Authentic Assessments like story retells, reader’s notebooks, and student conferences take more time than traditional tests. Even so, low-accountability, no-test/no comprehension question stories and books make love of reading possible. Here are some free, easy-to-use authentic assessment tools to save you time.
With the exception of sheltered instruction, 90% of my assessments require just 2-3 rubrics (here) which I use again and again. For those rare times I need a new rubric, I don’t re-invent the wheel; I browse the free rubrics at Rubistar and adapt them.
Digital Reading Logs
Since my students have switched to digital readers’ notebooks (readers’ blogs) and digital Story Listening journals, I just copy and paste to create an mp3 to listen to on my daily commute. The audio support is also helpful if your students prefer to write in L1 and your espagnol is no bueno.
Sort of the opposite of SpokenText, this app takes speech and turns it into text for you to analyze. Lower accountability for students by testing the input, not the child. Simply click the red record button, tell your story as you normally would, then you end up with a text 1. to modify and read with students and 2. to evaluate using the Lextutor tool below.
This site has amazing tools based on Laufer and Nation’s Lexical Frequency Profiler. Besides the quantitative text mentioned above, you create Cloze tests for occasional bench-marking or classroom research. Another great feature is the recycling profiler, which I demonstrate here.