Assessments are one of those things that we all do all the time, but when you try to explain what it is you are doing…well, it gets really difficult, doesn’t it? My school district (and I am sure most others) has teachers working with TBTs, or Teacher Based Teams. These are weekly meetings which involve sharing assessment data, coming up with interventions, and sharing strategies that work well in our own classrooms.
We use short-cycle assessments in our classrooms for reading and math. These are designed to span about three weeks of instructional time and they are focused in on just a few standards that we are teaching at that time. We give a pre-test at the beginning of the three week span and share the results, plan some projects, lessons and interventions based on the results, and begin thinking about how to group students most effectively.
Here is an example of a reading short cycle test. We used this one during a unit on Space and while we were reading the novel, “Neil Armstrong is my Uncle and Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me”, by Nan Marino. It is a work of historical fiction.
The assessment pack includes a prompt, a variety of questions, an answer key and a way to record the data for students.
We keep data folders and students track their own progress from pre-test to post-test. The students get really excited to see their growth. Meeting with my TBT keeps me on track with my grading and the work I need to be doing. It really is a great system for assessment!
In math, we also do pre-tests and post-tests in short-cycle time periods. We also add in benchmark check sheets so we can see how students are mastering the individual concepts needed in order to be able to do the higher level, multi-step problems required of our grade level.
These pictures show what a benchmark quiz looks like (top right) as well as what the pre/post tests look like (there are two versions in the pack). Here are the data sheets we use:
What do you do to assess your students? Share your ideas in the comments section!
I just created a FREE Student Data Notebook pack for intermediate grades to keep track of those assessments for reading and math! Click here to grab your free pack!