One thing to point out, you don’t ever have to import your students into Kiddom. Some teachers simply use Kiddom as a standards-aligned gradebook, so that they can make informed, data-driven decisions based on how their students are performing. We’ll get to the student side shortly, but just to point out, the resource can of beneficial use to even those who don’t want to onboard their students.
Within each class, you can get a more detailed breakdown of how your students are doing as a whole in regards to the standards-based measurements that you’re using. As mentioned before, Kiddom is meant to be used in a classroom where assessments are aligned with a set of standards, but these can be any standards you want. Common Core, Next Gen Science Standards, State Standards, and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Standards are already built in, and you can add in any custom ones you want.
I really love the simplistic data visualizations that Kiddom provides. I think they’re incredibly helpful for getting a quick snapshot of how your students are performing, and you can of course dig deeper and get more granular as well.
For example, if I scroll down to the Standards Assessed section (which has an overview of all the particular standards I’m working with in a class) I can click on each one to get a more detailed breakdown of where each of my students is at. This is incredibly helpful to not only see where your class is as a whole, but to also see where each individual student is at with regards to that specific standard.
You can also see where each individual student is at in terms of approaching mastery, mastery, etc. (and those values can also be changed to percentages as well), and click on them to get a breakdown of where they’re at with each individual standard. This is where you’ll also be able to download an assignment-based or standards-based grade card for your students should you need to.
So the next question you’re probably asking is, this all looks great, but how do I actually get all that data into Kiddom?
That’s where the assignments come in. As mentioned above, you can create assignments to send out to students if they are enrolled in the system, or you can create them just for yourself and use Kiddom as a standards-aligned gradebook.
On that note, the Kiddom team also has SIS integrations in the work to automatically push data out to your school’s gradebook, but for now, you can also export all your class data as a .csv to upload into whatever system you’re using.
To start working with assignments, use the dropdown menu at the top and select Assignments.
From here, you can search for previous assignments that you have already created in case you want to modify them and/or use them again. Or you can click on the New Assignment button at the top to create a brand new one.
If you’re creating a new assignment, Kiddom has a lot of great options. Kiddom has third party integrations with cK-12, Khan, iXL, Common Lit, and coming soon Urban Arts Partnership, a non-profit that provides culturally responsive resources and assessment. So if you’re familiar with those resources, you know that they’ve got a ton a excellent, standards-aligned resources. All of these lessons can be filtered by grade, subject, and content type.
You can use and modify those assignments as you wish, and if you do decide to send them out to students, they won’t need to authenticate through the third party site as long as they’re logged in through Kiddom, which saves on all the password management issues that students can often run into.
You can also create your assignment using your own materials as well. Just click on Add my own content at the top, and you’ll be asked to name your assignment, provide a description, and give a link to it/upload it/sync it from Google Drive. If you choose to use one of the precreated third-party assignments from above, these details will already be filled in for you, but you can modify them:
Once you’ve decided on the content for your assignment, you’ll be asked to choose which type of assignment it is. This list is completely customizable based on whatever needs you have for your particular classroom.
From there, you’ll need to decide how the assignment will be assessed. If you’re using third-party content, a lot of it can be automatically graded for you if you’d like, but of course that’s up to you. You can choose to offer no grade, a points grade, or add in your own custom rubric for scoring the assignment.
After that you can select the assigned date and due date for the assignment, and then you’ll be asked to select which students will be receiving the assignment. This part of Kiddom is excellent for differentiation. Not only is it easy to create assignments from scratch or with their third-party integrations, but it’s also easy to push out your assignments to different individuals or groups of students based on their particular needs or ability levels.
If you do have students enrolled in the Kiddom system, this is when they would get a notification that they’ve been given a new assignment.
From the student perspective, when they first login they’ll be able to see assignments they have coming up, what they’ve already submitted, and get a detailed breakdown of their standing in a class. This is great for adding transparency to the classroom so that your students are always informed not only of their grade, but of how they’re doing in regards to specific standards.
I think far too often standards are seen as a sort of black box for students, and they never really understand what they are, what they’re being assessed on, why they exist, and all those similar questions. Kiddom does a great job of helping the students see exactly what standards they’re being assessed on, and I think that’s useful for helping students to better understand exactly what these “standards” are and how they relate to what’s actually happening in the classroom.
Another feature I really like on the student side is that they can add comments to assignments, which makes it easy to send questions to their teacher should they have any. This way, they can get feedback, suggestions, or ask for help whenever they need it.
On top of all that, the Kiddom team has some wonderful support resources should you be in need:
- They are offering ongoing summer learning webinars
- You can book a 1:1 demo with the Kiddom team.
- If you’re new to standards-based grading, they’ve got a free support resource
- And you can read teacher spotlights and testimonials
Overall, I believe Kiddom is an excellent resource for teachers and students who are using standards-based grading in their classroom. The interface is extremely user-friendly and the data visualizations of student achievement make it easy to make informed, data-driven decisions about assignments and instructional content.
Plus, the integration with top-notch third-party content providers opens up a lot of doors when creating assignments for your students. Whether you’re using it just as a teacher in order to track student grades and performance related to your school’s standards, or if you’re using it with your students to send out assignments, it’s an excellent, free resource for the classroom.
If you’re interested, I absolutely recommend scheduling a 1:1 demo with their team so you can get a deeper look into the service and see if it’s right for your needs. You can also check them out on Twitter as well.
The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
I was not compensated for writing this review.