Monday, July 31, 2017

Using Seesaw Learning Journals For Student Assessment

I know there are many of us who are using Seesaw Learning Journals as a tool for students to showcase their work and communicate with families. But, did you know it can also be a very powerful resource for student assessment? Yes! It is. And the best part is that you can choose to share the information immediately with parents to strengthen those home-school connections or you can save the information in private folders that you can access for report card information. I personally love sharing the information with parents because then they become partners in their child's education and they know exactly how they are doing and what they should help them with at home. So, how do I do it? Easy. I create my assessments in PowerPoint or Publisher and then save them as JPEG files. I upload the files to my teacher folder and then "copy and edit" a new one for each student! Simple as can be. If I want to share the information with parents then I tag the student and submit it to their journal. If not, I save it to my private folder that parents cannot see (this is a feature of Plus). If you don't have Plus you can do this by simply leaving it in your folder and not tagging students. Another thing I like to do is add a skill to each assessment. Then I can go and see which students are in the same level and can use this information for grouping! It's so easy!! Here's a picture of an assessment at the beginning of the year.
When I want to mark on top of the same assessment I just copy and edit again and choose a different color pen! I also date it with the color so I know when it was assessed. Another way I like to use Seesaw for assessments is to record my students reading and use the information to show parents how they are progressing. I have solid evidence of their reading and I can give specific information for the strategies they need to be working on.

If you'd like to venture into the world of Seesaw Assessments but don't know where to start I have a Seesaw Assessment Pack in my TPT store that will get you started! In this packet you will have JPEG files for upper and lower case recognition, letter sounds, name writing (with and without lines), 2 and 3 dimensional shapes, colors, number recognition and writing and sight words. See the preview below!
 Basic Skills Assessments for Seesaw Learning Journals

I hope you enjoy using this resource. You'll love the ease of using Seesaw for assessment!!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Sight Words That Make Sense

 Last year I really noticed that my students were struggling to grasp their sight words, so I did a LOT of research into best practices, programs, strategies, and new ways to teach them that would help them master them quickly and effectively. My team and I decided to go with differentiated sight words lists. I started searching for lists but just couldn't find what I wanted. Some came close, but none really fit what I felt gave my students the words they needed in the correct order to be able to write sentences from the start. So, my team and I decided to create our own list that makes sense. We started with the most basic words that kindergarten students need to write sentences and went from there. Each list has 10 words and is color coded. These words are from our district's list of required words.
The first 10 words are the words that all kindergarten students need to be able to know in order to write simple sentences and that you will find in most of the predictable books. They also fit into all of your beginning of the year themes (All About Me, Brown Bear, My Body, Friends, Apples, Fall). They just make sense.

So why go to all the trouble to do color coded lists? Well, we all know that our students come to us on many different levels. I had students this year who already knew how to read, so it seemed silly to have them working on the words "I" and "my" when they clearly needed more difficult words. So, this makes perfect sense. The second week of school I assessed each student to see how many words they knew and used that information to determine the list they would start on. I then sent home the list on color coded paper for them to use for practice at home.
Student Assessment of Sight Words
My students have found so much success by using words that they want to learn instead of eing forced to only work on the ones we are teaching. It helped improve their reading and writing! The set will be available in my TPT store very soon!