A few posts ago, I wrote that teachers should begin assessing reading more directly, perhaps by looking at students’ annotations.
My assumption was that very few teachers are using annotations for formative assessment of reading.
I think I’m still mostly right, but I did find a rubric online from Achievement First, a network of charter schools founded in New Haven. Take a look.
My first impressions: It’s great that they’ve done this work, and it’s nice to know that I’m not the only crazy person out there who thinks that it’s possible to use annotations as a way to figure out how students are reading.
But I’m not sure how teachers use this rubric to assess annotations. It seems pretty general. I’d love to know more about what Achievement First is doing. I’ll contact them tomorrow and keep you updated.
Update: I received an excellent email this morning from Kurtis Indorf, Achievement First’s senior director of program strategy and design. Mr. Indorf emphasized that the general nature of the rubric was intentional. Rather than focusing on whether a student knows how to annotate, the rubric aims to assess how well the student interacts with and understands a text.
I agree with Mr. Indorf, and I appreciate that Achievement First is doing this work. We must unmask reading and make it more public. Teachers must be able to see their students’ reading as a product that they can assess. Only by making reading less hidden can we teach students how to read better.