Monday, August 10, 2015

Back to School, Back to Assessments - with a FREEBIE!

Can I just have a little teacher nerd moment with you guys?

I love back to school assessments. Like, for really love them.

There...  I said it.

It's like dumping out a 500-piece puzzle on the table, but knowing I have 180 days to put it all together. But I don't want to wait 180 days to see it all together. I like to dig in right away!! Anyone else??

In keeping with the puzzle theme, one of my "corner pieces" at the beginning of the year is a narrative writing prompt. I use 2 days worth of my Writer's Workshop in the first week or so to get an idea of what my students are like as writers. The narrative prompt helps me do this in three ways:

1. Narrative writing is the "easiest" for most of my students. Our kids love to tell stories. Love. It. You know that if we let them, they could spend HOURS dissecting their last birthday party or the sleepover they had last weekend. Narrative topics are the most relatable and I've found that my kids don't hit as many road blocks in their thinking once they get started.

2. In two days, I'm able to see which kids will need writing conferences right away and who will be able to work more independently for a little bit.

3. I can see which elements of narrative writing I need to spend the most time on in my mini-lessons, and which elements my kids already have a good handle on.

If you're interested in doing something like this, I have a freebie that recently got a little "facelift" that is PERFECT for this!

I've included full page and three-to-a-page versions of 3 different prompts. If you're using writer's notebooks, I would encourage you use the three-to-a-page version and make this one of their first entries. It will be a fabulous way to look at their growth as a writer later in the year.

You'll also find a student checklist and a standards-based data collection sheet where you can look at your class efforts all in one place. I left the assignment spaces blank so that you can decide which elements or conventions you want to look at as you read through their work.

 To grab your copy, click HERE or on the big pictures above to find it on TpT! Happy teaching!

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