Before reading this article, Grades K–2 teachers should read the general articles in the Implementing Affirm for Wit & Wisdom section. This article provides additional guidance for Grades K–2 teachers.
In an ideal situation, Grades K–2 students would complete the original print assessments in Wit & Wisdom® by hand—benefitting from the gross motor skill and handwriting practice—in a classroom with teachers providing real-time support, including reading and clarifying assessment directions, breaking the process into steps, and providing scaffolds.
This school year, however, many students are not in ideal learning environments. For teachers providing remote instruction, Affirm® includes digital versions of Grades K–2 Wit & Wisdom assessments as an implementation tool, giving teachers a quick, easy way to collect and evaluate responses and analyze data remotely. Grades K–2 teachers may also choose to use Affirm gradually or occasionally to introduce digital assessment for practice purposes, preparing younger students for more frequent digital assessment in higher grades.
It is often necessary to make significant adaptations when digitizing Grades K–2 print assessments, especially those with graphic or tactile elements (e.g., when students use scissors and glue or create books). We aimed to create digital versions that maintain the key content of the original assessment and capture a representation of student thinking. Typically, this goal requires changing the form of response so students can record their thinking and work. For example, instead of indicating their selection of a concept by cutting and gluing a symbol, students might use a digital tool to type, draw, or select their response from a drop-down menu.
Assigning Grades K–2 Assessments in Affirm
Teachers can still access the original print versions of Wit & Wisdom assessments via the Digital Teacher Edition, Assessment Packs, or paper-and-pencil PDF backup versions in Affirm. (See the article How to Print and Complete an Assessment on Paper for more information.) This arrangement allows Grades K–2 teachers to decide whether to offer students assessments in digital, print, or both formats, taking into consideration their students’ developmental needs and the learning configuration of their class (in person, remote, or hybrid).
For younger students learning at home, an ideal approach might combine students completing assessments by hand and adult learning partners entering the student work in Affirm. This approach allows teachers to give feedback, view assessment reports, and analyze student-level and class-level data—all of which can only be done if an assessment is submitted in Affirm.
- Students complete the print version of the assessment as they would in a classroom.
- A learning partner at home—or a student with adult assistance—captures the completed assessment for the teacher, either by using Affirm to enter the student’s response or taking a picture and sending it to the teacher, who can then input the response into Affirm. (For more information, see the Inputting Student Responses for Assessments Completed on Paper section of this article. Note that for constructed response items, teachers do not need to input complete responses if they have a photo of student work. Instead, they can follow the process linked above but leave the constructed response item response fields blank as placeholders. Teachers can then score a student based on the picture of completed work.) Teachers can also use both methods: Students or learning partners can send a picture to a teacher and then complete the digital version of the assessment in Affirm so teachers have a record of student work in Affirm and a place to enter feedback and scores.
Providing Support for Grades K–2 Students
Grades K–2 students will often need extra support in completing assessments. Teachers should consult the relevant lesson in the Teacher Edition for guidance on providing specific scaffolds targeted to each assessment and text. In addition, Grades K–2 students taking assessments online at home will likely need the following additional support from adults, either remotely from teachers or directly from learning partners at home:
- Reading aloud assessments, as texts and directions may not be at the independent reading level for all students
- Demonstrating how to manipulate the screen to perform functions such as drag-and-drop and selecting from a drop-down menu
- Typing in written responses, especially for Grades K–1 students
- Using a mouse, trackpad, or finger to draw responses
- Sitting alongside students when using Affirm, especially for Grades K–1 students
Assessment responses should reflect what a student is able to do with the minimum necessary support so teachers can gauge student progress.
Teachers should also provide clear expectations to learning partners on what supports to provide. If teachers ask learning partners to enter student responses into Affirm, they must explain what to enter and how. For instance, teachers may want to see students’ invented spellings, but learning partners may not be familiar with this concept and may try to correctly spell words for students.
Interpreting Grades K-2 Reports
When analyzing results from Grades K-2 assessments in Affirm, teachers should exercise caution.
- Because digital assessment is challenging for young students, teachers should be careful not to make claims or decisions about students’ knowledge and independent ability based on these results alone. While the results can shed light on student understanding and preparedness, they cannot demonstrate a complete or accurate picture.
- Results from different assessments in print and digital formats will often not be comparable.
- Different levels of support or scaffolds can distort the picture of student performance. For instance, if an adult types a written response for a student in Grades K–2, the response may reflect an adult “translation” of a student’s thinking rather than the student’s authentic writing and spelling ability.
When evaluating students, teachers should consider the full range of their performance on Wit & Wisdom tasks and activities as well as observations from the classroom or remote instruction.