Assessment is designed to find out where a student is academically and to assist teachers in designing meaningful lessons that promote student growth. Providing timely feedback to students is essential and with small class sizes Bright Minds Academy can achieve this.
Methods of Assessment at Bright Minds Academy:
Beginning of the Year placement tests are administered in reading fluency, reading comprehension and math. These placement tests diagnose the performance level of a child and assist in determining appropriate learning materials.
Ongoing assessment, known as formative assessment, takes place frequently throughout the school day every day. Formative assessment takes place primarily during instruction through oral questioning, draft work during writing, teacher observation of class discussions and collaborative group work and “minute” papers. Formative assessment also takes the form of both brief formal tests and ungraded quizzes. Both formal tests and informal, ungraded quizzes provide vital information to direct further instruction. Some results of formative assessment may be recorded for grades and some may not.
Summative Assessments are also given regularly, but differ from formative assessments in that these are the tests that assess learning at the end of an instructional segment and are typically used for grading. They are used to summarize what a student has learned rather than guide instruction like diagnostic and formative assessments. A summative assessment can also be given at the end of the year just as the diagnostic tests were given at the beginning.
During the school year children keep a portfolio of all classroom activities, class notes and outlines, graded assignments and graded tests. Portfolios are one of the best ways to show the quality of work and growth over time. These can be used for both formative and summative assessments.
Guided Reading and Lexile levels are generally more accurate than a grade level reading score. Grade levels can mean different things depending on various factors. At one school, a book read in 4th grade may be read in 7th grade at another school. With Lexile levels, all books are assigned a level based on given criteria. Lexile provides corresponding grade levels, but these should be used subjectively.
It is the belief of Bright Minds Academy that standardized tests no longer provide a clear picture to determine what a student knows. However, arrangements for standardized testing can be arranged by an outside source for any family who would like to use a standardized test as a measurement of their child's knowledge.