1.1 My favorite thing about informal
assessments is that teachers can
easily target specific skills or
problems that students are having
trouble with or the ones that they
are succeeding in. Informal
Assessments also allow teachers to
adapt their instruction to ensure
that students gain a better
understanding of the skill or
1.2 IN THE CLASSROOM: I use many
types of informal assessments in
my classroom throughout the day.
These assessments help me track
my three Emgerent Bilingual
students' progress. I can quickly
see if they have mastered the skill
at hand, if they need more
practice, or even deeper
instruction. EB's need to be
involved in their learning and
these activities allow them to do
that. Some examples are retelling
a story with picture cards, role
play, hands-on activities requiring
the students to answer questions
or complete a task, and team
1.3 Informal Assessments allow
teachers to track students'
progress regularly. These
assessments can provide teachers
with a well-rounded picture of
the student's skills, abilities,
problem areas, and progress as
the year continues.
1.4 Informal Assessments should be
monitored by teacher
observations and can also be a
self-assessment for students.
They can check their own work
and learn through their own
2.1 A Portfolio Assessment is a type of performance-based assessment that
assesses the student's work produced in the classroom. This is not a collection
of all of the student's work, only their best accomplishments .
2.2 To develop a well-prepared display of student work, the student portfolio should have five
important characteristics. The first characteristic is comprehensive, meaning there is both
breadth and depth in the work. The work should also be predetermined and systematic.
The portfolio should be informative as it should show the student's progress and
achievements. The fourth characteristic is tailored. The portfolio should be crafted and
precise in order to meet the needs of the student. The final characteristic is authentic.
Portfolios should consist of actual classroom activities and work that came from particular
tasks completed in the classroom.
2.3 IN THE CLASSROOM: Teachers can create portfolio assessments for Emergent
Bilinguals by collecting exemplary work that is completed in the classroom, as well
as work that is completed during their pull-out sessions with the ELL Specialist at
school. Teachers can make this a fun and exciting time for EBs and allow them to
add each piece to the collection. Students would also love to look at their portfolios
from time to time and look back at recent work.
3.1 Performance-Based Assessments allow students to demonstrate what they
can actually do. They use the information that they have learned and
perform a task or skill that exhibits their new knowledge.
3.2 IN THE CLASSROOM: Students engage in performance-based assessments each day.
They conduct science experiments using the information they have learned in class.
Drama students perform plays based on their new knowledge and skills. Students can
also perform in the classroom by reciting poems, or putting together math puzzles.
Teachers need to have a more analytical approach to grading these assessments for
Emergent Bilinguals, especially for a writing assessment. Having only one set-score can
cause these students to score poorly. Teachers must consider their accommodations
3.3 By engaging in performance-based assessments, students will gain social
skills, as well as academic skills. Emergent Bilinguals should be given
numerous opportunities to develop oral language. This should include both
receptive skills to comprehend the content, and expressive skills to speak and
convey thoughts to others. Students should also use conversational and
academic language. This will improve and Emergent Bilingual's BICS and CALP.
4.1 Examples of Authentic
Assessments include Reader's
Theater, Role Play, Classroom
Hands-On activities, and
much more! Authentic
Assessments are very
important for Emergent
Bilinguals; they need this type
of assessment to receive
4.2 IN THE CLASSROOM: Teachers
should provide students with
many opportunities to engage
in Authentic Assessments and
should use minimal Traditional
Assessments to complement
them. Teachers need to use
rubrics to determine if the
students met the criteria.
4.3 Authentic Assessments differ
from Traditional Assessments.
consist of meaningful tasks
that relate to the real world;
Assessments are more basic
with multiple-choice or
4.4 Authentic Assessments drive
the curriculum. Teachers
should create an Authentic
Assessment first and then
develop the unit around the
assessment. This is referred
to as "planning backwards".
This enables the students to
gather information they have
learned or use their personal
experiences to construct their
5 High Stakes
5.1 IN THE CLASSROOM: Teachers use these tests state-wide. Proctors administer the tests.
Teachers can only help their students prepare by teaching to the content standards and
performance standards. Although these tests are not Authentic Assessments, teachers can
use Authentic Assessments to help Emergent Bilinguals retain the standards to be
successful on High Stakes Assessments. Teachers need to also include diverse cultural
content that Emergent Bilinguals may not be familiar with.
5.2 High Stakes Assessments determine if the content standards and
performance standards have been achieved by the student. Adequate
Yearly Progress (AYP) must be shown through these tests. This means the
students' test scores must show a progression.
5.3 High Stakes Assessments are NOT considered Authentic Assessments. These tests do not
assess students while they are doing certain tasks. However, they are still important.
These tests are the standardized assessments that are used to make important
decisions about students' progress. These scores are considered when they are
promoted, retained, and when they graduate. These tests are culturally responsive
because they must be comprehensible to the students.
6 Initial Assessments
6.1 It is very important for Initial Assessments to value the student's native
language. Assessing academic skills in only the second language will imply
to the the student that his or her first language is not important.
6.2 Initial Assessments are used to identify and assess a student's prior
knowledge. This assessment will inform the teacher of what information
the student knows, as well as, give the teacher some direction as to what
skills and instructional strategies the learner can build on. The teacher can
then make appropriate educational decisions and provide the appropriate
services to the student.
6.3 IN THE CLASSROOM: Initial Assessments are crucial for Emergent
Bilinguals. Teachers can find some Traditional Assessments for major
language groups through many resources. Teachers should also consider
using story retelling activities, KWL charts, and Turn & Talk opportunities
to be successful in building this prior knowledge.