There is a variety of way to assess students. Most teachers are aware of formal pencil-paper assessments that we see in many classrooms. There are a number of other ways to assess.
Assessment can be formal or informal. Formal assessment includes tests, reports, recitations, unit projects, and art work. This type of assessment occurs when students turn in their work for a grade. These are the things people usually think of as assessment.
Informal assessments usually occur through observation.
When students are doing group work or participating in group discussions, I watch them carefully, often taking notes on who is participating and the quality of their responses. How a child behaves and works with others is just as important as how they do during formal assessment.
When working with and assessing the students, I try to use a variety of assessment techniques. Students are different. Some are able to excell when doing reports, while others are wonderful in group discussions. All of these aspects should be able to be entered into their grades.