Thursday, 12 July 2012

Assessment Strategies for the Junior Level

Some sample assessment strategies that a teacher might use include:
- Classroom observations
- Anecdotal notes
- Conferences
- Checklists
- Miscue analyses
- Running records
- Informal reading inventories
- Portfolios
- Self-assessments

I believe that miscue analyses are an excellent assessment strategy for students’ reading. As a tutor, I could immediately employ this strategy in order to chart patterns in a student’s oral reading errors (e.g. overuse of first letter cues). An error analysis could also be used in other subjects such as math. For example, teachers could work one-on-one with a particular students as they complete a few math problems while recording errors made in the process. Therefore, teachers would be able to recognize exactly where the misunderstanding is coming from (e.g. use of the wrong formula, addition/subtraction errors, etc.) and will be able to provide appropriate instruction/activities to aid the student immediately (assessment for learning).

Another great way to assess student learning is through conferences. Conferencing is an excellent way to begin the process of metacognition and self-assessment in students. They can make judgments about what they believe their strengths and weaknesses are, while teachers LISTEN to ensure the student knows what to do next. Using small groups of students for revising/assessing work can be great way to facilitate peer teaching and feedback.

Portfolios are another excellent means of assessment (for, as and of).
Portfolios will ensure that students can reflect on their accomplishments as they maintain a record of their assignments, tests, projects, artwork, etc. This can lead to increased self-esteem as they see the gradual improvement in the quality of their work. Another great aspect of portfolios is that they use many different mediums (e.g. audiotapes, videos, writing, art samples, etc.) to demonstrate student learning and achievement. Portfolios should be student-centred, thus they will be the ones to choose which samples be placed in portfolios (teachers can use work folders for other work). Since they must choose which samples represent their strengths and which represent their weaknesses, they become metacognitively aware.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Justin,

    I've never had a chance to use portfolios in any of my placements, but I absolutely love the idea for all of the reasons you listed. I think that it's fantastic for students to be able to look back on their work and reflect on how they did for each activity. I agree that having them select which work to turn in is probably the best route to go to encourage further reflection. You could also even encourage a class period where every student got to present their work and have their peers give them feedback on what they did as well.