It is that time of year again where we are all assessing our students in some way or another (well, that could really be any time of the year in elementary). In First Grade we have so many little assessments that the amount of paper and the time it takes to complete the assessments can be overwhelming. How can we do all this testing in an efficient and environmentally friendly way? Read on...
I'm sure most lower elementary teachers would agree that because young students lack strong reading and writing skills we don't always get a true sense of what they know if we ask them to use those two skills. For this reason I like to use videos to assess my students; videos allow students to explain what they know without the writing tripping them up or slowing them down. This is not to say that you couldn't have students write out a script if writing is needed for the assessment. Helpful hint: earbuds with a microphone are great to hear the students better and they help to cut out background noise when
Here is an example of a student explaining a map that she made with her team. I am assessing wether or not the students understand map features and the directions: north, east, south and west.
This video was made in the Explain Everything app. If you haven't used this app I suggest you take a look at it. It is a great K-12 app that really can do it all, record your screen and voice, annotate, narrate, import and export almost anything. My students and I use this app for a lot of paperless assessments.
The same process described above was done here as well. A picture of the worksheet was taken, uploaded into Explain Everything, locked into place and then saved to Dropbox for the students. Once students have pushed down then digital assessment they simply circle the correct answer(s) and save it to their camera roll.
When students are done with their assessment I collect them electronically through a shared folder in Google Drive. There are two ways that you can go about setting up a shared folder in Google Drive with your students; you can share a folder with them or they can share a folder with you. Either way it works the same, age and ability may play a factor in deciding which way to do it. The first thing you will need, no matter which way you decide to tackle this, is a Gmail Account for every student. This will create an email for each student and will be how you share the folder with them. Our school has given every student, K-12, an email address from the moment they enter our district (of course not everyone uses them right away). I would suggest you talk to your Tech Department (or person) before starting this process.
|Each student has their own folder that I shared with them.|
|Here is a student folder with a video explaining a math problem, animal lifecycle assessment and the needs of an animal assessment.|
Another possibility for collecting paperless assessments, that doesn't require Google Accounts to be set up, would be Dropbox. Dropbox is a storage service that lets you store anything (photos, videos, documents, etc.) and then access it from anywhere on any device. Signing up for a Dropbox account is free and easy. Once you have created an account you can sign in on every student iPad (you'll only have to sign in once). From here you can create a file for each student to upload their assessments to or a file for each assessment to have students upload to.