Below is an assessment that we use in the lower school that I currently work at. It is a self-assessment given to younger aged students (1st-3rd grade) to help both the teacher and the student understand the progress that the pupil is making as he or she tries to achieve two behavioral goals:
- Working without distracting self and/or others
- Working thoughtfully on the task at hand
Creation and Implementation
The assessment was created to have the child assess their own behavior throughout the day. As the student actively fills out the form, he or she will realize that the order of the subjects follows that of a typical day — helping recount his or her behavior accurately. Furthermore, the form uses a smiley and sad face system, something that most children can correspond good and poor behavior to. Finally, if a child earns enough smiley faces, there is a reward he or she can earn, something that the parents, teacher, and child agree upon before installing the behavior plan.
Goals and Outcomes
Hopefully, with these daily assessments, a child can track their progress over time and make a more conscious effort to earn smiley faces– creating a fun and rewarding way to act more appropriately in class. Thus, the teacher and other students reap the benefits of having a less disruptive classroom, but the child also gains a sought-after reward without realizing they are perhaps getting more out of their education, too.
This assessment assumes a child understands their goals and is willing to work towards them under the guise of a reward. It also assumes that a child is capable of recounting their day accurately and furthermore not falsely choosing smiley faces for the reward. Last, it is most importantly understood by the child that there is a distinct difference between good (smiley) and bad (sad) behaviors.
Tying it All Together
Overall, I have found this assessment to fall in line with my three beliefs about assessment, which I mentioned in a previous post. These include the assessment being relevant, assessing throughout a course and providing feedback. In the case of being relevant, this self-assessment directly reflects on the child’s daily behavior choices. The assessment can also be used daily or weekly, not just at the beginning and/or end of a course. Last, there is an important section with comments, allowing both the teacher and parent to help the child understand what may have led to a good or bad day.
This behavior self-assessment also falls in line with many of the thoughts presented in The Role of Assessment in a Learning Culture, by Dr. Shepard, specifically when she introduces the ideas behind the cognitive revolution. Shepard mentions that historically, “…intelligent thought involves self-monitoring and awareness about when and how to use skills,” (p.6). This assessment was made with the intentions of the student learning how to self-monitor and be more aware of their behavioral skills. Furthermore, Shepard argues that:
School learning should be authentic and connected to the world outside of school not only to make learning more interesting and motivating to students but also to develop the ability to use knowledge in real-world settings, (p.7).
Echoing that idea, this assessment connects material with the world outside of the school. It allows the child to work towards their behavioral goals inside the classroom, but it also provides an opportunity for parents to extend that learning to afterschool and their personal life with the comments and potential rewards. Finally, this assessment touches on the goal of which “students must have a clear understanding of the criteria by which their work will be assessed.” Given the goals listed and specific subjects, it is clear to the child and teacher what will be assessed and how. In the case where there may be some ambiguity, the comment section can provide necessary clarity.
Overall, I believe this assessment is one that seems rather simple but can provide a lot of information for many parties- the teacher, parent(s) and also the child. It is insightful knowing that information is gathered directly from the student and in terms that they understand. It that connects directly to the real world and is something that can be used many times throughout a school-year, providing constant feedback on the progress being made (while also identifying areas that may need to be tweaked).
Shepard, L. A. (2000, October). The Role of Assessment in a Learning Culture. Retrieved August 3, 2018, from American Educational Research Association: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1176145