This past week my 6th graders created a wall display of six different habitats with five to six animals grouped into each habitat. They then each selected one animal that they would research and create a label with an annotation outlining the adaptations that that specific animal had allowing it to survive in its habitat. We created a Google Docs with the sign-up sheet. Each student also entered in the planned annotation into the same document. I wrote feedback on the document. I gave them time to make changes. Then I provided an assessment based on their written work and entered in the grade book. If they made additional changes to complete the assignment according to the standard, I recorded the new grade and removed the weighting for the previous grade. Thus, they (and parents) have a record of their progress without imperfect attempts damaging their grade. Result: Amazingly accurate and well-done annotations from every single student. So good, in fact, I was able to use their wall display as a reference for my 9th grade Biology class.
Though my attempts at informative and formative assessment don’t always yield these perfect results, I know what I’m aiming for and I’ll keep forever at it until the results are consistently bringing all students to the standard.