Four Ways to Prepare Students for More Than Standardized Testing – Part 2

March 7, 2016
Jodi Posadas

Jodi Posadas

Ross & Rolheiser found that “students who are taught self-evaluation skills are more likely to persist on difficult tasks, be more confident about their ability, and take greater responsibility for their work.”

Isn’t this what we all hope for when we think about agency in the classroom?

My favorite ways to watch students take on self-assessment are through portfolios and single-point rubrics.

When we provide students the opportunity to gather their own evidence of learning and house it in a portfolio, we create a self-assessment that tells a story about what they find important in their journey of learning.  Some students may choose to tell a journey of growth, while others might want to showcase all of their best work related to a specific skill.  All stories of learning are important, even more so when regarding a portfolio as self-assessment. *If you’d like to challenge students even more, add a rubric as an element of portfolio creation as a means to self-assess.

As students begin to define the work that will be included, have them reflect on a few questions:

  • Why did I chose this piece of work for my portfolio?
  • What does the story of my learning say?
  • In which area have I made the most growth?
  • What struggles are presented here?

Listen to the answers that are given and ask yourself a few questions:

  • What does that response tell me about this student’s learning?
  • Where do I see growth/fixed mindset?
  • How can I help to improve the self-esteem of students that are struggling to articulate the positive aspects in their learning?
  • What highlights did the student mention that I hadn’t noticed previously?
  • As they learn about themselves, take notes about how this impacts your work. Usually student self-assessment gives us great insight into our teaching, projects and classrooms.

Single-Point Rubrics
Single-point rubrics are a new practice that I am giving a try. They are similar to other analytic rubrics, except they only include one proficiency per sub-skill in which you’d like students to aim, making them much more elementary friendly. Using these rubrics will set students up to think about potential areas of strength and opportunities for growth. Specific feedback and evidence can be noted and returned to later for more progress monitoring.

Think about setting time in your schedule for students to self-assess during multiple points of the project using single-point rubrics. If you’re unsure that your students are ready for self-assessment using these, pair them with a friend or let them use the rubric as a group proficiency measure.  Responsibility for their work and progress can be seen via the comments that students make as they utilize this tool.

Jodi Posadas is the Elementary Coach for New Tech Network.

Read part one, three and four of this series.

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