Assessment Tips & Tricks {Haley from The McGrew Crew}

Hello! It's Haley from The McGrew Crew! When I think about the word "assessment" my mind immediately goes to tests, particularly standardized or state testing. As stated in prior posts we are a homeschooling family. Therefore, we do not participate in these types of tests. However, as a former public school teacher I do believe regular assessing is vital. But today I want to focus on self-assessment and three different ways I have my children self-assess in our school. We all know that making mistakes is important...because we learn from them. I think it's great to teach our kids how to assess and correct their own work at times! 

My boys have a writing journal that we use a couple times a week. In order for them to check their own writing before I do I have added a rubric on the inside cover (I used this FREE one from Under the Alphabet Tree). There is a different colored star associated with each part of the rubric. Once they check (and correct if necessary) each part they can place the appropriate star on that page. Most of the time we still go over it together because they are still young writers. But they love this fun way to assess their own writing! 
 (Writing prompts from Mrs. Thompson's Treasures)

QR Codes
I'm sure these have been around a while but I've just discovered them this year and we love them! I will definitely be looking for more ways to implement QR Codes in our schooling! Basically, you can use these in groups, centers or just individually. They have an activity, problem, question, etc. that the student(s) work on. They use a QR code app on a tablet to either get the problem or activity and/or to check their work! The answers will pop up on the tablet! My kids are always looking for an excuse to use my iPad...and this is a great one!

Looking Back
Because learning doesn't necessarily happen overnight it's important for students to compare some of their older work (maybe from the beginning of the year) to some of their current work. This lets them see for themselves the improvements that have been made over a length of time. Sometimes it's hard to see this through the day-to-day struggles of learning. Have them assess their own work by comparing and contrasting. They can then set new goals!

And just because I know this time of year brings a lot of anxiety about testing and assessments, I wanted to add in a little freebie you can use with your students. I've read that writing down your worries before an exam can boost your test scores! You can use these papers before a test to have students jot down their own worries about it, or maybe to review testing strategies that you've been working hard to instill in them. Or, maybe they just want to draw a picture of how they will celebrate when it's all over! :)

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