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Educational Assessments - How Are They Used in the Classroom?

Friday, May 1, 2015

Arynne Keezer - Chesapeake Bay Academy on The Hampton Roads Show"Educational Assessment" is a very broad term covering every formal and informal assessment that is given to a student to measure understanding and synthesis of content, the following information focuses on diagnostic assessments that are used to identify learning differences in students. These assessments do not strictly identify the more obvious barriers to learning but also can identify barriers to learning that often go unnoticed or mislabeled in many students. Once a student has received an educational assessment the teacher can then use the data to guide classroom instruction and accommodations.

My child isn’t failing, why would I want an educational assessment?

Educational assessments are not only intended for students who are failing academically. If you have a student who...

  • is a perfectionist and spend hours on a project or assignment to make sure that just so before they will entertain the thought of turning it in
  • is easily distracted and even though they have all the correct answers they cannot seem to get them out on paper in a reasonable time
  • gets home and insists that they do not remember any of what they learned at school today and therefore protests completing homework...

you might have a student with an undiagnosed learning difference.

What if my child’s teacher says that my child is lazy or unmotivated, but completely capable of the work?

Unfortunately, many students with undiagnosed learning differences are labeled as "lazy". Parents and teachers see their potential in certain areas and when they are unable to produce the same level of work independently, say on projects or formal classroom assessments, people chalk it up to being lazy or unmotivated.  This perceived laziness can be caused by a variety of underlying factors not the least of which could be a processing deficit. These students might not even recognize it themselves so they do not know to ask for help or they are simply too embarrassed.

What if my child’s teacher say that their behavior is the only thing keeping them from performing to their fullest potential?

Many students with undiagnosed learning differences can be seen as a behavior problem in the classroom. These children are often unaware of their learning difference, but they are hyper aware that they are different from their peers. This can lead to avoidance behaviors as a self-protection mechanism to avoid standing out as the kid that isn’t as smart, or the kid who always finishes last. These children are often very bright and in a one-on-one setting, or when individually conferencing with the teacher, they are able to perform very well, but in the larger classroom setting something is keeping them from being able to translate that information at the same speed or in the way that they are being asked. As you can understand this leads to a fight or flight response where they may totally shut down or some can respond by causing a disruption to take the attention off of academics.

If any of these scenarios sound familiar - it may be time to consider a diagnostic assessment.  Click here to learn more and receive more information.