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How Classroom Assessments Improve Learning

Author: Dawn Mitchell


Hello everyone!

When you first began your teaching career back in August, assessments were necessary to provide students with feedback. Many times, the calendar of when grades are due for interims and report cards drives this cycle, but it doesn’t have to. 

In fact, experienced educators have discovered the most valuable purpose of assessment isn’t for report card grades but for improving instruction and ultimately, student learning.

I want to share a short article I found helpful from ASCD’s ED Leadership called How Classroom Assessments Improve Student Learning by Thomas Guskey. In this article, Guskey outlines three major ways to ensure assessments are beneficial for students and for teachers.

  1. Make Assessments Useful for Teachers and Students

  2. Follow Assessments with Corrective Instruction

  3. Give Students Second Chances to Demonstrate Success

I encourage you to check out Guskey’s article to see how you can use assessment data to guide instruction and to improve both teaching and learning.

I also want to share with you a wonderful resource by Cult of Pedagogy’s Jennifer Gonzalez called “A Four Part System For Getting to Know Your Students”.  In this blog post, Gonzalez outlines a system for using formative assessments to really get to know who our students are so that we can reach and teach them better.  I have used her “Deep Data At A Glance” chart each semester to see what I know about each of the students and teachers I work with and to challenge me to find out what I do not know. I intentionally use the information I am learning about my students to build connections and relationships that allow me to help them learn and grow to their fullest potential.  I want to encourage you to check out this system and see what you can learn about your students this semester.

I would also like to invite you to join us at our South Carolina ASCD’s Spring Conference to hear Cult of Pedagogy’s Jennifer Gonzalez in person! We have special pricing for first year teachers!  Visit for our conference registration and more information.



Dawn Mitchell

South Carolina ASCD President



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