I’m one proud mama! In the past week, my baby graduated from preschool and did a solo gymnastics routine. She even ended with a cartwheel (which was HUGE as she had just learned to do one the week before) Sure, I was proud of all of her amazing accomplishments but I was more proud of the staggering growth she had made in just one years time
Rewind to PK 3. …..It was her end of the year show. As she walked in and faced the crowd, the paper she was holding hit the side of her eye. That was all she needed. She burst out in tears and we were in the hallway for the entire show. And a month later, when she got on stage for her dance routine, she turned her body around and stood silently as everyone else danced their hearts out.
In both PK 3 and PK 4, she was scared of being in front of a crowd, but in PK4 she was able to get past her fear and perform anyway. Seeing her perform one year later and then comparing the two was a beautiful and telling assessment. In between these two assessments I had plenty of time to equip her with strategies on how to deal with her fear.
As I reflected upon this year of growth, it hit me that part of the success was lots of teaching in between deliberately spaced out assessments. I’m not always this successful. Lately, I have been trying to get my daughter to make her bed. Each morning, I stand silently in the hallway assessing her ability to be an independent bed maker and each day, I discover that she can’t. Just writing this story lets me see that I am assessing too often and not teaching her enough.
I tell these parenting stories to raise some questions about the balance between assessment and teaching in the classroom. The end of the school year is a good time to consider the following questions:
- What is the balance between assessment and teaching in your own classroom?
- Is there enough time between your assessments for kids to practice, learn and grow?
- How do you work towards the ‘right balance’?
I would love to hear from you in the comments below.