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Children Self Assessing Any Ideas?


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I work in a primary school and I am getting pressure from above to show how the children are self assessing during their child initiated activities! We currently use a traffic light system with smily faces when the children are working with an adult, we discuss what the children think about their learning and then decide together which face and colour they are going to draw on either their work or on the adults comments sheet. Is anyone else having this problem or got any solutions?

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Hi,

 

I'm not really qualified to answer your question but I'm going to move your post into the Reception and Yr1 where more experienced souls will be able to give you advice. :o

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I'm really interested to hear what people have to say about this as I'm in a similar situation and pretty confused about this. :o (Just for a change! :( ) It seems to me that self-assessment (traffic lights etc) is a good tool to use when the teacher has shared the learning objective with the child and they are able to decide how well they have learnt the specified learning objective. (Personally I've found that even in KS1 the colour traffic light they assess themselves with has more to do with their personality than their learning - 'more able' children lacking in confidence will often give themselves a red one whereas more confident 'less able' children will tend to give themselves a green one!) Anyway, with child-initiated activities, the learning is not specified by the teacher in this way, so how can they say how well they've achieved the learning objective? And if each child is responsible for and directing their own learning in a child-initiated activity, presumably they will all successfully achieve the learning they've 'set' themselves as it will, by definition, be at the correct level for them! Perhaps a better self-assessment in this situation is for children to reflect on what they think they've been learning while they've been initiating their own learning? Another question I've got is: do children in the early years have to be able to articulate their learning for them to learn it most successfully? I know this is true for adlt-led activities, but for child-initiated? I'm not sure and I would love to hear other people's expert opinions. I'm trying to reconcile my KS1 and 2 head and my early years head! :(

 

Also, while I'm here - sorry to hijack the thread! - what do people feel about sharing 'possible' learning objectives- 'learning opportunities' - with children for child-initiated activities in the same way that is good practice for adult-led? I think that there are so many possible directions in which children can take their learning at any particular activity that it is restrictive and inaccurate to give them an over-arching learning objective for an independent activity. I'd really love to hear what other people do about self assessment and sharing learning objectives in reception classes.

 

(By the way, is a resource that the teacher has set up, like a small world setting, for example, for children to work with and learn through as they choose, a child-initiated or an adult-led activity? Does a child have to initiate the entire learning experience from start to finish, totally choosing and setting up the resources with no adult support, for it to be child-initiated? Or can it be the unique way they relate to and use the resource independently and self-directedly (!) that makes it child-initiated? Sorry to be stupid xD , but its been niggling me for ages and I can't think of a better group of people to ask! Thank you in advance for your expert knowledge! :( :wacko:

 

Emma

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(Personally I've found that even in KS1 the colour traffic light they assess themselves with has more to do with their personality than their learning - 'more able' children lacking in confidence will often give themselves a red one whereas more confident 'less able' children will tend to give themselves a green one!)

 

When I said 'more able', I meant children who had definitely achieved the success criteria and 'less able' those that had struggled with it. Obviously these can be children of all abilities! Duh! :o

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We are a Nursery class.

We do a system of 2 good things and a wish. We ask children to tell us two things they 'like' (they understand the language) about what they have created or are doing then we ask if they would wish to have anything to improve what they have made or are doing. In the beginning lots of children say 'no' to the second part but when they start hearing the older children they may ask for additional resources to improve their work. Sometimes they ask you for resources before they have even shown you their work which shows they are assessing all the time anyway.

 

I have just made an area where the learning opportunity of an adult led activity can be displayed going down the line of Building Learning Power. I think to do the same with other activities is just too much work.

 

If you have set up the activity with the resources then it is an adult initiated activity so it is neither adult led or child initiated. You have limited the play in a certain way by the resources you have chosen. Child initiated is using resources in the classroom in a different way. ie children used cars from garage to set up a toy shop and asked for a till.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm a student teacher so not really qualified to answer - but on a recent practice with a Reception class I introduced the idea of the children talking through what they were going to play with and what they thought they could learn from it, who they were going to play with etc. This was recorded onto a tape so that we could playback the childrens ideas to them and discuss it. I started this as there wasn't enough adults in the classroom to have somebody tracking the child initiated play all of the time.

I started this with an adult asking the children directed questions about what they were going to do in their play. I stopped the lesson 10-15 minutes earlier and asked the children what they had played with, what tey had made, what they had learnt, etc. Obviously I asked them questions to guide them. This was also recorded. Once the children understood the idea, I typed up a sheet of questions to answer. I started my higher ability children asking eachother and then asking other children in the class. I didn't have time to fully put this into practice but could definately see the benefits. Although sometimes I didn't always get the results I was hoping for, for the most part I did, and it allowed the children to clarify their ideas gave me an insight into what they had been doing in their child initiated play.

 

If I had more time I would have liked to have made this a daily routine so that the children would automatically record what they were doing and learning without the need for constant adult support. The children all loved talking about their ideas and the majority of the class liked to hear about what the other children had been doing so I found it worked quite well. I also wrote up what the children had talked about on the tape and filed them for future reference.

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