Assessment Alley






Cherry Carl

How do we honor the very young child,

The  eager explorer, so wiggly and wild?

If we look we can see that each one is yearning

For that pat on the back to celebrate learning;

But trust is a must if we're seeking success

When we ask our students to self-assess.

We must teach them and reach them to show that we care

As they learn to listen, to respect and to share.

A few fear the risks, the reluctant and shy,

But we've got to give them the freedom to try.

And in the end, they can cry out loud,

"I've learned a lot and I am proud!"






"Conferences can become a time for celebration as students become active members in the learning community by being empowered to become responsible, reflective learners, able to discuss and reflect on their own abilities."

Lenski, Riss, Flickinger, 1996. Honoring Student Self-Evaluation in the Classroom Community. Primary Voices K-6  Vol 4, 24-32.





Solving the Assessment Puzzle:
A Perspective from Dr. Roger Farr

How and Why Do I Assess?


When Do I Assess?


(Cues for Conferences and Portfolios)
What About the Parents?


An Informed Teacher
Makes Better Decisions

Testing Sign


Go to Writer's Way for teacher friendly assessment ideas and materials for Writer's Workshop and portfolio assessment.




In their book, Windows Into Literacy, Rhodes and Shanklin (1993) make a profound statement that summarizes how I feel about assessment. "Knowledge about how to gather and analyze useful assessment data to make decisions about instruction is crucial to teachers in socio-psycholinguistic, child-centered classrooms. In such classrooms, cues about instruction come largely from learners themselves rather than from the next lesson in a textbook. Through assessment, teachers can discover students' interests, strengths, and areas of developmental need to help them become more literate."




Jigsaw vs. Assessment:
A Comparison




Assessment Puzzle

Start small. 1000 piece puzzles are not meant for the novice!

Don't try to do it all the first time. Take tiny steps.

Study the picture to see what the finished puzzle should look like. Clearly identify student standards and your goals for assessment. What should the student work look like? Develop anchors and rubrics.
Sort out the pieces, separating and connecting the outside edges to form a framework. Be organized about approaching performance assessment. When, where and how will you store student work?
Don't allow the puzzle to disrupt your household and your life! Assessment should be an ongoing, integral part of the regular classroom program and schedule.
Invite a friend to join you in your efforts to put the puzzle together. Invite students to take ownership and to be active participants in the assessment process with teacher, parent and child.
Take a good look at the finished puzzle. Is it worth keeping and sharing with others? Students should go through their portfolios and decide what to save for their next teacher and what to take home.







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