I ran into a little push-back about assessment. The chief complaint was that increasing the number of assessments requires teachers to give up more instructional time to test kids. I couldn't agree more with. We don't need more tests. We need more instruction.
But here's the deal. Assessment is not testing. Assessment is determining if learning is actually taking place. In fact, assessment is a vital component on excellent instruction, and without assessment, you're not delivering instruction. You're disseminating information and opportunities to learn.
So here are 5 ways to assess without testing.
- Listening - If you listen to kids, and they can't talk about their learning or content, they aren't learning the content.
- Observation - Watching kids interact with content tells you what misconceptions they have with content.
- Conversation - A conversation with a kid about his understanding of the content will tell you so much more than any test ever could.
- Portfolio - Collecting samples of authentic student work over time gives teachers the full picture of a child's learning from initial instruction to the end of the unit.
- Anecdotal records are similar to observations, but they are more detailed as the teacher can make record of all the informal learning a child has demonstrated over time. It also shows patterns of incorrect learning
Here are some bonus ideas from my PLN. I posed the following question, "How do you assess without testing or grading?" I really enjoyed their perspectives, and hope you do as well.