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The following is a list of books that the Teacher Leaders, the Assessment Design Team, and other well respected educators recommend.



Classroom Assessment,


One of the best frameworks for classroom assessment yet published, with a relentless focus on THE key user of assessment - the student! This book keeps a complicated topic pretty simple. What we could do for this book is make the connections and illustrative exemplars specific to arts and assessment.

Seven Strategies

of Assessment 4 Learning,


A brief, well-illustrated reference to seven strategies that weave in different combinations throughout the classroom assessment tapestry. I'd like to build the connections with arts and assessment based on these seven strategies which are embedded in these questions: Where am I going? Where am I now? What do I need to get there?

Making Classroom


Work, Ann Davies

In this book, Anne Davies presents a clear and easy-to-read description of assessment for learning that can serve as a practical guide for classroom teachers. She explains an assessment process where teachers and students establish learning targets, collect evidence of learning, and use criteria to give feedback. She also discusses how teachers can use this ongoing assessment to adjust their instruction and various ways to report student progress.

Educational Leadership

Dec 2007/Jan 2008. Vol 65 no.4

This is the magazine/Journal put out by ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development).  Articles are written by and for administrators, researchers and practicing teachers.  This particular issue is dedicated to Assessment. The whole magazine is worth reading (it may take an hour). Two articles in particular seem relevant to the August work: "Self-Assessment with rubrics" and "The View from Somewhere."  This useful Magazine can be accessed online by title through the MARVEL! system available through almost all libraries, including school libraries in Maine. See  http://www.maine.gov/msl/marvel/instruct.htm
"How To Grade For Learning" Linking Grades to Standards by Ken O'Connor

I like this book because:

  • it talks about the importance of brain based research
  • it honors the multiple intelligences and provides assessment ideas for each
  • it educates the reader about standards - benefits and the criticism
  • One chapter, "Communicating Student Achievement to Others" shows several examples of report cards  and checklists for communication in all content areas and grade levels
  • it contrasts standards-based to traditional methods of grading

"Multiple Intelligence Approaches to Assessment" Solving the Assessment Conundrum by David Lazear
I like this book because it gives assessment ideas for each of the 8 ways of knowing.  It also provides assorted assessment instruments that is easy see/adapt in order to link different content areas to the arts.  Although the copyright is dated 1999, I find this book incredibly useful when I create assessments for students.  It demonstrates benchmarks of authenticity and provides guidelines of designing intelligence based tests.
"Learning by Doing" A Handbook for Professional Learning Communities at Work by Richard and Rebecca DuFour, Robert Eaker and Thomas Many


I like this book because I have seen past wiki conversations about being a PLC.  We all want to work collaboratively for a common goal of students learning in the arts.  This book answers many questions we may have about our TL purpose and how to use what we already know and put it into action!  There are worksheets and charts that ask questions that will help us in our teams, schools and districts.  I have a CD that contains reproducibles that I will bring to the conference to share. This is a link to free info to PLC's.


Understanding By Design

Wiggins and McTighe

This is the backward design, essential question, unpacking standards, curriculum and lesson planning book.   It is required reading in many education courses both undergrad and grad.  The audience for the book is all teachers, admin’s, and curriculum coordinators. If you crave a “system” for teaching, learning, and assessment--this is a good one. If you ever wondered how to design curriculum, lessons, and assessment based around essential questions this book is for you.  The whole book is worth reading but it is long.  Start with the Introduction. For assessment specifics read chapter 7: Thinking like an Assessor  and Chapter 8 Criteria and Validity.  Other chapters like chapter 5 about essential questions  are also informative. Weakness: it is not geared specifically to the arts.
Test Better, Teach Better: The Instructional Role of Assessment, W. James Popham (ASCD) Assessment expert W. James Popham explores the links between assessment and instruction and provides a jargon-free look at classroom and large-scale test construction, interpretation, and application. This “crash course” in instructionally focused assessment includes:
  • The four types of instructional decisions that testing will illuminate
  • What you really need to know about measurement concepts like validity, reliability, and bias
  • The advantages and disadvantages of various test formats and experience-based rules for creating great items in each
  • The benefits of assessing student affect and guidelines for doing it in your classroom

Great Performances: creating classroom-Based Assessment Tasks

Larry Lewin and Betty Jean Shoemaker (ASCD)

The authors lead readers on their own personal journey, sharing what they’ve learned about developing and effectively assessing powerful performance tasks—ranging from short and specific to lengthy and substantive. Their focus is on the practical, the doable. You can learn from their successes as well as their mistakes.
They discuss a four-step approach for teaching students how to acquire content knowledge and examine four modes through which students can make their content understanding explicit for evaluation purposed. Great Performances is filled with highly motivating examples of student projects as well as effective assessment tools that teachers can adapt for their own classrooms. Note: Examples in the book are for ELA (written, oral and presentation modes), Science, and Social Studies.

Studio Thinking: the Real Benefits of Visual Arts Education, Lois Hetland, et al.

Thank you Project Zero researchers.  When I read this book two years ago I thought: at last someone has finally described what I do as an art educator and what really happens in visual arts classrooms!  This book offers a model that can be used to design curriculum and assessment in the arts called the "Studio thinking" model. The model  includes categories like: “develop craft” see  http://pzweb.harvard.edu/research/StudioThink/StudioThinkEight.htm  The book is not too long and really written for and about studio art teachers.  The last chapter, however, does describe ways the model might be adapted to work in all arts disciplines.  Since the book describes and categorizes what happens in Visual arts classes, it is a useful guide to start thinking about what we should even be assessing in the arts. Different forms of critiques are described that can be used for ongoing formative assessment.

The authors strongly advocate for the importance of arts education: see their op-ed which summarizes parts of the book, too:   http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2007/09/02/art_for_our_sake/

Assessment in Art Education, Donna Kay Beattie A useful book written specifically for visual arts educators.  There are many, many, useful examples of assessments inside-both formative and summative. Addresses validity and reliability. Contains numerous sample strategies and rubrics that can be adapted and/or used immediately in the classroom.

Delivering on the Promise,


The model described in this book is used by the Reinventing Schools Coalition originating in Alaska that is being used by some schools in Maine. A key concept is voice and choice for students while having students learn at their levels. When they have shown mastery of a standard then they move on to the next standards.
Scoring Rubrics in the Classroom
by Judy Arter
This book offers a practical approach to assessing challenging but necessary performance tasks like creative writing, "real-world" research projects, and cooperative group activities.


Bea McGarvey and Chuck Schwahn

Mass Customization Learning

Bea's website called Inevitable: http://www.masscustomizedlearning.com/content/beaBio.htm



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