Testing for intellegence


I believe that holistic testing of the whole child tells you much more about a child than a standardized assessment. When measuring or assessing young children, it needs to be remembered that not all children are the same. They do not learn at the same rate or in the same manner. While I do feel that is important to assess young children, it does not have to be as rigid as it is in the United States. It should be assessed in their most comfortable way. If they are not able to write a sentence, why stress them out when you are not testing their writing skills. Let them draw a picture or let them tell you verbally the answer, you write it for them and let them draw a picture to go with it.  A perfect example of this is the standardized tests that are used. I do not believe that this is an effective way to test a child. Some students do well on tests, and others get anxiety about taking tests and do not. This relates to the ways they learn as well. If children learn and apply knowledge more hands on, it is important to let them show their knowledge hands on as well. I have three students in my classroom that are very hands on and when I put a test in front of them they get very anxious. While I understand that it is important for them to get used to the testing format because it is what they will be doing as they get older, I have my classroom aide sit on the floor with them in a circle. In the center are manipulatives and paper and crayons for their use.  While I am verbally giving the test to the rest of the class, she will ask them a question, let them solve it using manipulatives and get their answers out on a dry erase board. Then once they all have an answer she hands them their test and they fill in the answer. Then she collects the tests and moves on to the next question repeating the process for each question. It takes them longer to complete the test but I have noticed more success when they do it this way. They are able to solve the problems and then express the answers in a way that is comfortable to them rather than anxiety ridden.

I looked into assessment in Austrailia and I found information on a program called TAP. Taken directly from their website, the Total Assessment Partnership (TAP) is a program that provides you with a quality assessment solution. The program is designed to give schools that enter full cohorts of students in ICAS English, Mathematics, Science or Writing an opportunity to network with other schools around Australia and New Zealand that are leading the way in student assessment.

TAP uses the school and student results from the International Competitions and Assessments for Schools  to provide you with an annual snapshot of how your students are performing. Furthermore, we provide additional support and assessment advice to ensure that you get the most out of the program.

By entering full cohorts of students in one of the subjects listed above, you will receive:

  • registration in the TAP network of schools
  • additional reports that track individual and full-cohort progress each year
  • comparative data to moderate achievement between classes and year-levels
  • access to an assessment consultant to assist with the analysis of online student results (free of charge)
  • priority invitations to accredited assessment conferences
  • free return postage of ICAS answer sheets for processinghttp://www.eaa.unsw.edu.au/tap

About toteachistotouchlives

Hi. My name is Kristen Hammel and I am a first grade teacher in Maryland. I am in my fourth year of teaching and now beginning my Masters program in Early Childhood Education at Walden University. I am very excited for this new journey I am embarking on and am excited to share my experiences with you.

4 responses »

  1. I like that you offer your students a different option during tests. I happen to be one of those “non-test takers” and I can know the information forwards and backwards but bomb a test that is multiple choice or True/False. I perform the best on essay tests where I can write out everything I know about that particular topic to earn points. I once had an elementary school teacher who let us “non-test takers” flip a coin for a True/False test and I actually did better flipping a coin for each answer than reading the question and picking my answer. I also received points off on a True/False test in high school because all the answers were false and I was pretty sure that they were all false but I did not think that there was such a thing as an all false test so I changed some of my answers. I think my anxiety during tests comes from over thinking the questions and not going with my “gut” when determining the answer.

    The TAP program that you described in Australia sounds interesting and I would be interested to view data from this program and see how it affects the students involved.

  2. While I fully understand the frustrations with standardized tests, I see the importance of them when being used to decide whether or not a child should receive special education labels or services. Without them, it would be far too easy for children to be misdiagnosed or mislabeled. I do believe that the best assessments in the classroom for seeing whether children have mastered a concept can be shown by work samples, observations of hands-on activities, and portfolios. I really appreciate that you assess your students in non-stressful ways that allow children to feel comfortable!

  3. I agree teachers should not get too upset when children start misbehaving, it could be out of frustration because they cannot do the assignment. How do teachers clear this frustration from the students? I never thought about the absenteeism can influence the way they perform in school also. Thanks for bring that point up.

  4. I agree teachers should not get too upset when children start misbehaving, it could be out of frustration because they cannot do the assignment. I never thought about the absenteeism can influence the way they perform. Thanks for bring that point up. How do you like the (ASQ) age stage questioner? This covers the examples you gave about having hands on. I like the way you perform your test. That way makes testing fun, but I do have to agree to disagree on testing. For example, when I was learning math, I was taught to use my finger and to this day I cannot do any math problems in my head without calculate.

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