Today, a colleague and I spent the day doing the Early Numeracy Interview. We ensured that kits were ready, papers were named and teachers were happy for us to remove the children from the classes.
As a team, we went through every child in every class and looked at other data, discussed the child and how, if and why we should assess them. We asked teachers for their input and finalised our lists.
I must say, I felt a bit apprehensive about spending the whole day doing assessments, but when I started, I saw how beneficial they could be. Not because I could see (at that moment, in the way I asked the questions) what children knew. It was a reminder of so many other things …
- How important it is to talk with and LISTEN TO children. To hear what they say, listen to words that they choose and how they articulate themselves.
- Pay attention to the process. Ask children why they say things. How did they get to the answer.
- Praise self-corrections. Draw the attention of learners to the importance of thinking about the validity of answers and allowing them the opportunity to say, “No, that’s not right – this is why.”
- Discuss the assessment. Ask children how they feel they did. What did they notice about themselves – what does mean about them as learners.
- Feedback is vital– talk to other teachers and parents about what you have discussed with the child. What are the implications for tomorrow’s learning?
And now I am asking myself ..
Do I care about the profile that I get from the assessment? Yes – it tells me a great deal about where the child is at. There are many other consideration when thinking about the child. This is one of them.
Is the test accurate? In some ways. I will carefully analyse where each child left off and why.
What does assessment make you think about? Why?