With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story (how illustrations support the text).ELAGSE1RL7: Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.ELAGSE2RL7:Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

ELAGSE3RL7: Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting).ELAGSE4RL7: Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text identifying similarities and differences.ELAGSE5RL7: Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).ELAGSE6RL7: Compare and contrast the experience of reading a story, drama, or poem to listening to or viewing an audio, video, or live version of the text, including contrasting what they “see” and “hear” when reading the text to what they perceive when they listen or watch.ELAGSE7RL7: Compare and contrast a written story, drama, or poem to its audio, filmed, staged, or multimedia version, analyzing the effects of techniques unique to each medium(e.g., lighting, sound, color, or camera focus and angles in a film).ELAGSE8RL7: Analyze the extent to which a filmed or live production of a story or drama stays faithful to or departs from the text or script, evaluating the choices made by the director or actors.

ELAGSE9-10RL7: Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums (e.g., Auden’s poem “Musée de Beaux Arts” and Breughel’s painting Landscape with the Fall of Icarus), including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment.

ELAGSE11-12RL7: Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text. (Include at least one play by Shakespeare as well as one play by an American dramatist.)