Informal assessment is any type of evaluation that occurs on a day-to-day basis. Teacher observations, a child's work samples, teacher-made tests or quizzes, and interviews with a child are included in this category. Any observations that you, as a parent or guardian make at home is also very important, and you should volunteer this information to your child's teacher or parent advocate. You might notice that your child is taking a long time doing homework in a particular subject or that he appears to get frustrated easily when doing homework. This type of information is very important. Always remember that you know your child best, and in order to help your child to the fullest extent possible, you, your child's teachers, and the team that is working with your child need to all work togather to help your child as much as possible. This is your right and the right of your child.
After conducting many informal assessments, your child's teacher may ask for your permission to have your child take formal tests. These are also known as standardized tests, and they come in many forms. Their purpose is to pinpoint any strengths and weaknesses that your child may have and they are necessary in order to get your child the services that he or she may need. The results of these tests can be very confusing, so don't be afraid to ask what they mean.
Percentile Rank - This score compares your child's performance with other children who also took the test. A score of 50% does not mean that your child got 50% of the questions right, it means that your child had an average score when compared to his peers.
Age-Equivelent - (age-norm)This is a score based on the average age of other children who took the test and recieved the same score. Keep in mind that this score is one of the least reliable and has very little meaning.
Grade-Equivelent - This is a score based on the average grade level of other children who took the test and recieved the same score. Keep in mind that, like age-norm, this score is one of the least reliable and has very little meaning.
Stanine - This score is based on a scale of 1-9, with 9 being the highest. A score of 5 is average.