Yesterday we took an important assessment. Even though my students don’t love them, they understand that assessments are a part of the learning process. They expect them to happen often in our classroom. We use growth mindset language and seek to grow from our experiences.
It was the second time this year we had a Field Assessment. The first time, a pre-assessment, my students did not know what to expect. When I announced it, they looked at me with exhausted faces, energy depleting in front of my eyes. Many were confused.
“What do we have to do?” they asked both to me and one another.
I explained it as clearly as I could. “We need to assess the field,” I said. Their eyes pleaded for more information.
I continued, “We need to determine how playable the field is. We need to assess it. You need to play as much as possible.”
A few students began to understand, the light beaming from their whole faces. Others, missing out, whispered in Spanish to their friends.
“Extra recess! Extra recess!”
Since their pre-assessment, my class has been asking to take another (only of the field, that is). “Kimber, don’t you think it’s time for another assessment?” they ask, batting their eyelashes.
Yesterday was our final day of class before the spring break. When I arrived to my room in the morning, I smiled as I took the cap off the dry erase marker and began to write on our schedule ‘Field Assessment’.
At 7:35, students began to flow into the classroom. One by one they noticed the schedule and exclaimed with excitement.
“Thank you, Ms. Kimber!”
As the day went on, several students checked in with me about the assessment.
“Will we need anything? A pen or pencil?”
“No,” I replied, “We’ll have to use our bodies mostly.”
“Ms. Kimber, I’m feeling really confident about the post-assessment. I think I’m going to do well.”
“That’s great, A.! It’s nice to go into an assessment with confidence.”
“Ms. Kimber, I wasn’t here for the pre-assessment, is that okay?”
“Yes, it’s fine,” I reassured him, “No need to compete the pre for this one.”
Upon assessment of the field, we determined that it was excellent for playing and exceptional for fun.