Assessment for learning: connecting students to their learning
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Like other schools with similar populations of poor and minority children throughout the nation, the author's school did not produce satisfactory scores on the state's high-stakes testing scheme. The project used an action research model to study how elementary classroom teachers used assessment for learning strategies to help their students more directly connect to curriculum goals and objectives. Furthermore, the author examined his own practice in facilitating the learning of others. Four elementary teachers agreed to participate together in the study. Data was collected from the transcribed audio recordings of the group's meetings, observation notes, journal reflections and final interviews. The teachers demonstrated their capacity to use assessment strategies to engage their students. The author learned the value of listening as means of affirming the teachers' efforts. However, the most salient finding of the project dealt with the collaboration of the participating teachers, who valued the opportunity to collegially discuss their work in a non-threatening, supportive situation. Implications for conducting similar research are discussed as well.