Saturday, September 19, 2015

Assessment...Easy as 1-2-3

Let's talk assessments!  I'm not talking formal, high stakes, controversial assessments here.  I'm talking about the assessments that matter to us teachers. The ones that give us insight into our teaching and student mastery of the standards. 

While I would much rather teach my heart out and never worry about assessments, I know that it is a valuable component of what we do.  But, assessment doesn't have to be complicated!


When I teach, I'm constantly assessing. You probably do the same!  I'm assessing my students as they interact with the content.  I'm also assessing myself. In the middle of a lesson, I might change the entire course of that lesson simply to make sure that the needs of my students are being met. Assessing during instruction can be easy!

Here are a few of my favorite "during instruction" assessments:
  • student responses (if their answers and ideas are really off base, I better go back and reteach that concept on the spot)
  • the use of mini whiteboards (they can quickly answer questions and demonstrate understanding of concepts)
  • Think/pair/share
  • Answer paddles
You can grab these double sided answer paddle labels for free by clicking {here}.  Simply print them on colored paper, cut them out, and glue them to some craft sticks (I glued the word "true" on one side and the word "false" on the other, making them double sided).

Sadly, I can't just assess my students on the spot with a cute answer paddle.  We live in a world where we are required to take grades, so I also assess class assignments, unit tests, and quizzes.  Some of our curriculum works with the Common Core standards so I am able to use many of the tests built into those programs.

BUT, my school requires that we take two grades per category each week. So, that means one topic test every two weeks in math isn't always going to cut it. And, as for those CCSS Language standards...we don't have any curriculum for that!

So, to make sure I meet those grading requirements, I created some CCSS math and language assessment packs.   Now when I take grades, assessment can still be easy!


Easy as in easy to prep, easy to introduce to students, easy to grade.  And, for the busy teacher, that's huge.  I was able to grade an entire class set of this assessment in less than five minutes yesterday.    


Each assessment is just one page long so they aren't overwhelming to the students, and I can correct them with ease.  There are also three assessments for each standard, so if I need to reassess, or collect more grades, I can!  Or, I can review a skill in a later grading period and take a new grade.  #winning


Did I mention that they are easy to use?  The students always understand what is being asked of them, the layout is clean and easy to read, and the only prep involved is running a set of copies. 


And, the assessments are varied. I included both free response and multiple choice options, which gives me a clear picture of how much my students know and what they are understanding.




I also like how versatile the pages are.  On occasion, I have used them with small groups of students when practicing a tough skill.  I have also used them during whole group instruction as practice of a newly introduced skill (and then I still have two more pages left to use for grading purposes).



DON'T FORGET IT: PIN IT!


You can find my math and language assessments on TPT.  Click the links to check them out.  :)
Second Grade Common Core Math Assessments
Second Grade Common Core Language Assessments
First Grade Common Core Math Assessments
First Grade Common Core Language Assessments
Third Grade Common Core Math Assessments
Third Grade Language Assessments

Click {here} for a math assessment sampler freebie.

 
 Thanks for stopping by today!  

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2 comments:

  1. Are you thinking of tackling this for kindergarten?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, ma'am! Once I work my way through the others, I will be creating a set for kindergarten. Thanks for stopping by my little ol' blog today!

      Aimee

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