That dreaded word…ASSESSMENT! So much of what we do revolves around assessment now. Pre and post assessment, summative, formative and so on. There are a million and one different ways to collect assessment and yet so often we find ourselves struggling to use the many different tools out there. As a student support teacher, a lot of my job consists of data collection. In order to write IIP goals, we need to have baseline data. What I find in my current school, is that we often do not have the best ways assessing our students when it comes to behaviour. Observation and checklists are high on the list for tools that we often use. With frequent assessing students, especially those with higher needs, can become anxious or act differently and therefore the answers do not reflect what they truly know. This weeks group presented us with some really great assessment tools that can be used in the classroom and can easily be adapted to work in a small group setting. The added bonus is they will also be very helpful if we are forced back to online learning.
Of all the tools they showed us, two really stood out ot me. Classkick and Quizizz. As we played around with these tools, I thought of some of the kids on my caseload. The fact that they can complete the assessment at their own pace without being rushed by everyone else was really appealing to me. That would cause a lot less panic and anxiety in some of my students. It would then likely turn up some more accurate results. Classkick offers an option to help out peers with questions. This allows for group work and student interaction which could be a super beneficial piece. It would help students explain their understanding and also allow me to assess some of the social skills of my students which is part of a lot of their IIP goals.
Kahoot has always been a fun way to wrap up some lessons with some of my small groups. They really enjoy it and some thrive on the competition. The use of technology is always an added bonus too. With Quizizz, the competitive piece is still there but the rushed clock is not. You do get a bonus for being quicker but the countdown takes that pressure away. You are constantly brought back to the scoreboard so you know where you are at but again, you move at your own pace. As a teacher, it seems to be easier to keep track of students answers and know exactly where they are at. You can customize quizzes or you can use ones that have already been created. It seems like it has taken a lot of the great features Kahoot has and transformed them to make it a little more suitable for a classroom setting. The fact that you do not need the screen projected with the questions, like Kahoot is a huge win. That can be really tough for students that are slower readers and they can barely finish reading the question from the board and the time is running out.
I am a little sad, ok not really, that I am on maternity leave right now as I couldn’t go and try these two tools this past week. I know some of the students I worked with last year would have really enjoyed them. I also wish I could explore them a little bit more while they are fresh on my brain. So often we go to conferences, workshops or whatever, and we learn about these amazing new strategies or tools but then when we go back to our classroom we fall right back into the same routine. During my time away from the classroom this go around, I am going to make notes of things I want to try with my students. I hope that way I will come back with a fresh new perspective and a lot more tools in my tool belt!