Assessment Need Not Be “Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad!”

When I was in elementary school, assessment was all about paper and pencil quizzes and tests. I love the alternative forms of assessment technology affords us today. (Also see my earlier post on Chatterpix: Creative Assessment in the Lower Grades.) While technology integration definitely requires a greater investment of time, especially with the younger students, the possibilities are great. Best of all may be that students do not even realize they are being assessed.

With my 1st grade students, I recently worked on text-to-self connections. This class of mostly boys loved listening to a read aloud of Judith Viorst’s  Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day — exuberantly reading along the title line. After reading the story, I modeled several text-to-self connections repeating the same language.

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 6.04.30 PM

The students easily related to all the “terrible, horrible” things happening to Alexander in the story and practiced making text-to-self connections. I then recorded them using the Tellagami app for iPad, creating a so-called Gami — an animated video, limited to 30 seconds in the app’s free version. I imported an image of the book cover to use as the background, chose a male or female character depending on student’s gender, and then recorded each student.

In the future, provided there is enough time as I am always struggling with my short 40-minute lesson allotment, I would love to have the students use the app themselves from uploading the image, to choosing a character’s clothing, hair color, and facial expression.


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