Monday, July 13, 2015

Making assessment easy!

,Assessment can be so daunting, especially when it comes up at the most busy times of the year. There are so many parts and pieces to check over, evaluate, reevaluate, mark off, and just DO.  

I've been working on creating resources to make the assessment process so much more seamless.  This is my first resource in a line of many in which all components are included to make assessment go smoothly. 

Get it here:

This assessment pack focuses on recognizing and naming upper- and lowercase letters.  This is one of the assessments I'll be using within the first few days of school to check in with where students are at.  

The pack includes a set of 26 uppercase letter cards and a set of 26 lowercase letter cards.  I print these out and laminate them.  This year I am really excited to print things out on neon paper so I'll be printing the uppercase letters on one neon color and the lowercase letters on a different neon colored paper.  After I print them out I will laminate and cut them out.  I prefer to laminate and then cut them out so I only end up cutting them out once.  I sometimes will trim the edges off of things like this before laminating them so that I can try saving a little room.  [side note: I've been thinking of what to do with the extra little bit of room left on my lamination pouches because I hate to see them go to waste - I think I've figured out a good solution, but I'll be saving that for another post, so stay tuned!]

When it is time to assess students, I will put these cards into a bin, tray, or container of sorts.  I'll have the student sit across from me.  Sometimes I will pull the cards out of the bin and other times I'll have the student pull them out one at a time. I don't pull the cards out in alphabetical order - I always do this at random because I want the assessment to be as accurate and authenitc as possible rather than having the students be able to recognize the letter simply because they recited the ABC's in their head between each card.

In addition to the letter cards, this pack has an "Assessment Check Off" page.  This page has each of the letters (upper- and lowercase) laid out convienently so they are easy to see.  I laminate this whole page.  This page will be used during the assessment when I have a student sitting across from me.  I'll use a whiteboard marker to mark the letters the student has said correctly and also those said incorrectly just to check progress.  After the assessment, I'll send the kiddo back to join the rest of the class and I'll transfer this information onto the student roster/data sheets that are included.  The "assessment check off" page does add an extra step, but it helps me from having to shuffle through a bunch of papers to mark off the information while I'm assessing the student.  We all know that when we assess students, as soon as we start to look around, shuffle things, or take longer than expected to mark something, the student starts to get curious as to what we're doing and it starts to bother them and interfere with their performance. I feel like this page helps me limit that type of interference.  Yes, it does create an extra step, but in the end, I prefer to do it this way.  If you find this step cumbersome, it's easy to skip!

The next component of the pack is the roster/data pages.  There are two sets of these pages - one for the uppercase letters and one for the lowercase letters.  Each set has room for you to write in up to 30 student names.  I always copy these at the beginning of the year so that I have enough pages for each round of assessments I will do (the beginning of the year and the end of each trimester/semester/quarter).  I copy them so that when they lay flat in my Student Data binder, they will stretch across - from left to right - showing me each of the letters for that case.

After transferring all of the information over from my "Assessment Check Off," I count the total of known letters and write that in the total column at the end.  I do this for each kiddo.

I use this information throughout the year for different things.  I might look for trends of letters that have proven troublesome and need more attention - the b's, d's, p's, and q's - and I use it to help me drive instruction either whole class or small group.

I hope this is helpful!  Keep an eye out for my other packs in the assessment series.  I'll be adding ones that allow students to write out their letters, recognize and identify numbers, "draw" corresponding items to match their numbers, etc. 

Let me know if you have any questions :)

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