Assess Not Stress

Fun. Excited. Accomplished. Proud. Confident.

These probably aren’t words or phrases your kids usually associate with school assessments.

But at Indi-ED, they are.

This past week, our students took their end-of-year assessments. Yes, one way we assess our students (if their parents choose) is to take national standardized assessments. But, like everything else, we do them differently.

Instead of devoting weeks of test preparation and communicating a message that it is a be all end all, we prepare our students throughout the year, without them even realizing it. We consistently teach and help students build their desire to improve, to challenge themselves, and to problem solve.

This may not look like test review because its original intention is to reteach math skills that were difficult for this group last year: fractions, decimals, and percents. So this year, studying them through the lens of personal finance not only reteaches for growth but also motivates with a real life connection.

Instead of having impossible expectations for our students, we simply focus on their learning and growth. Our kids consistently make progress and gain self-confidence in the process. Their results provide even more proof of just how much they are learning and progressing all the time.

Last year, all of our students tested at least one grade level above their traditionally assigned level (and some as many as 7 grade levels).

They felt focused and determined, they encouraged and supported each other, highlighting each other’s strengths and helped each other see that there is always room for improvement. After completing the assessment, they realized there is no need to doubt themselves: “I knew as long as I push myself to do my best, I can accomplish anything.”-L.M. (She blew her scores out of the water from last year!)

Lastly, because we completed our assessments in three days, our students were able to accomplish so much more that very same week. All students were able to devote time to working on their end-of-year presentations (more on those coming soon!). Some went to a 3D printing lab, while others went to the USFSP Library to complete reading and research on their current book.

Because of how we do assessments differently, our students have time to enjoy real-world learning and experiences, and in turn, become more positive, well-rounded humans.

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