An important part of Assessment For Learning is helping students know "what they know" and "what they don't." For younger students (K-1), this is certainly a challenge. What follows is a nugget worth sharing from The Daily Five by Joan Moser and Gail Boushey...
As teachers are modeling a particular procedure or strategy, or after students have practiced a technique, teachers ask the students to gauge their understanding or performance in the following way: "Hold your fist close to your heart to show that what you're about to tell me is the truth that you know in your heart. Now, put your thumb up if you know you're understanding/doing your best work. Or just hold your fist tight to your chest to show me that you know you could improve or that you need more help from me to improve."
This works well because the kids don't feel that everyone is looking at their response (since their fist is close to their body), but the teacher can gauge rather quickly how students feel that they are progressing.
Such a simple tool for metacognition... but great practice for getting younger children involved in the assessment of their own learning!
For the love of literacy,