As a part of our Major Course classes, we give Unit Assessments (UAs) for Levels 2-6 and Checkpoints and UAs for Level 1/PreVIP. These are lessons that let us evaluate how they are doing on the content and give them a score. Older students also present Final Projects that they prepare outside of class.
In Level 1/PreVIP they have 8 classes per Unit. In each Unit, lesson 4 is a checkpoint and lesson 8 is a UA. There is no Final Project for Level 1.
In Levels 2-7 the UAs are every 6 lessons. In each Unit, lesson 6 and lesson 12 are UAs. In lesson 12 the student will also present a final project.
Watch this video for more help. The scorecard look we use has recently changed (see below) but the rest of the info is still accurate.
For all of these, the content will be things they have already had. There is not much teaching on a UA or checkpoint. It is more review and checking for understanding. You can teach as you go somewhat, especially on something they don’t quite understand.
Some of the early level 2 interactive lessons have you do a review of several slides before the actual UA starts. That could be confusing as you are trying to answer questions and they are not matching up with the slides. Just glance through the slides to see where the UA actually starts. Don’t spend too much time on these review slides so you have plenty of time for the UA.
There are a ton of slides on UAs and Checkpoints – up to 50, but don’t freak out. Many of them you only spend a few seconds on.
UAs are usually laid out as a game/map so the pages with the game go quick. This is an example of a map page.
See how there is an image of a building at Level 1 and the building is in the middle of the map? In this game, they are building a neighborhood and “find” a new part of the neighborhood at the end of each level of the UA. “Yay! You get a restaurant and a star!” Other games collect clues, food, reveal a picture, etc.
We give rewards and stars just like in a regular class. When they complete a Level, you cheer and give a star, “Yay! Level 1! Woohoo! You get a star!” Most of the UAs have 5 Levels so I award 1 star per level. The ones with a Final Project have 6 levels (Level 1 is presenting the final project). The PreVIP Checkpoints only have 4 levels so give an extra star somewhere.
You can use the game as your secondary reward (print out the game map or have props for the items they collect) or you can use an external secondary reward system. If you use a secondary one, you can award it about halfway through each level then a star when they complete the level.
The scoring for a UA is simple but the scorecard we fill out has recently changed. You access it by clicking on “Add Feedback” at the top of the page. The image above shows the feedback form on the right side of the page. This is in the new classroom format.
This screenshot shows the old classroom format with the UA form at the bottom of the screen. In the old classroom format, when you click “Add Feedback” the UA form will cover the slides. There is a button that says “Move to bottom.” Click that to move the form and you can scroll through it as you do the UA.
There are several sections on the UA form. This first image has “Project Presentation, Read &Writing, Math, Social Studies & Science, Speaking and Listening, Grammar, and Comments.” Each tab brings up the questions for that area of the UA. They may be labeled differently in other lessons. There are 2-6 questions per section. Each question corresponds to one of the slides. There may not be a question for every slide. The answers are in the UA form or the teacher tips usually.
The score parameter and place you mark the score is below each question. For each question, you will mark a circle which gives a score of 0, 1 or 2.
- 0 means they can’t do it at all
- 1 means they can do it with some help
- 2 means they can do it independently
Be sure to understand exactly what they are looking for on each question. The younger they are, the more it says that they get full points for doing something with help. They may not be able to read the entire word but they can identify the first sound. If that is the parameter then they have achieved the objective of the slide and should get full points. If the parameter was to read the word then they would not get full points. Know what they are looking for and score accordingly.
You can score it as you go through or wait until after. Since most students do very well on UAs, just write down a note or a word on what they didn’t do well on and you will know to score it appropriately. All the others get the highest score.
Be careful about looking away from the screen to take notes as some parents have given low apple scores for that.
Oftentimes, the parents are feeding their child the answers. There is much debate on how to score when this happens. I am of the opinion that the parents are paying for it so they can do what they want. If it comes out of the child’s mouth, I score it. If they don’t get it right the first time and I reteach a little and they get it, they get the highest score.
I am very generous on UAs because I want to encourage them. But, I am also honest and score the middle or lower if needed, particularly if a student is really struggling and needs to move back a few units.
We also give comments on the lesson just like we normally do in Feedback. This feedback will be seen by the parents. See this page for a more complete discussion of feedback. We do not leave teacher to teacher feedback for a UA.
If you give an honest evaluation of the child, do not fear bad feedback from the parent. They need your honesty. Now, you can state it in positive ways – “Bao Bao did a great job on his assessment today. I loved his Final Project! He is a good artist. He did very well reading the 3 letter words. He struggled with the sight words so please practice those at home. He did great on…”
Here’s my recipe – Sugar Sandwich – something good, something to work on, something good! Always end on something good!
Final projects are presented in Lesson 12 for levels 2-6. There is no Final Project for PreVIP. The projects increase in difficulty as the levels increase.
My Level 2 Unit 1 (4 years old) student chose to draw a picture of his teacher. Here’s my portrait. Notice the red lips!
The project is introduced in Lesson 5, discussed again at the end of the Lesson 6 UA and again in lesson 11. It is also in their workbook they have from VIPKID. In Level 2, they now only have one option for the final project. In Level 3 and up, they have 3 project options to choose from.
The parents can take a picture of the project and upload it to the classroom. If they upload it, there will be a button below where the slides are that says “Project Demo.” Click on that and the picture will come up. Click on the slides and open to go back to the slides.
Have your student talk about the project not just show it. Get them to repeat the target sentences for the unit. Ask them questions that might include the vocabulary from the unit they just did. Remember, we want them to speak. Even if they just give you a few simple sentences, that’s great!
You will grade the project with the same 0, 1, 2 scale. There are a couple of questions on it. If my student presents a project and it looks like they have put any effort whatsoever into it, I give them full points.
A lot of times you get to Lesson 12 and there is no project. They either don’t understand that they need to do it or they just don’t do it. If you teach one of the earlier lessons, try to make them understand when it is due. This is so hard with lower levels without using incidental language. Include it in feedback to the parent and tell them it is worth several points on their UA and to please work with their child to make sure it is ready.
If they have no project and you have time, you can have them do it at the end of class on the blank screen. In that case, I give a score of 1 on each question. If we don’t have time to do it, they get a 0.
In the feedback to the parents, write, “Bao Bao did not have his Final Project to present so I could not award points for it. The final project is important and is presented in Lesson 12 of each unit. Please make sure it is ready for his next Assessment as it is worth several points on his score.” OR, “Bao Bao did not have his final project but we had a few minutes at the end of class so we did a simple version of it then. I awarded him partial points for it. Please make sure…..”
Most students do very well on assessments because it is all review. In fact, many of them finish very early! I had one that did 45 slides in 16 minutes! I’ve also had some that go so slow that we barely finish in 28 minutes! So be prepared to extend the lesson if they are racing through it or speed it up if needed.
If you have unanswered questions, score them as 0 and say in feedback, “Baobao was reading very slowly today and could not complete all the questions. I had to score 0 on them but I know she would have done well had we gotten to that point in the lesson.”
If you finish early, here are some ideas to finish out your time. DO NOT LEAVE THE CLASSROOM UNTIL AT LEAST 25 MINUTES! They are paying for a 25 minute lesson so give them 25 minutes of teaching, even if it is not on the page. You can be marked as a Teacher No Show if you leave early.
- Complete the Final Project if they didn’t have one.
- Read a children’s book
- Spell vocabulary words, write them on the blank screen at the end.
- Play Tic Tac Toe but they have to answer a question or spell a word to take a turn.
- Play Hangman with vocab words. You can leave off the noose and just draw the stick man.
- Do math problems and have them repeat the words in English (plus, minus, equals, etc.)
- Identify colors, animals, animal sounds, etc
- Talk about their family. Show pictures of your family.
- Ask about their school or hobbies. The older kids want to practice conversation so this is a great way to incorporate it.
Importance of UAs and Checkpoints
The UAs and Checkpoints are extremely important to VIPKID and to the parents. After each UA the Chinese Learning Partner (Chinese teacher who acts as a go between for the company and the parents) communicates with them on how their student is doing. There might be discussions of moving the child ahead or having them repeat some lessons based on the UA.