As teachers, we all realize the importance of assessment. Effective teachers need to check for understanding on a consistent basis. Many of us would agree that giving a test is well intended and serves a purpose.
Unfortunately, this concept has gone too far. The idea of holding both students and teachers accountable for content mastery in a reasonable manner has turned into a landslide of “required” assessments that not only hurt children but take away a meaningful and purposeful education.
As such, we find ourselves trying to maintain a balance between meaningful assessments and a mere requirement. In many ways, we ask ourselves what is the real purpose behind this?
We should always remember that even though test scores are important and provide valuable information, it is the students that count.
Through the years, I have come to realize a few things about assessments:
- Help students understand that good scores can allow for more opportunities, particularly after high school and/or college
- Allow time during the year for short, yet consistent, practice opportunities thus alleviating much stress and anxiety during the assessment
- Correct practice test with your students, not forgetting to call on students to justify their responses
Think about what you can do to help your students perform their very best on these sometimes, very demanding assessments