Assessments and especially self-assessments play a major role in becoming a responsible independent learner. Teachers and students share and reflect together upon the assessments on a daily basis and develop ways or strategies for improvement.
Assessment of knowledge and skills prior to the beginning of a topic unit is done through brain-storming by teachers with students, or oral questioning by the teacher. For linear knowledge/skill development such as in Mathematics and Language Instruction, summative assessments (quizzes, tests, essays) also serve as a basis for the next teaching/learning unit.
Formative assessment happens continuously during instructional time. Teachers check for student understanding through questioning, quizzes, and discussions. Also, students’ homework evaluation is important in assessing students’ learning progress. In preschool, students as a group reflect on what they have learned at the end of each school day.
Summative assessments of a learning unit can take the form of essays, oral or written quizzes, tests, or individual and group presentations. A standardized test for year-end assessment in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science is used starting in 3rd grade. We also test students in German proficiency with the tests (A1, A2,…) developed by the German Central Agency for Schools Abroad (Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen).
Parents of Kindergarten and elementary school students can see their child(ren)’s progress daily, because work folders are sent home with students’ homework. Work of preschoolers is sent home on Fridays. Three times per year (October, February, June), formal student evaluations (report cards) are sent home and parent/teacher conferences with each of the student’s teachers are held. Informal conferences with parents regarding student progress are held as needed throughout the school year. Formal progress reports contain knowledge and skill progress description. Starting in 3rd grade, students’ progress is graded A-F in each subject area with written comments.
Students also develop portfolios and participate in a self-assessment process with their teachers and their parents. The intent is to empower students to become more active participants in their own learning and encourage reflection on the learning process and achievements.