So what Do They Really Know?: Assessment that Informs Teaching and Learning

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Stenhouse Publishers, 2011 - Education - 165 pages

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.


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About the author (2011)

Cris Tovani taught first grade to seniors for 31 years. Her entire career has been spent trying to figure out the "knowing-doing" gap. Researchers tell teachers what they should be doing but actually doing it with 125+ students is a whole new ball game. Throughout her career, Cris has tried to take reading and writing research and apply it to all levels of learners. She loves sharing her success and failures with colleagues around the world so they too, can better serve students.Cris most recently worked with secondary English language learners from a high poverty district in Colorado that was in its fourth year of turnaround. Currently, Cris is facilitating literacy labs in several different states to promote collaboration among colleagues. In addition, she has the pleasure of working with administrators to build their background knowledge on best practices so they are able to give teachers useful feedback about instruction.Cris is a internationally known consultant focusing on issues of reading, content comprehension and assessment in secondary classrooms. She has been an adjunct professor and is the author of four books:nbsp;I Read it but I Don't Get It,nbsp;Do I Really Have to Teach Reading?,nbsp;So, What do They Really Know?nbsp;Andnbsp;No More Telling as Teaching:nbsp; Less Lecture, More Engaged Learning.

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