Learning with Bambinos

How Formative assessments propel learning in Bambinos

How Formative assessments propel learning in Bambinos

We all know how important assessments are in tracking the learning experience for students. So here, in Bambinos, we use formative assessments for monitoring students learning progress at regular intervals.

The question arises,

Why are Formative assessments so important?

Unlike exams, formative assessments  provide feedback during the learning process. It’s like checking if the students are able to grasp and gain concepts as they move along the learning journey. 

For instance, when I conduct quick quizzes, spelling games, elocution competitions class discussions, I notice that some of my students are struggling with the understanding of the concept. This helps me course correct immediately. In simple words, I would say, “What can be measured can be improved; what cannot be measured can’t be improved.”

But, why not just wait until the big test or exam?

Waiting until the very end is not a good idea 

There can be a gap in understanding, and worse, it could grow over time. With formative assessments, teachers can plug these gaps early on. It’s all about continuous improvement. It’s like fixing small glitches before they become big problems. 

It’s a two - way learning process 

Not just the students, but also the teachers can make timely adjustments to curriculum and pedagogy. Secondly, the teacher is also able to cater to individual needs and create a more effective, personalised and supportive learning environment. I’ve incorporated these learnings myself with my students and seen how it just enables better learning outcomes. 

Here are some of the experiences that highlight the adaptability of formative assessments in addressing specific challenges and recognising individual strengths -

1. One of my students would always come up with new ideas and brainstorm effectively in the class. During the session on parts of speech, I noticed that he had difficulty in constructing grammatically correct sentences and identifying errors in his writing. Following this assessment, I began focusing more on parts of speech leading to improvement in his sentence construction skills and boosting his confidence.

2. I had a class where I conducted a formative assessment titled “Reading comprehension”. This assessment not only helped me understand my student’s reading and critical thinking skills, but also revealed her strength in verbal expressions.

3. In one of my batches, there was a student who actively participated in class and would always submit his homework. However, he faced challenges in his school exams. Through formative assessment, I found out that the issue was not related to understanding, but was due to test anxiety. So to address this, I introduced different activities such as vocabulary quizzes, spelling games, show and tell, just a minute (JAM) sessions, story reading adventure, elocution competition, and many more.. Over time, my student began to feel less stressed,  and of course this positive change significantly improved his exam scores.

Parameters of formative assessment in Bambinos

Formative assessments are like a GPS for our learning, guiding us along the way, ensuring that we stay on the right path and reach our learning destination successfully. 

So how do formative assessments function at Bambinos?

We consider many key parameters for different courses where the child is evaluated using stars depending on the detailed feedback from the respective educator. Some of the key parameters include:

Young Communicator’s Program (YCP ) or Young Creative writers (YCW) – 

1. Sentence structuring:

Here, a student’s ability to construct a sentence is assessed and presented by highlighting their strengths and offering guidance for their overall improvement. The evaluation focuses on whether the sentences are coherent and cohesive. Additionally, we consider whether the child needs incorporating more complex sentence structures to enhance the depth of their writing.

2. Strengthening Grammar:

This is checked by examining if the sentences are clear and grammatically correct. Recognising and acknowledging their areas of strength, specific suggestions are offered to guide their improvement.

3. Vocabulary:

Here, we are focused in expanding a child’s word bank to help express his ideas with greater precision. 

4. Writing styles:

We observe how descriptive the child is and evaluate their capabilities to bring the story to life through vivid details. Additionally, attention is given to their use of synonyms to avoid repetition, awareness of punctuations, their experimentation with different sentence structures and their ability to think out of the box. 

5. Confidence:

The student’s ability to express ideas clearly (articulation), utilize proper intonations, apply the speaking techniques learned in class correctly, and active participation can be recognised through their speaking style

Young Readers Program (YRP) –

1. Phonemic awareness:

It mainly centers on a child’s phonics proficiency, assessing their familiarity with letter sounds. This can be digraphs, trigraphs, sight words. Further, we test their ability to blend sounds, including both beginning and ending consonant blends.

2. Decoding words

Here, a teacher can see how well a child can decode the words and read them using sounds. We also assess if the child is able to breakdown complex vocabulary and discern the different sounds. 

3. Reading proficiency:

It’s about watching how well a child can read the words by connecting the letters and sounds together, the assessment is done by checking if they can read smoothly using those sounds.

4. Comprehension:

To help a child improve communication, a teacher looks at how well they understand the text. This means checking if they can connect ideas and make good predictions about what happens next.

5. Oral expressions:

When reading out aloud, using different tones brings the story to life and makes it interesting. It’s also important to check if the reader can change their pace, add pauses, and use different voices for characters. This enriches the overall storytelling experience.

Giving kids both compliments and helpful tips makes them feel good about reading, writing, and speaking, and helps them get better at it.

Hope this gave you an insight about how formative assessments are beneficial. I believe that any sort of learning that the child goes through- they have to contain formative assessments with a mixture of summative ones. Like I said, it is a great learning opportunity for teachers to identify some early gaps, and takes off immense pressure from the child. 

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Article Author

Author image
Ashita Gunjikar

Ashita Gunjikar is an M.Tech graduate, a dynamic educator with over 8 years of teaching experience. She is passionate about writing and content creation.She has received awards like 'Best Mentor' , 'Wow Teacher' and 'Educator of the month' for her great work in education. She has a unique way of making even the most complex topics easy to understand. Her ability to bring fun and excitement to each session is remarkable.

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