Canadian Assessment for Learning Network Newsletter, 
April, 2021


  • President's Greeting
  • Assessment 20/20 Conference
  • Narrative Assessment and Indigenous Ways of Knowing
  • Shifting Practices in Assessment:  Our Story
  • Increasing Conceptual Understanding in Physics through Formative Assessment
  • A New Virtual Reality: Making Reflections and Conversations Work in a Hybrid Teaching Model
  • Le monde de l’immersion française: Les aléas de l’évaluation
  • Digging into AfL in Mathematics Classrooms: Early Insights from our CAfLN Inquiry Group
  • Ditching the Practice Pages
  • We Need You: CAfLN AGM Nominations and Volunteering

President's Greetings

Lori Jeschke, Director of Education, Prairie Spirit SD, Saskatchewan

Who owns the learning? There's a big question to start things off! 

I wonder what stories our assessment practices would tell us about the answer to that question? One of the beautiful things about being a part of CAfLN is the network part - building connections with so many educators all across Canada around our pedagogy and practices. What assessment stories are you telling? What assessment supports or resources are you looking for? How might we connect with you?

I've been paying a lot of attention lately to voice and in particular, student voice. In Yong Zhau's article, Build Back Better: Avoid the learning loss trap, he talks about the effect of the pandemic on learning and school operations. The essence of his comments remind us that what gets measured, matters and why wouldn't we want to build back better? He invites us to "meet the students where they are, to pay attention to educational outcomes, to engage learners as partners of change and owners of their learning, keeping families engaged, keep online/remote learning, and build back better!" Within his comments on those key ideas, one phrase stood out for me "students are not passive recipients but active creators of learning". 

I am presently devouring Myron Dueck's new book, Giving Students a Say. (I could book talk this book all day!) Myron offers, "if we pause long enough to listen - really listen- students will tell us what's going on. What they need is the opportunity and avenues to share their thoughts, opinions, and reflections concerning their own learning. The things is, you can't really listen to someone else while you are speaking. Perhaps that's why Hattie contends that we need to stop talking once in a while and 'create that space to listen to them'". 

I wonder if that's really what we need to do right now - listen - to our student and adult learners. How might we help them own their learning? 

And...speaking of listening...I invite you to spend some time with the podcasts below. There are all kinds of amazing things embedded within that offer opportunities to think about learning.

Podcast - What Makes You Say That? Bryan Wiliams & John Kerr 
Podcast - Let's Learn Something Paul McTavish 
Podcast - Tom Schimmer 
Learning Loss Illusion 

Narrative Assessment and Indigenous Ways of Knowing

Melanie Midgley
With a background in Early Childhood, Primary and Special Education, Melanie Midgley is a Métis educator-researcher committed to inclusive learning environments that recognize the importance of reciprocal relationships, emergent learning and community. Grateful to be living and learning on the Unceded and Traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation on Vancouver Island, BC. 

For generations stories have been used universally as a way to share ideas, teach lessons and connect people. In education, the stories we read, write and tell serve as a springboard for listening, thinking and learning within classroom settings from Kindergarten to Grade 12 and provide a starting point for nurturing relationships with students, colleagues and families. Canadian Indigenous scholar, Margaret Kovach, of Nêhiyaw and Saulteaux ancestry from Treaty Four, Saskatchewan, wrote that stories “promote social cohesion by entertaining and fostering good feeling” (Kovach, 2009. p. 95). The 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples well as Canadian Indigenous academic leaders, such as Kovach, continue to advocate for authentic incorporation of Indigenous knowledge into teaching and learning practices of school systems within Canadian provinces and territories. While more and more educators are learning about and using pedagogies which honour Indigenous ways of knowing within their classrooms and schools, we must collectively continue to reflect on what ‘Indigenous knowledge' means and put into practice new approaches to teaching, learning and assessment that contribute to the transformation and decolonization of institutional education systems.

One such approach is narrative assessment which, most often seen in early childhood education, is used to communicate and share student learning through written stories that focus on the strengths, competencies and identity of individual learners. The broad term, narrative assessment, is used here to refer to both learning stories and/or pedagogical documentation which are similar in practice, but have grown from different geographical, historical, and cultural places in the world. Pedagogical documentation is rooted in the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education from Italy and is often accredited to Reggio’s founder, educator and scholar, Loris Malaguzzi. Learning stories, a fundamental element of New Zealand’s early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki, are associated with the on-going practice and research of Margaret Carr. Both approaches acknowledge the critical role that relationship plays between a student and teacher and cite listening, observing and reciprocity as fundamental in the process. Like other transformative practices, narrative assessment requires that educators shift their mindset from knowledge holder to co-constructor of new ideas, always open to emergent thinking, alongside their students. From this position, educators are poised to connect with learners and the learning experience in a way that values shared thinking and leads to a style of on-going formative assessment that builds on personal capabilities, focuses on the process over a final product and includes next steps in learning. Relationships are further nurtured with families through the use of narrative assessment as documented stories are shared regularly providing families with insight into learning that is inclusive, strength-based and highly responsive.

Through observation and careful listening, educators can begin a narrative assessment by first, noticing when a student or group of students are engaged with their learning and then, intentionally investing time to slow down, to sit alongside the learner/s, to listen, to wonder aloud and to record (through images and anecdotal notes) what is taking place.  Time spend at this stage could be brief or lengthy, depending on what emerges and the timeframe you have available. When starting out with this type of assessment practice, it is helpful to plan time into your schedule (i.e. 30 minutes/day or once a week) when you turn your awareness toward looking, listening and documenting. A natural time to tinker with this approach is during any student-led learning blocks within your timetable (i.e. a genius hour, games afternoon or recess).  Later, revisit notes, images and any other product/s created by the learner/s and begin a written story, or narrative, which illustrates the process, the dialogue, emergent ideas and draw connections to curriculum and competency goals. When completed, the story is shared with the student, family and/or school community via display, email, print copy or through an on-line platform such as FreshGrade. These stories can represent either one moment in time or document several interactions and observations over a series of days or weeks, building on ideas and concepts that the learner is exploring as well as providing next steps for the student.

As a Métis educator, I value the connections between the nature of creating narrative assessments alongside students and the core principles that guide Indigenous ways of knowing. In basic terms, Indigenous knowledge can be defined as holistic, action-oriented, and co-constructed through reciprocal relationships. Acknowledging interconnectedness, accepting multiple ways of knowing and uplifting the spirit are more concepts that contribute to this generalized definition of Indigenous knowledge. The First Peoples Principles of Learning, written by the First Nation Education Steering Committee in British Columbia, is an excellent online resource that reflects a west coast, pan-Indigenous pedagogy and can be used as a guide and reference when reflecting on Indigenous ways of knowing. Where possible, educators interested in this approach should invest time alongside a local Elder or knowledge keeper as a means to uncover how place-specific, community values connect to the narrative assessment process. Canada’s history with the residential school system has created barriers for many Indigenous students and families who remain uncomfortable with the institutional and standardized approaches often represented in classroom teaching and assessment practices. The contribution of Elders and community are invaluable as they provide guidance, knowledge, and teachings in a way that honours well-being and balance as we seek to transform inequities within school systems. Narrative assessment or as I most often refer to them, learning stories, have taught me the value of slowing down, listening, and being present to learn alongside students. These stories have enabled me to nurture lasting relationships with students and families and they represent a shift away from fragmented assessment approaches toward a relational, on-going process that transfers Indigenous ways of knowing into classroom practice.
Kovach, M. (2009). Indigenous methodologies: Characteristics, conversations and contexts. Toronto: University of Toronto Press

Find more info here:
First Peoples Principles of Learning (First Nation Education Steering Committee)
Learning Stories in Practice (Margaret Carr & Wendy Lee)

Through Different Eyes (New Zealand Ministry of Education)
Understanding Loris Malalguzzi: A short introduction to his work and legacy (Cagliari, et al.)

Shifting Practices in Assessment: Our Story

Kristy Dolha,  Teacher,  Barriere Secondary School, British Columbia
It’s probably safe to say that the spring of 2020 was a challenging time for us all. Along with the rest of the world, education was turned upside down and shaken around a bit for good measure. Given this context of chaos, isolation, and uncertainty, it shouldn’t be surprising that when June report cards rolled around, there was more than just a little aimless wandering of the halls. Collectively we were a bit dazed and confused: What were we even supposed to be reporting on, and why did it even matter? We couldn’t ignore one simple fact: if we were supposed to engage in assessment of learning, the results were going to be pretty grim. But there was something more troubling than this realization--there was an assessment elephant in the room, and it went beyond a global pandemic. We needed a plan to address the deficiencies in our overall assessment practices. We undertook a process that connected to the Spiral of Inquiry[1] framework—this was the scan, focus and hunch of the Spiral, and it pointed us in a clear direction for learning.
Over the summer, our leadership team connected with Ken O’Connor, a renowned author and assessment expert from Toronto. Ken agreed to work with us and we embarked on a learning journey that has had a powerful impact on shifting our staff’s assessment practices. With Ken’s guidance, we chose a collective book study and designed a series of three professional development days where we would tackle some big ideas about assessment, feedback, grading and reporting. The idea was simple: learn, access an expert and share our tough questions, and take action. The format we developed was highly effective. The process got pretty messy at times. The results, however, were robust. Every single teacher in our building continues to question their assessment practice, taking action, checking and reflecting. Let me tell you, this is exciting work. From a place of safety and trust, we have established a community of care in the efforts we are making to increase our assessment literacy. This is deep learning, and it has led to powerful action that has improved the quality of student learning in our classrooms.
In between our pro-d days with Ken, we collaborate, debate, and co-plan our assessment activities. Furthermore, we work hard to document our journey and share our learning. We make videos of our process to share at staff meetings, and we purposefully set out to pull other colleagues into our learning. The result is shifting practice in not only one or two teachers, but in our school community as a whole. We are beginning to talk openly about our epic experiments, and we are definitely building on one another’s success. While there have been many rabbit holes for us, one that stood out in particular was the challenge of making sense of the curricular competencies, and transforming them into meaningful learning targets. The more we talked about this dirty little secret—that the curricular competencies were not transparent or obviously addressed in our classrooms, the more we realized that not only do the students have no clue what these competencies are, but that the teachers have been struggling with them as well.  We needed an intervention.
The intervention, referencing the Spiral of Inquiry Framework, was our action. I, along with two other colleagues, agreed to work on pulling apart the curricular competencies with our students. Each of us took a slightly different approach in the classroom activities, but we all ended up with A LOT of input from our students about what these competencies meant. This process pulled us away from assessment of learning, and threw us into the depths of assessment for and as learning. We were engaging the kids in the process of creating dynamic formative assessment tools that would help them be more reflective in their own learning. The difference in the classroom was immediate and unmistakable; and experiencing this type of success collaboratively was highly energizing. It was also infectious. Other teachers were lured in by our enthusiasm for increasing student voice and ownership for learning through effective and meaningful tasks connected to assessment. It became an organic and authentic shift, and it was not the only shift in assessment practice that was taking place.
To speak of the results of our adventure would be premature, to say the least. We are very much in the messy middle. However at this point in our journey, there have already been some valuable takeaways. First, having authentic access to outside expertise is key. The pandemic handed us a mountain of lemons, and we made some tasty lemonade. In fact, we created a whole new flavour that was previously unavailable. We discovered a format that worked, and we are going to continue to work hard to continue with this format. Second, collaboration and strong relationships amongst staff have been absolutely paramount. We needed to be vulnerable, we needed to let each other join us in the trenches of our own classrooms, and we needed to build each other up. Finally, it has been important to remember that there is no end to this messy and meaningful work. This IS the Spiral of Inquiry. Therefore, as we move to checking, we are also simultaneously scanning, asking, “What is going on for our learners?”  and diving deeper into our work to put students at the centre of every pedagogical decision we make.
So, how do we check to see if we are making enough of a difference in this work? To evidence that, I will leave you with a brief synopsis of a conversation I had with a student the other day:
Anthony said, “Ever since you teachers changed your grading, I’m really having to think harder at school. It used to be that I could try only at the beginning, and then coast for the rest of the course. Now I can’t get away with that anymore.”
When I replied, “Anthony! You make me feel like we’re winning here,” he seemed only marginally confused.
“Hmm. I never thought of it that way.”
[1]Halbert, Judy, and Linda Kaser. Spirals of Inquiry: for Equity and Quality. BC Principals' & Vice-Principals' Association, 2013.

Increasing Conceptual Understanding in Physics through Formative Assessment

Joe Muise, St. Thomas More Collegiate, Burnaby, BC

Many adults (particularly parents of my students), when talking about their high school physics experience, will be quick to state that it was the hardest course (they) took or that they “hated it!”. Part of this response may stem from the way physics used to be taught – more as an applied math course rather than as a way of explaining and understanding the world around us.These days, physics classes place increased emphasis on the conceptual side of the subject (i.e. having to explain what’s going on; not just calculating) and it can be challenging for many high school students.

Teachers can help their students by having them spend more time talking about what’s going on and focusing on conceptual understanding. Formative assessment presents a great way to structure conceptual discussions and gives teachers insight into their students thinking. The following is not an exhaustive list, but selection of formative assessment strategies I have found effective in my high school physics classes:

Peer Instruction (1) – First implemented by Eric Mazur at Harvard, Peer Instruction gets students talking about conceptual questions, forcing them to individually consider their response before trying to convince their peers of their rationale. The teacher in this situation tracks the percentage of students with correct responses and directs the progression of discussion accordingly. Peer Instruction provides a quick way for teachers to gauge the level of student understanding in real time and tailor subsequent instruction to reinforce ideas or correct misconceptions. Students tend to get very engaged in the conversations that take place, particularly on challenging questions.

Cooperative Problem Solving (2) – This format of group problem solving pushes students to engage in problems that are more challenging and less straightforward than traditional physics situations.  Students need to make assumptions and find real-world data, and the subsequent discussions are rich and provide teachers with an opportunity to hear students articulate their thinking as they work together. Conversations tend to start with, “I don’t know what to do”, but quickly transition to, “Hey, why don’t we try this…”.  Students generally need to apply ideas across units, creating rich discussion and brainstorming. As a teacher, I get insight into how students are able to apply concepts to new situations and where they need more support.

Documented Problem Solving (3) – In this technique, students work through a traditional physics problem, with a parallel effort of explaining their rationale. From this, a teacher can give students feedback that helps them individually while also collecting assessment information to present to the larger group in the form of the ‘Top 5 errors’ that could help students build their understanding. 
A value in this method comes from students having to explicitly explain their thought process and link it to the conceptual aspect of physics.   It informs me of where they need to make adjustments (and how I need to adjust my teaching).

Muddiest Point (4) – This is a quick way to get feedback from students on a topic by asking them to state what aspect of a lesson is least clear to them. The teacher then tabulates the results and uses them to lead subsequent discussions with the class. This works well as an exit ticket, with the student input informing the start of the next class. The benefits of using muddiest point are similar to documented problem solving, but with more versatility.

Ranking Tasks (5) – Students are presented with a problem where they have to order a series of choices that have subtle differences in one or more physical characteristic or quantity. They are then asked to explain their reasoning. This provides a link between conceptual and computational analysis for students because it requires them to distinguish between small changes in the options

Card Sorts – Card sorts are  new tool that many physics teachers are using to get feedback on student understanding. Card Sorts are built to get students to think about what concepts have in common, check the connections between concepts, and think about physics in different ways. Some have instructions as simple as “organize these in a way that makes sense” (6), while others have been adapted for use on Desmos (for example, 7).  These are an excellent way to get students talking physics in a very conceptual way.

All of these assessments allow me to get feedback on my students’ understanding to better inform the next steps of instruction. They are generally easy to implement and give a quick look at where students are having trouble. An additional benefit is that all of these active-learning situations provide variety from traditional physics instruction and lab activities, without taking large amounts of time. Most of them are well suited to students working together at a white board where I can circulate and listen to the discussions.  hey could also be used as the warm-up to working on challenging problems in small groups.  Lastly, these strategies act as useful formative assessment for the calculation side of high school physics. 

Overall, formative assessment has helped shift my physics classes towards conceptual understanding, while maintaining (and perhaps enhancing) my students’ ability to solve problems. I hope they come away with a different perspective on physics than their parents did.


A New Virtual Reality: Making Reflections and Conversations Work in a Hybrid Teaching Model

Jaime Malic
Jaime R. Malic holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. She has more than fifteen years of teaching experience in both independent and public schools. Jaime is currently the Leadership Program Coordinator and a teacher in the English and Social Science Departments of the Senior School at St. Clement’s School, an independent school for girls from Grades 1-12, located in Toronto, Ontario.
This school year has brought with it many new realities for educators across Canada. In September 2020, my school moved to a quadmestered hybrid model, meaning that courses that had previously run for ten months would now run for ten weeks, and, on most days of the week, half of the students would attend in-person and half would join from home via video chat. On Wednesdays, all students would learn from home, to accommodate various inter-grade and whole-school online events. I would love to say that my initial reaction to this seismic shift was confident enthusiasm – but, let’s be honest. I felt overwhelmed, awash in a torrent of concerns about what this might mean for my high-stakes Grade 11 and Grade 12 Advanced Placement (AP) English and Social Sciences courses.
To find my way forward, I focused on the students and their learning experiences. From there, the natural next step was to devote most of my energy to adapting my assessment for (AfL) and as (AaL) learning strategies. Cooper (2010) reminds us in Talk about Assessment: High School Strategies and Tools that, “Assessment for learning is not about grading and reporting; it’s about teaching and learning” (p. 93). In the policy document Growing Success, the Ontario Ministry of Education (2010) further explains that, “Assessment for the purpose of improving student learning is seen as both ‘assessment for learning’ and ‘assessment as learning’” (p. 28), with an, “interdependence of practices” (p. 36) related to both. Certain AfL and AaL strategies, like learning goals and exit tickets, were easy enough to adapt to the online setting, but when I thought about the two AaL and AfL strategies I had always found to be most effective for prompting metacognition, building connections and improving student learning, I wondered: How might reflections and conversations work in hybrid teaching and learning?
The first thing I discovered was the importance of using context-appropriate digital tools. Google Meet had already been designated as my school’s preferred platform for synchronous learning and students were already familiar with Google Drive, having used it in previous years for other courses. Consequently, it made sense to set up shared Google Drive folders for each student, in which I created a digital reflective journal or learning log to replace the paper version of previous years. Using Google Docs or Google Slides for these journals meant I could provide feedback in an easier and more timely manner. Our learning management system was also an important digital tool, with its Class Journal section and Message features.
Having harnessed the power of these digital tools, I focused next on creating purposeful prompts for reflection, keeping in mind the interdependence between AaL and AfL. According to the Ontario Ministry of Education (2010), AaL helps students, “…develop their capacity to be independent, autonomous learners who are able to set individual goals, monitor their own progress, determine next steps, and reflect on their thinking and learning” (p. 28) and two essential components of AfL are, “descriptive feedback and coaching for improvement” (p. 28). Knowing that I wanted to use the students’ responses as the basis for conversations, I crafted prompts that not only encouraged the students to reflect on their learning and set goals, but also allowed me to see their progress, provide feedback and suggest next steps. Here are some examples:
  • What strategies are working well for you as you prepare your research notes for the Individual Research Essay? What strategy would you still like to try?
  •  What have you learned about collaboration from working on the Team Presentation that you will apply the next time you work in a group? 
  • What information have you been able to find easily so far for your Literature Review and what information are you having trouble finding?
Next, I redefined ‘conversation.’ Knowing from Cooper (2010) that small-group and one-on-one conversations are among the most effective AfL strategies (see p. 94), I chose three methods for online conversations: small-group breakouts, one-on-ones, and ‘slow chats.’ To make the small-group conversations work in the hybrid model, I had the students who were in class work independently, with earphones in, while I engaged in breakout-room conversations with the students who were learning from home. Using their reflections as the basis for these small-group conversations allowed the students to articulate specific insights about their learning experiences, while I was able to ask questions and provide guidance about next steps.
Taking advantage of the “at-home learning” day, I held one-on-one conversations every Wednesday via Google Meet. On Tuesday afternoons, I posted to our class page on the learning management system the order of the conversations, with a specific join time for each student, as well as a link to a Google Forms survey that asked, “What would you like to talk about with me in your one-on-one conversation?” Even if I already had in mind things to discuss, this strategy resulted in a balance between student and teacher voice. Following the advice offered by many, including Wiliam and Scalise (2021), I made sure to start the following week’s conversations by asking, “How did you use my feedback to improve?”
The ‘slow chats’ consisted of written comments, audio messages and short videos. In Google Docs, we used the Comment feature; I posted a comment that ended with a question to which the student would respond the next day. By the end of the ‘chat’, we had a substantial running record that reflected the student’s progress over time. Using the audio capability of the Message feature in our school’s learning management system, I sent out short (1 or 2-minute) messages to each student that began with feedback and ended with a question; the student then had two days to send me back a similarly-short audio response. After exchanging a few audio messages, we moved on to videos, which could be recorded on a phone or laptop and uploaded directly to the student’s shared Google Drive folder. Whether providing oral or written feedback, Brookhart’s (2008) How to Give Effective Feedback to Your Students provided me with trusted and timely reminders.
At the end of the course, I always ask my students in the final survey, “What did I do that helped you have a positive learning experience?” Here are a few of their responses from the first three quadmesters:
You helped me get a good grip on the research process by having one-on-one check-ins to answer my questions. I found the check-ins particularly helpful because we could get individual support.
I think the biggest help was being so supportive when we were writing our papers. When we had that talk where you said my paper wasn’t argumentative enough it genuinely helped me so much, because I had to think about how to fix it.
Giving feedback in a positive way and not comparing our work to one another’s really helped through this course. Recieving [sic] feedback can sometimes be difficult especially if it is not given in a nice way.
As I begin the fourth and final quadmester of this school year, I can say with certainty that there many wonderful ways that reflections and conversations can not just survive, but thrive in the hybrid model of teaching and learning.
Brookhart, S.M. (2008). How to give effective feedback to your students. ASCD.

Cooper, D. (2010). Talk about assessment: High school strategies and tools. Nelson Education.

Ontario Ministry of Education. (2010). Growing success: Assessment, evaluation, and reporting in Ontario schools (2010). Form

Wiliam, D., & Scalise, K. (2021). Formative assessment for remote teaching: Evidence and feedback. ASCD Express, 16(9).
Further Reading:

Northern Illinois University Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. (2012). Reflective journals and learning logs. In Instructional guide for university faculty and teaching assistants. Retrieved from

Le monde de l'immersion française: Les aléas de l’évaluation

Nathalie Fournier, École Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan

La popularité du français langue seconde (FLS) dans l’ouest canadien monte en flèche depuis les derniers dix ans, tout comme le manque d’enseignants qualifiés et le manque de programmes disponibles. Pourtant, un aspect du FLS ne suit pas cette courbe montante: LES RESSOURCES DISPONIBLES! Il est difficile pour un enseignant en FLS de trouver des ressources en français, que ce soit pour ses élèves ou pour sa propre consommation. Alors, imaginez vouloir trouver des ressources sur le thème de l’ÉVALUATION en français. Eh bien, mes chers collègues membres de CAfLN, je suis tombée sur une mine d’or !!

Au fruit de mes nombreuses lectures (j’écris présentement ma recension des écrits pour ma thèse de Maîtrise), j’ai trouvé caché dans les références d’un article ce charmant document: Repenser l’évaluation en classe en fonction des buts visés - L’évaluation au service de l’apprentissage. L’évaluation en tant qu’apprentissage. L’évaluation de l’apprentissage. 2e édition (Éducation, Citoyenneté et Jeunesse Manitoba, 2006)*. 

Quelle ne fût pas ma surprise de constater que ce document avait été élaboré par Mme Lorna Earl, fondatrice de CAfLN et de son collègue Steven Katz du groupe Aporia Consulting, en collaboration avec l’équipe d’évaluation de PONC, le Protocole de l’Ouest et du Nord canadiens! Enfin, une ressource pouvant aider les enseignants de sept provinces canadiennes et sur le thème de l’évaluation en plus! Quoi demander de mieux !!
Les points positifs Les points négatifs
-Pour les enseignants de l’Ouest canadien
-Document court et concis
-Bien structuré
-Beaucoup d’exemples concrets
-Super Gabarit reproductible*
-Appendice pour FLS avec dix ressources
 francophones (p.99)
-Tableaux récapitulatifs pour chaque type d’évaluation
-Tableau comparatif des trois types
-Document en français pour l’Ouest canadien sous-entend apprenants de FLS, donc manque:
  • Importance des évaluations fait oralement
  • L’importance de différencier ce que l’on évalue: est-ce la qualité de la langue française ou la compréhension d’un concept
  • Importance de l’évaluation en tant qu’apprentissage en FLS: permet aux élèves de réessayer, d’apprendre par la modélisation de l’enseignant

Tout au long de la lecture, les auteurs ajoutent d’autres ressources susceptibles d’intéresser l’enseignant en quête de perfectionnement sous forme de petite bulle en marge du texte.  Somme toute, une excellente ressource pour les nouveaux enseignants et les enseignants chevronnés! N’hésitez-pas à communiquer avec moi si vous aussi avez trouvé une perle rare à partager avec les membres de CAfLN. CAfLN est avant tout un réseau qui permet l’entraide entre les artisans du monde de l’éducation en tout ce qui touche l’évaluation et ses multiples facettes, alors servons-nous en !!

Vous pouvez envoyer vos commentaires sur le site de CAFLN ( , sur notre compte Twitter CAFLN (@CAFLNetwork) ou Facebook ( ).

Document PDF en français:
(voir Gabarit reproductible aux pages 84-85)
Document PDF en anglais 😉

Digging into AfL in Mathematics Classrooms:
Early  Insights from Our CAfLN Inquiry Group

Martha J. Koch, University of Manitoba
As part of CAfLN’s Inquiry Group initiative, eight dedicated educators have been meeting since January 2021 to discuss how to use assessment to even more fully support mathematics learning. I use the phrase “even more fully” to highlight that each of us already uses many assessment practices to support our student’s mathematics learning. At the same time, we realize there is always more to learn and we see collaborative inquiry as a great way to continue that learning. Since collaborative inquiry unfolds in varied ways, I thought I would tell you a little about our approach and share some insights from our first few meetings.
Our group includes elementary and secondary educators from urban and rural schools in Manitoba and Ontario. Some group members are in the first few years of their career while others have been teaching for a decade or more. Some are teaching mathematics in schools with English-language programs while others teach in French Immersion or German bilingual programs. Our group also includes a K-12 mathematics coach and a middle school vice principal. Needless to say, the diversity of school settings and range of experiences within our group results in thoughtful and energizing conversations. We meet virtually once or twice a month. We plan for 90-min meetings but often continue our conversations beyond that time! Jimmy Pai, a secondary mathematics teacher from Ottawa, co-plans and facilitates each meeting with me. Jimmy and I share a strong commitment to member-led inquiry and so the conversation starters and activities we plan are always based on the observations and experiences that have been shared by group members.
In our first meeting, members introduced themselves, described their teaching context, and shared an aspect of assessment they find worthwhile in their mathematics classrooms as well as something they find challenging. Like many CAfLN Newsletter readers, some of our shared challenges include: finding time to gather and to reflect on assessment information, continuing to reduce our emphasis on summative assessment, and finding ways to help colleagues embrace assessment for learning (AfL) in their classrooms. Next, Jimmy shared his definition of classroom assessment and we discussed how his definition related to each person’s view. To continue to get to know how each of us thinks about AfL, we asked each member to do a mini-scan of their mathematics classroom and then share what they noticed with regard to student’s experiences with AfL in our second meeting. I also shared a few resources related to ideas that came up in the meeting by placing them in the group’s “Teams” folder.
At our second meeting, each person shared some things they notice about AfL in their mathematics classrooms. Although the examples shared came from Grades 3-12 classrooms, many common threads emerged. For instance, we all wonder: How might AfL more fully support sense-making and conceptual understanding for every mathematics learner?, and How might AfL help students feel more confident and persist with mathematics tasks even when they encounter a hurdle? If you teach mathematics and are trying to foster more conceptual understanding in your classroom, I imagine these questions also resonate with you.
In the next few meetings, we continued to identify the focus of our inquiry. Jimmy and I developed a survey so that each person could indicate their interest in pursuing topics mentioned in earlier meetings. We also asked members to indicate their preferred ways of learning together such as: co-planning lessons, video analysis, reading articles, shared analysis of student work, and unpacking the assessment opportunities in rich mathematics tasks. We discussed the survey results as a group. This approach helps to ensure that our inquiry focuses on aspects of AfL that matter to each of us and that we engage in activities that everyone finds valuable. Most recently we analysed a video of a teacher using AfL moves to support a learner who was struggling with a mathematics task. In our next meeting, we look forward to sharing our experiences with one another in an activity we are calling “Unpacking a moment when a learner was struggling” in each of our mathematics classrooms.   
Many insights have already emerged through our work together. One idea that has come up on several occasions is the valuable professional learning that comes from conversations with educators working with students at different grade levels. For instance, one group member wondered if the assessment approaches in her middle school which focuses on AfL were perhaps not adequately preparing students for the summative assessments they would experience in high school. In response, a high school teacher shared his view that secondary teachers should use more of the assessment strategies used in middle schools rather than the other way around. We continue to experience the benefits of working together across the grades as we share examples of effective mathematics teaching and the ways we each embed AfL in our classrooms. We also share sources for rich tasks, tips for online teaching, and so much more!
We are early in our journey and we don’t know exactly where the trail will take us but I think we all agree that our CAfLN Inquiry Group is a low-stress way to continue learning about AfL in K-12 mathematics classrooms.

Ditching the Practice Pages

Trisha Wallington, Teacher, Ecole Gravelbourg 
As a new teacher, I have found that one of the most challenging things about assessment for learning is student motivation. In the beginning, I struggled with getting students to try their best when they knew they would not receive a grade for their report card. This led me to seek out ways to engage students in assessment for learning and move away from the practice pages.

My greatest successes in assessment for learning come when I provide opportunities that get students interested in the assessment, so much so that they may not even realize they are being assessed. Students often end up doing the same work that could be assessed from a worksheet, but in a game style, which makes them more motivated to participate and actually show what they know. I use things like buzzers, basketball hoops, targets and sticky balls to get students excited about answering questions that could be viewed as boring on their own.

Recently, I tried a new strategy that I found from @MorinKacie on Twitter. I wanted to do a quick assessment on genre with my grade 5s, but knew that just asking them questions for 20 minutes would bore them and potentially cause them not to try their best, which would then make my assessment invalid. To avoid this, I told students that each time they answered a question correctly, I would put a sticker on my face. This definitely sparked interest. Every single student participated and there were 0 incorrect answers given. I ended up with a face full of stickers and a class full of engaged and proud students. My students now ask me, “Are we going to give you Stickeritis again today?” I must have done something right!

I have also found great success with assessment for learning using technology. Some of my class’s favourite online educational tools are Gimkit, Blooket, Quizlet Live, Plickers, and Flipgrid. Students love any opportunity to use technology. My students have even told me about playing some of these games at home on their own time because they love them that much. This is how I know these tools are winners.

Being in my second year of teaching, I know I have a lot more to learn about assessment (and everything!), but I am happy to have found strategies that work for my learners. I am willing to try new things and deviate from the traditional forms of assessment to get the best results for my students.

We Need You: CAfLN AGM Nominations & Volunteering

Greetings Colleagues,

You’re Invited!

It’s that time of year, once again, for CAfLN to scan for volunteers to fill our various committees. We are inviting each and every one of you to consider putting your own name forward for one of our positions within the network.

CAfLN is completely run by volunteers from across our nation. We are only as strong as the volunteers who give their own time to strengthen and broaden our amazing network. We have a variety of different committees for you to consider, including: Communications, Membership, Research, Resources, CAfLN Inquiry Groups, and Conference Planning.

If you are interested in seeing how you can become more involved in CAfLN, head to, look under the MEMBERSHIP tab, find the link to VOLUNTEER, and check out the committee descriptions. Who knows? You may find a spot that fits you like a glove… or maybe you’re looking for a new challenge! Whatever your passion, please know that you are most welcome to join us in any capacity you can afford.

By volunteering, you will be joining an amazing group of passionate and thoughtful educators dedicated to promoting quality assessment practices across our nation's education systems. CAfLN is all about deepening our connections and sharing our learning. Maybe you too can be part of the team that helps create the space for these authentic and meaningful conversations to occur!

To sign up, click Here. You will have to login with your email address and password. You can also find your way by clicking on MEMBERSHIP → MEMBER’S NETWORK → VOLUNTEER on our website menu.
Visit our Website to find out more about CAfLN!
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