For my last post I just wanted to share a couple ways to share assessment with parents/guardians in effective ways!
Portfolios are a great way to keep student’s work in one organized place. The teacher in this video gives each student their own binder where their work goes. She regularly goes through the binders with students and asks them to point out their favourite piece of work and asks why. I think that if your students were also doing peer and self assessment in some kind of written format they (or you) could also easily glue the slip of paper onto the back of the work as well to have everything in an organize place. This teacher also takes pictures of students doing play-based learning which I think is very helpful because I find it difficult to think of ways to assess play-based learning, outdoor learning and inquiry that might not have a product to show. Another great thing about having work in one place like this is that it allows for you, parents and students to see growth from the beginning to the end easily. Parents can look through these books and see how their kids are doing and teachers can give examples of things they are excelling at or needing more work on in one, organized place.
This is something that I saw a lot of in my practicum classroom last year. My sponsor teacher would have a few questions that she wanted students to be able to answer at the end of a unit and we would interview them at the end video it on the iPads and upload them onto fresh grade. It worked really well and the students thought it was fun to make videos for their parents/guardians!
This strategy that I found while researching was similar to the interviews but I think it would work well for students a bit older than lower primary. Once students feel that they understand a topic they get a dry erase board, make up a lesson and then record themselves giving the lesson. This seems like an awesome way for students to show their learning in a fun way and as far as I can tell from the video they are pretty independent which saves a lot of time for the teacher (the interviewing took quite a bit of time for us to do). This video also fits in really nicely with my learning because students assess themselves by watching the videos and taking notes on what they could improve on! Teachers can assess students by watching these videos at any time and parents get to see evidence of their children learning.
Peer assessment is great because it allows for collaboration and connection between students. In order for this type of assessment to be a positive experience in the classroom, it is very important that the classroom environment is very safe and open for all learners. Some students may have some anxieties about showing their peers their work so having the classroom be a space where everyone understands that we are learners and mistakes are welcomed helps to alleviate some of those insecurities. Educators can also help with this by choosing the partners ahead of time for the first bit as students get more comfortable with it.
Like many things it is very important for peer assessment to be explicitly taught to students and practiced often for them to really get a grasp on how to do it effectively. They will need to a good understanding of what language to use when assessing other’s work, reminders to check that their feedback connects to the success criteria and help going over what is supportive feedback and what is not. It is also extremely important for teachers to take ample time out of their schedules to allow for students to revise and edit after they have received their feedback. This revision period is where students are able to take the information they’ve gotten and use it to improve their work.
I have attached a video here that shows some student and teacher perspective on peer assessment and how it has impacted them. This video also offers some guidance around how to offer this to students, this is geared more towards intermediate students. They also touch on the use of “The Ladder of Feedback.”. This seems to offer a great structure for teachers and students who are new to peer assessment and breaks it down in a way that makes it seem easier to try out!
Self assessment works best in a classroom where students have worked on growth mindset and they know that mistakes are a way to learn. It is very important that students know what the expectations are for an assignment so they can effectively assess themselves. Learning intentions and success criteria building are so beneficial when trying to help students become stronger at this because it gives them prompts on around what to look for when assessing. It is valuable to start this type of assessment in your classroom at any age, having lower primary students constantly doing this kind of thinking will eventually encourage them to use it in more ways and set them up to be increasingly self starting and independent later on.
Starting to implement more self-assessment in your classroom can be very quick and easy. As we know think, pair, share is always a great way to have students interacting with each other and it gives the teacher an opportunity to listen in and see where students are. Rate 1-5 (1 means I don’t understand at all, five means I could teach this to somebody else) is another strategy that allows for quick feedback for teachers. Another strategy is having visual tool to show where students are with a task like red, yellow or green cups signifying if they’re lost, doing okay or if they’ve got it. 3-2-1 is another great way to get a bit more detailed information from students, students share 3 new things they learned, 2 questions they have and one connection they made. This one is great because it can easily been changed around and if students are younger they can think-pair-share this with a classmate instead of recording it down on a piece of paper.
Here is a video that outlines self assessment, looks at the benefits and provides a few more tools for in the classroom!