First off, I love all of the practical ideas in this chapter for creating a growth mindset through assessments. It doesn’t just say that a growth mindset can be further developed by using different formats for assessment. The author actually gives use-right-now examples, and even forms that can be copied (maybe enlarged first!) The trouble is, that many of these strategies are excellent for intermediate and secondary students, but not many can be used with the primary students- although some may be adapted to work.
Giving feedback through formative and summative assessment is a part of education. I know from teaching Grade 5, that many students simply look at the mark they are given and then ignore the rest of the information. If they get a “good mark”, they are happy, but if their mark does not live up to their expectations, they can become very sad, even hard on themselves. I always tried to remind my students that these tests were just a tiny snapshot of their learning. I would go through the assessment with them and even give another chance to take the test to help them further their learning of the materials, some took it, others did not. I used rubrics to help them improve their writing, using the same scale for the entire year, so they could see their progression. We also used the Power of Ten All The Facts assessments frequently, so the students could see their progress. I think that the rubrics and All the Facts were the best indicators to the students of their growth over the course of the year. It was incredible for them to see that their practice was helping them to improve.
With all that being said, I know that I have room to grow in my assessment-giving-skills to include a more growth mindset-oriented practice. I love the sliding scale or the green, yellow, red ideas. If ever I am placed back into a classroom, I am going to work on my assessment practices to ensure that I am building up all of the students, not dragging them down when the do not achieve “good” marks. I will find better ways to show them that they are growing in their learning and understanding of the different concepts, including using some of the activities in this book.
- How can you incorporate the idea of “yet” into your classroom?
- What is one idea that you will try in your classroom to move your assessments to a more growth mindset oriented version?
- What are you already doing to show your students their growth in learning/understanding?