Student Self Assessment – Networking with Other Students

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I have been taking a few trainings this summer and I heard a BRILLIANT idea and I HAD to share it … Very rarely do I get this excited about an upcoming idea for my classroom, so I need to tell you all! Someone mentioned it in training – I don’t know their name, so I can’t give credit to whoever they are! = )  

I have been struggling with a method for my students to self assess their understanding of a concept that would make THEM take the next step in mastering. I have used a student made rubric (students collaborate and design it at the beginning of the year) in the past, which I love and will continue to use, but I wanted something that would also encourage my students to either actively seek more help if need or be willing to provide help if they mastered the concept.

Before I explain more, you must know my class is what I call “safe” - Meaning thoughts, questions, and misunderstandings among students are respected and valued by ALL. From the very beginning of the year students are encouraged (sometimes forced) to express their understanding with concepts (mostly in math) opening with each other without the fear of being judged. This is something I know most teachers encourage their students to do too, so if your class is one of them, this idea will work great!
Traffic Light Poster – Networking for Help
This poster is on a power point slide at my TPT store. You can click on the picture and it will take you there to download for FREE! You can also draw it out a chart paper also!

This poster will help explain! So I plan on first teaching students how to self assess their understanding with a concept or problem. Look at the traffic light poster. Red means a student still need a lot of “practice” and re-teaching. Yellow means a student understands about half of the concept, but there are still some things they are unsure about. Green means the student understands and could teach someone else the concept. I placed the thumb pictures in the colors because my students will identify this common way of self assessment (I believe Kagan). The students will NOT hold their thumbs up because… 

Paint Sample Color Cards
I got these paint sample cards from LOWES – I used paper clips for now, but once I can get back into my classroom I will use metal rings. I was also thinking of punching a large hole in the middle and using the plastic shower curtain rings (these are supper cheap)!

Instead they will hold up a color. Before they select the color, I will give the students think time (about 15 to 30 seconds) to think about where their true understanding falls. After they think about it, I will have them select the color and hold their color (paint sample card – thanks LOWES) at the count of three. At this point the students will find a partner. This is where the name “Networking for Help” comes in. How they select a partner is explained on the poster. When they go to their partner they will be required to talk about their understanding of the concept or problem. This will be when they try to compare/solve/understand the concept or problem together. I will tell the students I will be selecting an anonymous group of partners to explain their results and what they learned. During this time I will also be walking around monitoring their understanding through questioning.
Does anyone else have any ideas on self assessment for students??? I would love your ideas and/or thought!


  1. I love this idea!! I have used similar ideas and am always encouraging students to learn from each other- and partner with a variety of people. I think this will do the trick! I definitely will try it out this fall- thanks!!

    1. Let me know how it works for your kids! I'm giving this a shot for the first time this year!

  2. Thanks for sharing this idea. I use a self reflection type rating called fist of five where the students rate themselves from 1-5 based on their understanding of a concept. But I have never used it to pair students. I really like that.

    1. I have tried the fist to five as well - Maybe you can still use that and have kids pair with certain numbers. = ) I'm looking for anything that will put more of the responsibility on the students ...

  3. Love this idea. I can't wait to try it out. Thank you for sharing!

  4. What an excellent way to
    Make kids accountable for their own learning and to each other as a collective. I'm definitely doing this next year. Thanks!

  5. I am unable to download this, is there something else I need to do?

  6. Brilliant idea !

    Can I know what font you are using in your blog?