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Tips for Wrapping it Up!

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by , 12-14-2011 at 06:28 AM (2438 Views)
Tips for Wrapping it Up!
by jamie

Truly December is the month for wrapping things up. Of course, you know all about wrapping up presents, but how about wrapping up the fall semester of school? Oh, I know not everyone schools with semesters in mind... and that's great. But for those of us who do, the next couple of weeks contain tests, exams, projects... all those things that will finalize another chapter of schooling. So, since I brought up testing... how are you with your assessment strategies? (That's teacher talk for how you test your children...

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of testing your children.

  • Make sure that your children know exactly what your standards of testing are before you begin. Just like the rules of a game, a child needs to know the rules of assessment while they are learning and preferrably prior to testing.
  • Make a list of exactly what you consider to be an A effort, a B effort, excetera...
  • Having a method of assessment in place will give your child motivation to meet the goal. If they want an A, they will strive to meet the standards you have set for A performance.
  • Use contracts with older students to get them to clearly see what their own personal goals are.
  • Vary the use of assessment tools. Don't just use a paper pencil test to determine how your child is doing. The use of projects, reports, performance evaluation, portfolios, and typical testing gives a clearer picture of how your child is learning.
  • Give your children an outlet to perform. One of the most difficult things about homeschooling, is that there can be shortage of performance outlets for our children. For example, my child writes an awesome report about Civil War Generals. The report is great, and for maximum student benefit, should be delivered orally as well. Yet, what outlet can we use to do this? A co-op is great, a family group, or even a group of homeschooling friends would work well.
  • Give your student clear and precise goals throughout the year, and this will make assessment/testing time a whole lot easier.
  • Always test only over the subject matter that was covered. Don't assume that the student knows more than what was taught within the context of the book, chapter, or unit study. That's not playing fair.
  • Do try to use higher order questioning throughout your assessment. This means don't just ask questions that require rote memory skills. Ask questions that make the student analyze, synthesize, or evaluate what they learned.
Well, as you wrap things up this month, I hope that you have found ways to make testing a whole lot less painless for both you and your student!