In my classroom, assessment is ongoing and flexible. We are told it is incorrect to teach to one type of student. There must be differentiated instruction. This being the case, every child is evaluated according to his or her ability. This week, I gave an assignment to describe the steps taken to produce good writing. A girl who writes very well hit on just about every point of good writing that is possible. She mentioned writing towards the audience, focusing on the topic, using good vocabulary, applying correct punctuation, giving an appropriate length to the piece, using facts or anecdotes, editing, illustrating, and using attractive handwriting. To my surprise, she included determination. She wrote, “Sometimes, I don’t have anything to write about
but I do it anyway.” The year is nearly over, and I cannot remember a piece she produced that showed anything but great effort. It is quite possible that I have been deceived. But, oh how wonderful it is to be tricked by a clever student! If I must be deceived, let it be like this everyday.
In contrast, another writer tells a completely fictional account of the writing process he follows. Transitional words appeared in his writing, which shows that he realizes that there are steps in the writing process. His level of understanding is incomparable to the previous student. However, it provides me with insight on his concept of writing. These children, like every other child in my classroom, are evaluated on an individual basis