Being able to properly tie your shoes is a life skill that every child should have. For an active child, an untied shoe can be a safety concern and could lead to injury from tripping on the laces or rolling an ankle. Also, in today’s classroom it is common to have over 20 students in a class. If every student constantly needs assistance with tying their shoes, it can be both burdensome and time consuming for the teachers. So what constitutes a properly tied shoe? In the simplest terms, a properly tied shoe is a shoe that stays tied while you are wearing it and is easily untied when you want to take it off.
While there are numerous ways to meet this definition of a properly tied a shoe, for the purposes of this assessment we are only going to focus on the most common method, known as the “standard shoelace knot”, or “around the tree shoelace knot” or simply the “bowknot” (see the diagram below, which demonstrates 6 steps that are needed to properly tie this know).
It is our belief that if students can master the standard shoelace knot, that they can easily master other variations.
The goal of this assessment is to measure whether student have achieved mastery of the standard shoe lace knot. We will first learn the standard shoelace knot as a class, using the diagram as a guide. When students feel that they have mastered the knot, they can ask to be tested. The assessment has four parts. For the first part, the student will be able to use diagram for assistance.
Step 1: Starting with both shoes untied, the student will be asked to tie the standard knot on one of the shoes. They must stop after each step and show the teacher. If they have done it correctly, the student will continue on to the next step, until each of the 6 steps has been done. Once the knot is completed, the teacher will inspect it and see if it is properly tied. If it is not done correctly they can try again for up to 3 attempts. If they cannot tie the shoe after three attempts or it takes longer than 5 minutes, then the assessment ends and the student will have to practice more before asking to be tested again. If the teacher deems that the knot is properly tied according to the diagram, then the student moves on the part two.
Step 2: The student will be asked to tie the second shoe. This time they will not be able to use the diagram. They will have two minutes to tie the shoe. They will not have to stop after each step, but can do so if they so choose. The teacher will observe and make note as to whether each of the 6 steps was done correctly. However, the student will be allowed to continue with the assessment even if several or all of the steps are not done correctly.
If the student fails to tie a knot in two minutes, then the assessment again is over and the student will have to practice more before being tested. When the student feels that the knot has been completed, the teacher will inspect the knot. If the teacher agrees that a secure knot has been tied, regardless of whether it is done correctly as according to the final step of the diagram, the student will move on to step 3.
Step 3: The student will be asked to do 15 jumping jacks and see if both shoes remained tied. If after the jumping jacks, either of the shoes is untied then the assessment is over and the student will have to practice more before being retested. If both shoes remained tied, then the students move on to the final step. Step 4: The student will have 30 seconds to untie both knots. At this point, the assessment is over and the student’s performance will be assessed using the rubrics below. The student needs to score a 12 or above in order to “pass out” of needing to be reassessed. However, it is at the teacher’s discretion, if they feel that the student needs to be reassessed in the future.