Monday, 6 February 2012


With report card writing just around the corner, my head is filled with thoughts of assessment and all the of the curricular outcomes I would like to report on and just how little time there actually is (Valentine's Day, 100 Day, and I Love To Read all in one month)! While instructional assessment is an important piece of a student's overall growth and achievement, personal reflections by the students themselves is equally valuable. By having the students tell us how they feel they are doing, we as teachers can adjust or modify our own teaching instruction to suit the needs of the students. It also allows for the opportunity for students to set both behavioural and academic goals for the future. One of the assessment strategies I utilize regularly in my classroom is the idea that 'My Learning Is Like a Stoplight'. This is a concept that all primary students are easily able to grasp, and the possibilities for classroom integration are endless. After an activity or task I often ask my firsties "How did you do?", and using the SMARTboard, I have them drag their name onto the appropriate colour of the stoplight. Below is a snapshot of the SMARTboard Notebook document I use:

This method of personal reflection by the students is a great conversation starter, as I frequently prompt them to tell me why they chose the colour they did, but also how they could do better next time (setting goals!). While I realize that not every teacher has a SMARTboard at their fingertips, a stoplight could easily be made out of coloured card stock paper, fabric, or felt. Using the SMARTboard is a quick form of student assessment, but it is also very public, so I make efforts to ensure that I also provide opportunities for more private reflections among the students. Below are some additional ideas that I utilize in my classroom:

Red Yellow Green Dot Stickers
Stickers are a more private form of student reflection that can be placed onto a student's work, once they have completed the task. The stickers can be purchase at local Dollar Stores (cheap!), and of course the students LOVE placing a red yellow or green sticker onto their work. Another option is to have your students use either crayons or markers instead of the stickers. 


While I haven't used the cup strategy myself, I know teachers that have, and it seems to work well. Students keep the stacked cups on the corner of their desks (on green), and if they are having problems with a task or activity, they can switch their cup to red, and it is a quick visual for teachers to look around the room to see who needs help. I like this strategy as it doesn't require the students to leave their desks to ask for help. The cups can also be bought at Dollar or Party stores for only a few dollars. 

Here are a couple of student reflection sheets that I have used in my classroom. One requires students to reflect on their performance (behavourial or academic), while the other can be used to introduce the concept of setting goals for the next term. I hope you find them useful!
Stoplight Self Reflection

Stoplight Goal Setting

While I use the Stoplight analogy, the possibilities for incorporating student centered assessments and personal reflections into your own classroom are endless. Whether it be a Bullseye or Seed, Sapling, and Tree concepts, as long as we get students thinking and reflecting on their own performance and progress, that is what counts! I would love to hear about some assessment strategies that you use or find helpful in your own classroom! Please share!


Lisa Howard said...

I've never heard of this before... I like it as a guide for self reflection. I especially like how you presented it.

- Lisa
a teachers bag of tricks

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