Talk to the children and tell them that this is nothing to worry about
In our first guest blog of 2017, Alfie Hawes (aged 9) provides an insight into assessment from a child’s eyes. Here, he provides some top tips for teachers as they approach assessment at the start of the new year.
My mum is not a normal teacher (but she does do some ‘crazy’ things like finding unusual and magical ways to get the children interested in what she needs them to learn). By not normal I mean she isn’t like the usual teachers who work in one class in one school. She visits lots of different schools to work with lots of different children and their teachers. Her job is to find out how they best learn things or what is making it difficult for them to learn. This means that she goes to work with lots of bags and boxes that I have to help put in the car. The bags and boxes are full of assessments for maths, reading, spelling, language and lots of other things.
My mum does assessments at work and I have to do assessments too in my school and with the other people that help me. As well as with the teachers at my school, I have completed assessments with my Occupational Therapist, my Physiotherapist and an Educational Psychologist. I don’t mind doing them because they can be made fun and they help me in the long term to get the help that I need and want. However some children do mind doing assessments because they find them really tricky and stressful so, because of that reason they may not want to do assessments, and can find them upsetting. As I have done so many I have five top tips for teachers to make assessments as ‘okay’ as possible for children:
I hope my top tips have helped you become a better teacher (I bet you are brilliant already) and have also had a positive impact on the children you work with. We children understand that assessments are important and we will always do better in them if we have a smile on our faces.
Mirkka Jokelainen addresses the question how can we ask students to demonstrate thinking skills and the ability to apply knowledge by ticking a box?