This week I had my first observation by my field instructor which prompted conversations about how to have students in the primary grades assess themselves. My lesson was a science writing lesson in which the students had to write two sentences: one saying what they did and one saying what they saw as a result of what they did. They also had to draw a picture portraying what they wrote with at least one of the materials used during science labeled. I repeated these three requirements many times and wrote them on the board as well. What I listed in my lesson plan for how students would self-assess is that they would check they had done these three things and then have a partner check for the three criteria before signing off on the work. When I collected their papers, 16 students out of 21 had all three criteria, two were borderline on one of the criteria, and 3 only had two of the criteria.
My field instructor advised I provide a rubric for the students showing what a 1, 2, 3, or 4, would be, then she quickly had to rush to another observation. My cooperating teacher and I discussed this. We both worried it would put too much emphasis on grades, training students to only be concerned with what they HAD to do to obtain a 3 or 4, rather than having the emphasis be on learning and working hard. Later that afternoon in further conversation with my field instructor, she suggested a smiley face to sad face scale for the students to check off instead of number scores. Both my cooperating teacher and I felt more comfortable with this version of a rubric.
What have you seen or used, particularly with younger students? What are your feelings about student self assessment?