Having tried many different assessment tools and monitoring techniques, many are time consuming and irrelevant. Often we spend so much time analysing the data and entering scores into a computer that we miss the most worthwhile part. The feedback. Any assessment tool should be used to enhance and develop student learning outcomes. Assessment should be meaningful and relevant for us and students. One very quick tool that I find invaluable is an assessment snapshot. Correcting upper primary work is time consuming. When I taught senior students, I felt that I was drowning in data. All of it important. So I started just recording the focus and what I was looking for with the kids at the start of each experience. The benefit was they knew what I was focussing on and I knew that there was clear expectations. During learning experiences, I simply stapled the snapshot to the work sample. I sat with students or roved around and highlighted their snapshot when I saw they had completed it. On the other hand if I saw something that needs attention, I could give quick feedback. At the end of the session, I simply collected the work samples, signed it and double checked the work. One hidden benefit that I discovered was when this work was sent home with a snapshot, parents were also clear on what was expected and what you were looking for. Many parents communicated that they like the clarity of the expectations. Now that I have moved year levels, I have tried using tracking checklist etc. However, I found placing the criteria on the snapshot and invaluable tool for the juniors as they naturally want to aim high. When the snapshot is with them, students tend to ask less questions about what is expected. I hope that people give this assessment tool a try. Truly invaluable.
Annette Palma and Carley Rogozik/ Dawson