I've had many conversations about "bump it up walls". To be clear to me a "bump it up" wall is a collection of work samples that show forward progression. Take for example with grade one writing - the first sample may be a simple drawing, the second a drawing with some initial consonant sounds, the third the addition of more words to accompany the drawing, the next some sentences, followed by more detailed sentences, paragraphs etc. You get the idea - writing samples along a continuum that help a child see where they can go next with their writing. It's a great way for children to identify where they are writing and where they can head to next. I get that and I love that about "bump it up" walls. Where I struggle with these walls is that I often wonder if they limit student progress to the way that the wall demonstrates. As much as we'd all like learning how to write to be a sequential skill is it really? Does this sequential "bump it up" wall hinder the child from adding more detail, or building stronger character development, or adding voice to his or her writing? While these items can be part of a "bump it up wall" where would they fit in? Most things we learn at school are not linear in nature but by creating a "bump it up wall" we are making the learning linear. As much as they help some students are "bump it up" walls hindering others?
The other thing I struggle with is "rubric" assessment. In fact they drive me crazy! Now to be clear, I highly value the various criteria that are within a rubric but I struggle with the box format of one. Far too often when I am looking at students work it falls into more than one box. What I much prefer is a specific list of criteria and I highlight each criterion individually, outside of the box. If I need a four point rating scale then I rate each separate criterion on its own and so each student sees exactly where they are successful and where they need a bit more help. Like with bump it up walls students gain skills a different rates and it drives me crazy when we assume they will gain specific skills in a specific order. To me that's what the neat box format rubric tries to show.
What common assessment tools are you struggling with?