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Success for children through positive learning assesmentsDocument Transcript
==== ====Self-esteem Elevation For Children Coaching Certification, find out more, please click here :http://tinyurl.com/7yzkjc7==== ====So have you been thinking about the purpose and value of learning assessments? I thought that Iwould allow some time for our ideas to percolate before continuing the discussion that I began in aprevious article. I have been contemplating this topic a lot, especially this past week as I preparedreport cards for some of my students.In educational circles these days, we often hear the terms assessment of learning andassessment for learning. The first few times I heard these terms, I thought that they were justeducational jargon--mumbo jumbo that had little meaning. I was wrong.Assessment of learning is what most of us do when we mark someones work. We "correct" it,looking for errors. We circle and cross things out, draw arrows, make some asterisks orexclamation marks and scratch a solid red x beside each mistake. We total the number of correctanswers and calculate a percentage or a letter grade. We may write comments such as, "Sloppy,try harder, you can do better or show your work!" Occasionally we might write, "Good work, goodtry or better luck next time!" We might even slap a sticker or a star on the paper before handing itback to the student.Then we record the mark in our book and next week we do it all over again. Is there any wonderthat kids get discouraged? You really have to ask yourself, "What is the purpose of such learningassessments?" All they really accomplish is to label the child as a winner or a loser.We justify this process by telling ourselves that we need to point out childrens errors so as to helpthem improve, but studies have shown that marking work in such a way has no positive impact onlearning. In other words, pointing out ones errors does nothing to motivate that person to improve.The only kids who love having their work marked this way are the keeners who are almostguaranteed to have few errors. For them, getting their work back is a great ego trip. For the kidwhose paper looks as if it has been dipped in a vat of red ink, there is nothing positive ormotivating about it.Studies prove that if a person receives a piece of work back containing a grade and comments,that the comments are completely ignored. The only thing grabbing the persons attention is themark. So we can stop wasting our time drawing lines and arrows and making comments abouthow the child can improve. The only thing that will be noticed will be the grade and that doesnothing to help anyone improve. Case closed. The grade tells children how they rank and thatsall.Assessment for learning is a different kettle of fish. The purpose of these learning assessments isto give positive feedback to guide and coach children to success. This is when we might say, "Ilove your title! Its so expressive and it draws in the reader. Now lets see if we can work on
making the first sentence just as exciting! What do you think is missing?" Assessment for learningmeans pointing children in the right direction while giving them credit for having come as far asthey have already.Do you see the difference? One builds up; the other tears down. When you come right down to it,assessment of learning is not assessing the child at all. It is assessing the teacher. If the childdoes not understand the material and does not know how to answer the questions correctly orwrite the piece adequately, the buck stops with us. Its up to us to coach kids to success.Ah, success! How do we define it? Thats the topic of another discussion. Next time. Until then, trylimiting your assessment of learning and instead begin assessing for learning. Transform yourselffrom a judge and critic to a coach and cheerleader. It will make a world of difference in yourhomeschool.Dianne Dachyshyn is a writer and a public speaker who lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Shecurrently works teaching grade two French immersion. Previously, she worked as a homeeducation facilitator helping families to plan their programs and deal with challenges. Beforeworking as a facilitator, she home educated her three children for seven years. She has soldcurriculum, worked as a private consultant to homeschoolers, served on a homeschooling boardand has been a keynote speaker at homeschool conventions and support meetings.As a writer, Dianne is passionate about teaching children to write. From her experience in theclassroom, in homeschooling and in relationships with other writers, she knows that this is by farthe most challenging area to teach and to learn.Dianne offers ideas, insight and encouragement to homeschoolers. She offers wisdom born fromexperience, both in parenting and homeshooling. Dianne Dachyshyn is available to speak togroups on the topics of homeschooling and teaching writing. She can be reached email@example.com.Article Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dianne_Dachyshyn==== ====Self-esteem Elevation For Children Coaching Certification, find out more, please click here :