There are so many ways to track student learning.
But the goal here is that you have to do it.
That is true my the hardest part. To get it out of my head and on to paper (even digital paper) where I can manipulate the data and make it make sense to me.
If we are using an inquiry approach, we may have moved beyond the pencil and paper assessment as the final culminating task. But we still need a definitive way to track learning.
So here are a few tips that help me to keep on top of assessment.
Old School Paper
Yep it’s true I know that many of you know that I have a love-hate relationship with paper but it is often still my go-to…. quick grab that to jot down some info at the moment… type assessment paper.
I have many different ways that I layout my assessment pages depending on what I need.
- Checklist with note space
- Anecdotal Note box
- Seating plan notes
- Conference forms
Except this year, (since I returned mid-year), I always seem to be behind the eight ball. I usually have these copied and ready to go easily accessible whenever I need them.
I also have one of those compartment clipboards that has storage, and this is great for tossing assessment pages into so that I can eventually import them into digital when I’m ready.
Want to take a look at my tracking pages? Here —> Inquiry Assessment Notes
Or see my class list examples here —> BLANK Classroom assessment pages
Keeping It Digital
I lose everything…because I am forgetful and in 10 years cannot for the life of me find a system that keeps all my paper organized in a way that doesn’t overwhelm me. So I keep it all digital.
- I take photos
- I do quick exit checks
- I have students self-assess. I snap a class picture with their fingers up.
- I jot notes
- Writing reflections
- I take photos of conference forms (because sometimes my students lose them)
Feedback is an integral form of assessment.
With all assessment, it must go together with feedback. Assessment without it is pointless.
It also has to be feedback that allows students to respond to it so that they can make improvements.
For this, I go back to paper.
Conference Forms – students fill out conference forms with me after they are done writing a draft. I have done this both digitally and in written form. Students self-reflect on what they need to work on before they begin to talk with me. Feedback is the one crucial thing that has the most significant impact on student growth. It is the feedback loop at the end of an assessment.
Get a copy of my digital student writing self-evaluation form here ->
Labels: if you find and order the large Avery labels of 6-10 labels on a page you can use Microsoft Word to make labels with rubrics on them. Just a single point checkbric that allows you to give a quick assessment.
I mark all the work right there on the label page fill them out, photocopy the label page with the marks recorded then peel them out and attach them in each book. (I also take a photo of this page for when I lose it)
Home School Communication
So this is a big one
Parents seem to like knowing how their child is doing.
Feedback conference forms and the labels are helpful to keep parents in the loop
So I use a classroom blog. Now I don’t blog every day, but I do try to keep it updated most of the time.
One of the key ways I do this is to use an email service provider like mail chimp or MailerLite to automatically send all of my blog posts directly to the email of my parents. It is set up to use it like remind. All of my posts are pushed out to parents at 4 pm on school days.
I know that this isn’t technically an assessment, but keeping parents informed of the assessment you are doing helps to keep them better prepared and informed if they choose to be.