Have you ever wondered how you really know your students are learning? I am sure most teachers wouldn’t say from a standardized test.
In the next few weeks, like LOTS of other kids in the United States, I will be spending LOTS of time taking standardized tests. In NH, I get to take an “extra” science test along with the Smarter Balanced tests. If you also count the assessments we take at the end of the year in 4th grade, there isn’t a lot of time left for just learning about things we love or ending our year with lots of joy.
Last week I made a LivBit that was a review of the messages I’ve shared in my videos over the last year. It was special because I got to look back at almost 80 LivBits and decide what I wanted to include AND what I thought my audience might want to hear again. I considered the Bits that got the most comments or re-tweets, along with the ones that made my own #heartbeep. It was a ton of work, but it didn’t really feel like work at all. The project showed me how much I’ve grown as a learner and thinker, and inspired me to keep reading and thinking!
I know there isn’t a way to grade the kind of work I did in that project, but if there was, I think I would be #ExceedingExpectations. It’s sort of sad to think that instead of doing projects that have MEANING to me, I’m stuck doing tests that define me by a number.
Want to know me better as a learner? Talk to me; watch one or two of my LivBits; read my blog; watch me create a world in MineCraft; give me some paper and watch the comics I like to draw; ask me about how I challenge myself in math; start a conversation with me about sharks (I dare you); listen to my endless questions about life (OK, maybe you don’t want to do that). You get the idea.
Learning isn’t measured in a test; it’s measured in a life. You have to spend time getting to know kids in order to know how to really teach them. The best kinds of learners are the kind who dream BIG and share their thinking with the world. The best kind of teachers are the ones who stand back, watch, cheer, and make that kind of learning happen for ALL kids.
Thank you to all the teachers I've had who get me, support me, and encourage me. I am so lucky I have teachers all over the world. My biggest wish is that ALL kids could have that too!
Keep reading, keep thinking, and, thank you for following LivBits.