As many students are about to head back to school, now is a great chance for you as a teacher to take stock of how you are assessing your students to see if it can be done more effectively.
Even though midyear and end of year reports are probably not at the forefront of thinking at the minute, if you are proactive now you can adopt a couple of simple tech based assessment tools that will save you many painstaking hours when reports do come around.
Here are two very simple solutions that will help you better manage your data based and anecdotal assessment. Both are free and can be set up within a matter of minutes.
A Class tracker is a very simple spreadsheet that is made up of columns in which you can enter your students names, test results, homework submitted, books read and so on. This is completely flexible and you can cater it to meet you class needs. Simply add and remove columns as desired.
The beauty of a class tracker lies in its simplicity. It allows you to see your class at a single spreadsheet that you can then use to sort students into ability groups or follow up events or items that are unfulfilled.
You can download an editable Class Tracker template here in which you can enter your own students and begin tracking your own class data right now. Simply add and remove columns to meet your needs, but if you want to take this tool to the next level you can use the sort filters to instantly rank student performance in a specific area.
There is a video below that explains how to sort student information and use the sort feature in Excel.
For more of an anecdotal solution to recording student performance I cannot recommend using Evernote enough. It allows you to record text, images and video when conferencing or assessing your students work.
I have the Evernote app up and running on my iPad frequently in the classroom when I am conferencing with students or wrapping up a session.
If you use your wording effectively in Evernote you can actually write your report statements right then and there as you are seeing things unfold in real time.
This has got to have far greater value than trying to dig up memories from scratched notes from something that happened two months prior to writing your reports.
So for instance, when you are watching Little Johnny do his class science presentation science on dinosaurs don’t just pull out a piece of paper and write the fact that Johnny did a presentation on dinosaurs, pull out your iPad, Tablet, Phone, Computer or whatever and write in a report comment in Evervnote then and there such as…
“Jonathon explained in detail how the ice age caused the demise of the dinosaurs during his class presentation. He could clearly articulate the effect the ice age had on the food chain and how cold blooded reptiles need a warm climate to survive.”
This statement says a great deal more about student understanding from a live perspective and can be applied to nearly all areas of the curriculum. Furthermore; you can even take a video, or photo of the presentation as authentic assessment to reflect upon with the student.
It is obvious to see that if you adopt an Evernote approach to anecdotal assessment that this would save you hours come report writing time. Everything in Evernote is synced to the cloud and can be accessed on any computer or mobile device.
So there are two simple assessment tools you can begin using at any time that will greatly inform your own teaching and understanding of student performance.
It would be great to hear of any other useful assessment tools you are using in the comments section below.