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assessment tools


Assessment in grade 1-3 can take the form of anecdotal notes, rubrics, checklists, and others, but one I see being relevant and rewarding is a personal portfolio.  Teachers can collect work samples and place them into the portfolio and students to can contribute their own works as well.

Over the last few years I changed how I collected information to tell a story.  The process of collecting information for me had to be organzied, the information I was assessing needed to be on hand, and I needed to be able to track all of my students.

Some examples; For guided reading groups in primary I used a simple table chart with students names inside the boxes and recorded next steps.  I also used a file folder with index cards that could be easily moved as they progressed in guided reading.  I would record book titles, next steps and left and move as necessary. One idea I did really like was something my students would use along side with me as a record of goal setting for reading.  I cut a regular notebook in half, recorded their name on the front and each time they were called to read with me I would note their running record in the book, we would discuss a goal to work on for independent reading, and they would keep it in their desk to refer to as they worked.  I kept photocopying to a minimum and it was a great conferencing tool.

The article above outlines some ideas on how to begin a portfolio about students, but in the primary grades they can have a say as to what work can be inserted.  The information in the book should tell a story and show growth and development in their learning over time. In Kindergarten, I have organized binders for each of my children with worksamples, learning stories, documentation from different aspects of the cirriculum.  I work to ensure that a variety of pictures are in the portfolio that tell a story as well.  Due to printing costs, it is entirely up to the teacher to decide what is relevant, but pictures do tell a thousand words and it is a nice keep sake to show some exciting learning opportunities that they can talk about when they see a photo.

In the primary grades reading and writing portfolios are often used to story work samples and work in progress.  I created covers, a word list, rubric or success criteria and stop and start labels for inside a double pocket folder that can be purchased at staples and I laminate them to keep for the whole year.