Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Assessments



I'm back again to link up with Mrs. D's Corner and Miss V's Busy Bees for another Back to School topic - Assessment! 


So who likes assessments?  I'm about to admit it...I HATE assessing...I sometimes feel like an assessor rather than a teacher.  Let's be real here though...assessments are a necessary evil.

Do you give Pre-Assessments? Be honest with yourself here.  When our principal told us about these years ago, I would rather have slit my wrist than develop or administer a pre-test.  What did she mean we needed to find out if they knew the material ahead of time?  Why didn't she want us to teach the class total group?  She had me way out of my comfort zone and I was freaking out fast.  We are awesome Pre-Assessors at my school and I'm still here to tell about it.  It hasn't killed me or my kids. In fact, it has made me a better teacher.  Want to know how the process works?


Give your students a Pre-Assessment before you teach a topic.  You can group a few topics together so you aren't testing constantly and in Kindergarten, let's face it, a lot of assessments are one-on-one.  


Grade the assessments.  It's ok if they don't do well on this assessment!  This is going to tell you what you need to teach and if you need to teach it! If all of your students pass your Pre-Test, then you need to look at the material you are asking them to learn.  It may be too easy.  If some pass and some don't this is good news! 


Differentiate your instruction based on the assessments.  You may have a high and a low group.  You might have a high, a middle, and a low group.  Or you may have a high, two middles and a low.  There are a lot of possibilities here. I have had a time where EVERYONE failed the pre-test and I taught my lesson total group.  The idea here is that you don't want to teach a child to count to 5 that can already count to 5.  You want to extend the instruction for them.  Likewise you don't want to teach a child to count to 100 if they can't get past 5.  Make sense?


Post-Assessment - You give the exact same assessment again after your instruction is complete to see if your scores improve.  Of course you are hoping that your scores go up! Sometimes you will have a straggler that didn't quite understand though and will need the material retaught to them.  Don't leave them by the wayside! You need to set aside a time to reteach this material to that child and test them again until they get it.

Pre and Post Assessment is that easy! 

Need some ideas to get started? You can find them here:

 

While you're here....another assessment I do to determine reading levels is a running record.  Need a form to do these on? Click on the freebie below! 


Click below to find other great ideas on assessments!



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4 comments:

  1. Great post and great tips! I cringed when it was first suggested I do pre-assessments, I mean who has time for that? However, they really have made me a better teacher, and I feel like I know my students even better. I also like being able to prove that I taught them something when we compare the scores from the pre and post assessment. Thanks for sharing!
    Bonnie
    The Cutesy Teacher


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  2. I couldn't agree more with The Cutesy Teacher...you are so right at how important pre- assessments are! They make a huge difference in our instruction! Thanks so much for sharing these tips and reminders!

    Amanda
    Learning to the Core

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  3. I do think pre-assessments are important, however, I haven't been able to work them into my schedule very well. I might be able to do it a little better in 2nd though. I just felt so over-tested last year I could fathom doing one.more.test.

    My Kinder-Garden

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  4. Pre-assessment, assessment, post-assessment... yikes! I really like how you explained your fears of pre-assessing and how you do it. I think assessment is something that all of us teachers dislike, but something we know it super important!

    Thanks so much for linking up! See you next week :)

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