Guided Math: Assessment

This week we are talking about assessment. Now I have to warn you I am still trying to focus myself after Vegas. Yep, I was one of the million teachers who took over Vegas last week {read about that HERE} 

So bear with me as we try to focus on assessment.

Is it just me or is assessment like a bad word these days?

I like that the author of this book, Laney Sammons,  takes the time to talk about that - how "high stakes" assessment can be detrimental for some students and doesn't really provide what we need.

We NEED assessment to help us understand whether or not our students learned each lesson? Can they perform the task that I have taught them?

It is VERY VERY useful....but all this official testing has made it more stressful......and a lot less useful.

Sammons discusses how if students understand what is being asked of them they will be ready to tackle any assessments that you give them.

That makes sense... no surprises, right?

Can't we all agree- no one likes surprises, especially when taking a test!!

So the plan?

There are many- but the main tip given that I want to share is to create checklists.

Checklists are black and white and can be given to students as you teach a unit of study leading up to an assessment.

Now in my kinder world it may seem that a checklist may not work. Possibly not in the same way- but it could work as a guide for me or an update for parents.

A checklist can have columns where you check "met the skill" or "didn't meet the skill."

That is yes or no.... nothing fancy. Yes, rubrics can also play a role and are also mentioned in this chapter, but I really like the simplicity and usefulness of the checklist.

So as we work on various skills in kindergarten whether it is phonemic awareness such as rhyming, segmenting words etc....

Or gross motor skills like skipping, hopping and running.....

I could easily make a checklist that I share with parents indicating whether or not a certain area has been "met" and of course, save a spot for comments.

I like this. I like it for my little ones- but for the older ones too.

According to Marzano, Pickering and Pollock, 2001 "Research shows that one of the most effective instructional strategies that teachers employ is providing students specific descriptive feedback. This lets students know how well they are doing relative to the learning objectives."

Well that doesn't shock you, does it? It is yet the same as I always say... just a matter of actually doing it...having the time and being organized enough to carry this out. And that is why we want to keep it simple - so it may actually happen.

So as you start this year. What is an area you will implement more assessment.... but you know, the useful kind?

Will it be in guided math as this whole book study is about?

Or do you see yourself implementing a check list type scenario in another area of your school day?

Please share!

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