As a new teacher, you’re taught that VIPKID lessons are approximately 27-28 slides each. So what do you do when you show up to class and see that there are twice as many slides as they said?
No, don’t panic! This is a VIPKID unit assessment (or UA) and I’m going to tell you everything you need to know in order to teach a unit assessment successfully.
How To Know If You’re Teaching A Unit Assessment
Perhaps you haven’t had a unit assessment yet and now I’ve scared the living crap out of you! How will you know if you’re teaching a VIPKID unit assessment?
You’ll know you’re teaching a unit assessment by looking at your classrooms tab in your VIPKID portal. On the list of “upcoming classes”, look through the descriptions to find classes that say “assessment”. This means that you’ll be teaching a unit assessment during that class. Use the picture above for reference on where to look.
Number of Slides In A VIPKID Unit Assessment
Unlike regular VIPKID classes, unit assessments typically have 45-50 slides. When I first saw this, I freaked! How was I supposed to fit 50 slides into a 25 minute class?
Don’t worry, unit assessments are designed to contain LOTS of filler slides. Many of the slides don’t have any information on them at all. I’ll explain how to pace yourself for unit assessments below.
VIPKID Unit Assessment #1
There are two types of VIPKID unit assessments, but they are taught in relatively the same manner. The first unit assessment will occur during the 6th class of the unit. The second unit assessment will occur on the 12th (and final) class of the unit.
During the first unit assessment (class six), you’ll be reviewing all of the concepts that the student learned in the previous five classes. Keep in mind, you might not have been the teacher during the student’s previous five classes; unit assessments might show up on your schedule randomly.
During the first unit assessment, you’ll also introduce the unit project. You’ll find the information and project options laid out at the end of the slideshow. Your student will need to complete this project before the second assessment (lesson twelve).
VIPKID Unit Assessment #2
The second VIPKID unit assessment will take place during class 12 (there are 12 classes per unit, so this is the final lesson). This assessment will cover all of the information the student has learned from the previous eleven classes.
Your student will also present their finished project during the second unit assessment.
Teaching Tips For UAs
Unit assessments are laid out like a game. During the first unit assessment, there will be five levels. The second unit assessment will have six levels. Each of these levels focuses on a different subject (i.e. math, reading, listening, etc).
Since this is an assessment, you’ll focus heavily on what the student has learned. That usually means less teaching and more listening. However, keep in mind that you should still help your student when necessary. If they are struggling with a concept, this is your opportunity to teach.
Pacing For Unit Assessments
Getting the hang of teaching 50 slides in 25 minutes was difficult for me. I was used to teaching 25 slides in 25 minutes! So, after teaching a few VIPKID unit assessments, I finally came up with a strategy that worked for me.
Since there are five game levels in the first unit assessment (see picture below), I like to spend five minutes on each level. This helps me manage the time and keep the lesson within the 25 minute window.
The second unit assessment will have six levels. When this happens, I spend five minutes greeting my student, talking to them about their day, and reviewing their project (this is level one on the game board).
Next, I spend approximately four minutes on each level after that. Sometimes filling those four minutes requires extension, other times it requires me to go through the information more quickly; this depends on the student’s ability and knowledge.
Use these guides to help pace yourself during VIPKID unit assessments.
Unit assessment 1
0 – 5 minutes: Greeting and level one 5 – 10 minutes: Level two 10 – 15 minutes: Level three 15 – 20 minutes: Level four 20 – 25 minutes: Level five and goodbye
0 – 5 minutes: Greeting and level one (project) 5 – 9 minutes: Level two 9 – 13 minutes: Level three 13 – 17 minutes: Level four 17 – 21 minutes: Level five 21 – 25 minutes: Level six
Any extra time is spent engaging in conversation or playing a game.
VIPKID UA Feedback
As with any VIPKID class, you’ll need to leave the student feedback after a unit assessment. However, you should be aware that the feedback for unit assessments are a bit different than regular classes.
Instead of just leaving comments, you’ll need to score the student based on every question asked during the assessment. As you can see in the picture below, my student and I are on question #1 (Q1).
While you are conducting the unit assessment, click on the “Add Feedback” button in the top right corner. The scoring window will appear on the right side of the page. You’ll be able to keep track of your student’s progress using this window. Simply follow along question by question.
In the picture below, you can see that I’m on question 18 (Q18) on the slideshow and question 18 on the UA feedback.
At the end of the lesson, it’ll ask you to provide written feedback about the student’s performance. I leave this section for later when I’m finished teaching all of my classes. Luckily, the answers you’ve selected for each unit assessment question will save automatically when you close the window and exit the classroom.
When I write my unit assessment feedback, I keep things simple and positive. I always highlight the things my student did well and praise them for their hard work. For more information about how to write quality feedback, check out my blog post: VIPKID Feedback: Samples & Templates to Make Feedback Easier
Unit Assessment Final Projects
Each VIPKID unit has a final project that the student must complete. The student will typically have three choices to choose from, each relating to the unit coursework.
Most of these projects are simple, but some require more work than others. The goal of these projects is to have the student show you how much they have learned during a unit. You’ll want to encourage the student to present the project and engage in conversation using complete sentences.
Pro-tip: I also recommend asking the student a few questions about their project. This helps them practice English conversation.
Reviewing vs. Presenting
Unit assessment projects are introduced during the first assessment (class six). This is when you can read the project options to the student and ask them which project they would prefer to complete (see picture below).
Note: if you’re running low on time, there is no need to spend time going over each project in depth. You can simply remind the student that they have homework due for class twelve. I like to include this reminder in the feedback as well.
The student will present their project to you during class twelve, the second unit assessment. I typically give my student 3-4 minutes to present their project to me. Since most students require only 1-2 minutes to present, I like to spend an additional minute or two asking them questions about their project.
What To Do If The Student Doesn’t Complete The Unit Assessment Project
During my very first unit assessment with VIPID, my student didn’t complete their project.. great, now what? How was I supposed to score them? How was I supposed to manage the class time?
Interestingly, a lot of VIPKID students don’t complete their projects. But before you get upset about it, let me explain something.
Students in China are busy. BUSY. It seems like they never have a moment to relax and play. I’ve taught over 1,000 students with VIPKID and I’ve never met a student that didn’t have piles upon piles of homework or extra curricular classes.
With that said, VIPKID homework might be low on the totem pole. When my students don’t complete their homework, I don’t make a big deal about it.
Instead, I like to take the extra time to do the project with my student. We engage in conversation about the project and review the materials from this unit.
Scoring A Student That Doesn’t Complete Their Project
On the unit assessment feedback, there is an area to give points for the project. Instead of giving them zero points, I score them based on the project we complete together.
For example, let’s say the project is about the student’s three favorite animals and where they live.
If the student can talk to me fluently about their favorite animals and their habitats, I will give them 2 points (full points). If the student struggles and isn’t in control of the conversation, I’ll give them 1 point. And if the student doesn’t make an effort to talk to me about the project at all, I’ll give them 0 points.
This method has worked for me throughout my teaching career with VIPKID. I like to give my students the benefit of the doubt. Incomplete projects don’t necessarily show a lack of effort or knowledge, therefore I like to be flexible with them when I can.
The Wrap-Up: VIPKID Unit Assessment
A VIPKID unit assessment is nothing to get nervous about. I hope this guide has helped you understand how to conduct a unit assessment, how to pace yourself between slides, and how to score unit assessments.
Keep in mind, once you teach one unit assessment, you’ll get the hang of it!
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