Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Assessing my students . . .

I assess my students in several different ways. I am continually doing informal assessment with my kids through questioning, observations, and conversation. I have a good bit of dialogue with my students on a daily basis. Of course, this applies to those kids who actually wish to talk. Some are too shy. Some just choose not to engage in a conversation.

I use several of the "traditional" assessments in my math classes as well. My kids take test and quizzes. We work on the occasional project. They work collaboratively and have even worked on a collaborative quiz or two. Occasionally, my kids will do short journal entries or free writes. Unfortunately, I probably rely on the tests and quizzes too heavily.

Working on the assessment module in this course has made me think about how I do assess my kids and their learning. I have to admit that I usually do not have the kids participate in creating assessments. I think this is a great idea, and I hope to incorporate this into my teaching in the future. I think if kids have a stake in something then it becomes more meaningful to them. Also, working through this unit has made me realize it would probably be beneficial to get some student feedback about the assessments I create and they complete. I do think with my middle school students, you would have to given them some parameters in terms of feedback and input, so that I would actually get some meaningful input from them.

I would love to have the time to create more projects and assessments like we have developed in class. That always seems to be the problem, though . . . time. Who has enough of it???? I would have to say that my lack of time is my biggest deterrent in developing new lessons, projects, and assessments. Hopefully, I will be able to figure out how to be more productive in my time management . . . we'll see!


  1. Informal assessments are a great way to make sure that the students are the correct "path." While there is never enough time to develop new projects, hopefully some of what you learn in this class will allow you to quickly modify your projects and assessments for new units.

  2. I so agree with everything you wrote. I would love to use more problem-based learning but who has the time to do all this planning. I hope to do some of this work over the summer so that it will be in place for next school year. Perhaps if I did a little bit at a time in a few years I would have all my units done.

  3. Teaching middle school is crazy sometimes. I agree that they would need parameters in setting up assessments. I think it would be interesting to follow student growth in doing this as the year progresses - after you work through he silliness adn they see the value in the woek that they are doing.