Student Self Assessment

Assessment, self assessment, checklists, documentation, observation...and the list goes on. It seems to be quite a common trend now that schools are quite demanding in the area relating to types of assessment. More to the point, administrators want to see proof that students are active in their knowledge and learning in the classroom. It was a tricky skill in the beginning of my teaching was I going to get 4-6 year olds to tell me what they thought of their work? And now that I am teaching complete English Language Learners, how would they understand the concepts let alone be able to explain their opinions on their work in the class?

After much research, perusing the internet, and conferencing with other teachers, it began to dawn on me that this was Early Childhood, not college. Early Childhood is all about keeping things simple and to the point for young learners; simplicity is key!

My team and I decided at the end of last year that we wanted to have one book for writing, math, and science where students could keep a portfolio of work in one area, and that they would learn to take pride in. We would include several pages of self assessment in different areas we wanted our students to take charge of when it came to their learning. We also wanted to encourage a writing self assessment, and a way to include math and science.

Take a look at our self-made self assessment journal used grade wide at our school. The students really seem to enjoy using it, and have taken to being quite comfortable with the format and expectations.

The cover of our activities and self assessment journals.
Currently I teach in Abu Dhabi, UAE in the middle east, hence the UAE flag!

We assess the students once a trimester on their letter sounds. We agreed that for second language learners, knowing the sound was more crucial than knowing the name of the letter. Keep it simple!

We assess twice a trimester (six times a year) for their sight words. We use my I-Scream for Sight Words Assessment Program to assess and self-assess the number of sight words students know. Every time we assess during the year, students will color in the scoops to match their class assessment display for the correct number of known sight words. Our goal is 100 English sight words by the end of the school year!

This is a combination of a great resource a co-worker of mine found and our writing standards for the year. We have our students self assess their writing based on what skill they are working on in the classroom, and every time they master a new level in writing they date and document in their journal.

Our self assessing writing paper. Right now the students complete their writing either independently or with support (based on ability) and conference with me regarding what skills they have mastered for that particular piece. I sign my name to document that we have met but by spring time they should be able to conference with a peer!

Our first math activity in the journal. I made several pages of these "standards strips" to include in their journal for self assessment. Once the students complete an activity, they meet with me and discuss how they think they did with their work. Once I mark their work, we talk about if they understood everything they were working on, or if it was too hard and they needed more practice. Then the students colored the appropriate smiley face based on what we discussed. 

I will have these ready for the Common Core State Standards for Kindergarten and Grade One in the states very soon! Keep your eyes peeled for them!

A student writing sample about their favorite mouse from the story "Mouse Paint".

A student sample of the first math activity with self assessment. He marked himself as doing "OK" even though he got everything correct. Maybe he felt rushed to get everything done in little perfectionists!


  1. I love the Smiley Sentences where the date is written when each skill is achieved. It's a positive way of showing what children can do, rather than looking at what they can't.

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