Written By Starr Sackstein

Understanding how we learn best is one of the keys to growth as human beings. This essential metacognitive skill is not innate and must be modeled and taught in school starting as early as possible.

The way it looks for different age groups will be different, obviously as younger students are not always cognitively ready to do this kind of thinking. However with the right scaffolds in place, reflection and self-assessment can be a rich way to extend the depth of independent learning and also aid in informing the teacher about valuable data around growth and understanding.

As we put more and more of the control into student hands, it’s not enough to just tell them to reflect or self-assess; it is imperative that we give them tools to do these practices well and then offer many opportunities to practice and get better at it.

Here are some ways teachers can start to implement meaningful self-assessment into classes:

Overall, self-assessment is a valuable tool as it gives students the ability to really consider their learning and equally as importantly, share that understanding with the teacher. Once we understand what students know and can do, both demonstrated in the work and their ideas about the work, we can adjust instruction and/or class pacing as needed. The more adept students become with this tool, the better tailored class time and assessments can be.

How do you teach students to self-assess? What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned for teaching them to do so? Please share

Does this sound like something that would be helpful for your school? Click here to schedule a call with a Mastery Learning expert.

*This post originally ran on Starr Sackstein’s Education Week Blog in 2016.

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