Week 12

 

My first step in collecting evidence was to compare my pre-test with my post-tests. One of the first Pre-tests I gave was in the form of a quiz. In which ALL my students got less than a 50 percent on the first try. However, at the end of the unit all of my students got at least an A on the post-assessment quiz. It is important to note that this particular assessment did not have any transfer skill goals that related to real world scenarios. I used it for data purposes only. I have provided two student work examples with annotations written directly on them. For this purpose I refer to them as Student A and Student B.

 

Student A Pre-Test 0/25 Student A Post-Test 25/25

 

Student B Pre-Test 1/25 Student B Post-Test 23/25

 

Pre-Assessment NWEA SKILLS NAVIGATOR DATA

 

First I used a snapshot graph to determine if success was made. It was evident from the graphs on the coordinate geometry graphs that success was made. In this snapshot I was able to tell the overall number of points for passing was a 92 and needed work was a 60. In the post-test assessment the overall number of passed was a 160 and needed work was a 182. Both of these numbers jumped at the unit indicating the unit was successful. Needs work means the student at least knows some of the skills, just is not considered passing which is better than not meeting the criteria.

 

Pre-Test Skills Navigator Post-Test Skills Navigator

 

The next part of skills navigator that I looked at was the specific strands related to my unit. I compared the pretest to the post test with annotations. In the pre-assessment data I determined the following:

 

2 passed and 3 needed work meaning the other 4 didn’t even score on 5th grade strand locating a point in quadrant 1

 

4 needed work on and 5 didn’t even score on 6th grade strand locating points on the coordinate plane

 

Only 2 of the 9 students made it to needed work the others did not score on identifying the vertical and horizontal axis of the coordinate plane.

 

Only 1 of the 9 students was able to identify an ordered pair.

 

0 of the 9 students were able to solve real world problems with the coordinate plane.

 

NWEA PRE-ASSESSMENT DATA

In the post assessment data I determined the following:

7 passed and 1 needed work meaning the other 1 didn’t even score on 5th grade strand locating a point in quadrant 1

 

8 passes and 1 didn’t even score on 6th grade strand locating points on the coordinate plane

 

3 passed, 4 students made it to needed work the other 2 did not score on identifying the vertical and horizontal axis of the coordinate plane.

 

5 of the students was able to identify an ordered pair, 2 needed work the other 2 didn’t score.

2 passed, 4 needed work and the other 2 didn’t score on solving real world problems with the coordinate plane.

 

NWEA POST-ASSESSMENT DATA

 

The next pre and post assessment data I would like to compare are the authentic assessments I have created for the unit. It is important to note that I did not expect my students to be able to complete the pre-assessment data, but that I instead used it as a teachable moment in that I could show them the final process I was expecting and that I would be able to show in the end that they knew the standards that I was covering.

 

The final stages I am working on for my data collection is putting together the data that was done during the process. I am currently thinking of ways to show the data I used from assessments that guided the lessons. I have made a collection of pictures on my desktop that I will annotate along with student work. I also have compiled two students’ work that I need to spend time illustrating through words and pictures.  

 

This week was a really busy work and I ran short on time. I do plan to read others’ blogs this weekend and continue to show how I provided evidence. Tomorrow’s goal is to document how I assessed and used that data to guide the path of my lessons.

Week 11 Reflection

I am feeling good about my unit this week. I happened to get observed by my principal during the unit whom was very pleased with my teaching and students’ performances. At present, he is not aware of the fact that I am taking a class. I tend to keep it to myself that I am student, because I don’t like others thinking I am spread too thin. I am a mother, teacher, friend, and student which makes me fear that others will think I am not capable of doing my job effectively. The truth is, taking this class pushes me to be a better teacher. I see the difference in my teaching, which mostly is a direct result of reflecting on what I have learned as I am planning and teaching.

 

It really has helped me tremendously improve my teaching skills. This past Friday my principal asked me if I would be interested in teaching more than one remedial math class–4 to be exact. He had mentioned I am good or talented, I can’t remember his exact words, but that he would like it if I would do consider it because he sees what I am doing as effective. The secret lies in using technology to differentiate instruction and following the UbD design. I am so thankful I decided to take up classes again.

 

Regardless of how successful I felt, we all know success doesn’t come without challenges. And believe me there were challenges throughout the week. My biggest struggle is making sure I am documenting the success as required for this class. I believe I struggle with it, because as I am teaching I am so busy in the moment adjusting as needed that taking notes is the last thing on my mind. I will be the first to admit, I get so into teaching that when the lessons are over I usually need a brain break.

 

Although, I know I take mental notes of these successes/struggles the challenge for me is laying it out nicely out on paper for someone else to see. My goal is to keep it simple and focus on a what I really did by quickly adding notes to the daily lessons with post-its. In retrospect, I think I could have benefitted from videoing the lessons. However, one thing I found particularly helpful for myself was taking pictures of what I was seeing while teaching. I figured I could go back later and and browse my pictures to remember whatever “Ah-hah” moment I was having.

 

Another struggle for me was selecting 2 students. At first I wanted to pick the two lowest students. However, I decided to look at more than 2 until I can decide how I want to lay it out on paper. Some of the struggles with selecting 2 students in particular is the fact that they might not always attend.  At first, I thought I would reselect a different student but I think it might be interesting to see how this student performs due to a missed day. Currently, I am lucky because I can spend time working one on one with students or assign an aide to help with any skills a student might be missing.

 

This weekend I enjoyed reading through the blogs of others. Kendra and Jules I always make sure to read and comment on probably because they were so helpful when I first started to take this class. Nonetheless, I equally enjoyed reading through others’ blogs as well. Overall, it sounded like we all deal with the same issues, maybe not at the same time but they were all issues I feel I know all too well. What I personally like best about reading about others’ struggles and successes is learning from how others respond. I know sometimes, it feels so overwhelming and it is easy to want to give up, so I find it refreshing to see others overcome hurdles. I look forward to reading about how we all have overcome our struggles to see successes again next week!

 

In the meantime I plan to organize my papers, pictures, and notes I have collected from my lesson thus far. I hope to add a little more commentary and make a better picture for my case studies. Cheers! To being almost complete with this larger project.

Week 11

To begin this week, I decided to print off all of my materials I needed for the unit and organize them in order of use. I spent some time reviewing how I was going to assess and came up with a game plan on how I would be assisting those who needed it. It is very important to note that the class I am working with has two aids allowing for a very small student to teacher ratio. There are 3 adults to 10 kids. We have been working closely with them to get them back on track.

 

A lot of my lessons are planned out like this, except I spend less time documenting the success. Most of the documentation comes from formal assessments such as NWEA maps testing or Skills Navigator. Because there is such a small ratio of students per adult this is really an easy unit to pull of with the help of technology assisted lessons. To aid in the assessment process I use Apple Remote Desktop to monitor students successes and struggles, but also as a classroom management tool so I know students are using their computers appropriately. When students know I am viewing their laptops they are more prone to stay on task. So I usually project all screens on the overhead. It is nearly impossible to identify students because the screens are so small, but it aids in classroom management.   I am not sure how successful this unit would be without since the majority of the lessons are done on IXL.

 

On day 1 of the lesson I was able to successfully follow through with the lesson plan. I found that from the test assessment students needed to work on these skills. I also gave the authentic pre-assessment and students were so overwhelmed with it at first like I had thought they would be. I explained that the intent of passing this out was to show them the final expectation I had of them. I used it as a teaching opportunity to explain how to complete these types of authentic assessment. Let’s just say, from my students’ responses I need to provide more opportunities for students to have authentic assessments.  Part of their responses also could have been because they knew so little about the content. Nonetheless, it was a great teaching experience and I am happy I added it in on day 1 so students know the final expectations.

 

After doing my initial assessments, I read a short picture book called The Fly on the Ceiling and students responded well to this. I did a quick poll after reading whether students liked learning this way and all students raised their hands in approval. Then students ended the day with a self-assessment checklist, This was great–out of all my students they all felt like they had a general understanding of the items I was checking for. Yahoo!!!

 

I started day 2 with a Studyjams lesson on Ordered Pairs. Then followed it with a Coordinate Plane song from Youtube. Students expressed their liking of the song. My next part of the lesson was to use Kahoot as a review and assessment tool. This allowed me to review anything that needed to be reviewed based on student results and assess who needed help. My students loved this program and were engaged the entire time. After we spent some time working on interactive math journals. Once finished I gave them time to work on IXL-in which they were able to pick their levels from a wide range of coordinate activities. I encouraged them to level up or down based on their learning needs. To my surprise, students are very good at gauging where they should be at. Students expressed their liking of this program. I ended the day with a short checklist assessment of the learning targets. I was able to identify 2 students who needed some clarification. My plan was to work with these two students briefly the next day when students were independently working on IXL.

 

Day 3 went smoother than the previous days as students were eager to get onto IXL. I started with a math video to hook them. Then did a short mini-lesson on how to graph using coordinate points. Then I provided the links with the leveled coordinate art assignments. I had students chose from all the ranges or IXL as an option. I realized students love options, because I had all options in use. For assessing today it was an informal activity performed by using the Life Size Coordinate Plane I created in the classroom. I loved this activity because I was able to quickly see who understand and help those immediately who were confused. I had about 2 students who needed help.

 

By day 4 I am feeling pretty successful because I am able to see all the smart scores on IXL and see how far students are getting and which ones need help. To my surprise those students who started at lower levels tended to fly through the subsequent levels. I also had students who were logged on working before class started. They were so eager to check off IXL assignments from their IXL checklist. I even learned from students that they worked on assignments outside of class which made me realize they are enjoying these online assignments. Yahoo!!!! I began the day with hooking them with a Coordinate Song from Youtube and playing Kahoot for review and assessment. Students had time to independently work on IXL.  At this point I took the lesson on coordinate geometry further by discussing how to plot points on in using real world situations. I had students plot themselves on the Life Size Coordinate plane. To assess their learning I created exit slips that required them to plot themselves on the Life Size Coordinate Plane. At this point I was able to clarify any misconceptions.

 

I begun day 5 asking them if they were liking how I was approaching math and the overall consensus was yes. They like it much better than following the textbook. Although, I am following the same content, I am approaching it much differently. I started out with the same Coordinate Plane song for a hook. Spent time reviewing function tables and using the Life Size Coordinate plane to graph those function tables based off of real life situations. Student enjoyed this activity. We spent some time having a group discussion about what type of real life situations could be graphed using a function table. With the remaining time students begin working on IXL. To my surprise students were finishing more than one activity. During this time I would monitor students by their smart score and tries attempted to identify who needed help.  After this day, I realized I might add one extra day into the unit to discuss graphing function tables on the coordinate plane. I learned from the students self assessment list that they were struggling with graphing with function tables.

 

Overall, I am feeling great about my students’ successes this week and the daily assessments and leveled choices make me feel as though I am better reaching students’ potential and allowing them to grow at their comfort level. Yahoo for technology and DI!  UbD is a model I will strive for in the future. It was proposed to me that since I do such a good job with remedial math classes that I might have two of them next year. With this model and ways of approaching DI with technology I am feeling confident about taking on the challenge!  I love furthering my education to better assist my students.

Week 10 Reflection

At the beginning of the week, I was feeling pretty proud of my accomplishments considering the hectic week I had. So with that being said, I spent most of the week trying to catch up with my duties as a teacher, then nursing my kids’ back to health, keeping house, and when I had time I would spend a few minutes on this class. As I was reading through other students’ blogs, I realized Dr. MaryLee Graham had already graded our units. I wasn’t too eager to look, because I had felt securely that I was on the right track. However, it turns out I had a few minor edits to make and had to upload missing documents because the hyperlinks didn’t work. Yikes!

 

In a panic, I spazzed and sent a million emails trying to figure out how make these minor corrections. Well, after collecting myself I figured it out. However, it really made me feel uncomfortable about the upcoming days, as I have so few days to waste due to State Testing planned in the schedule 3 days this week. Prior to planning the unit I had known state testing was going to be during this time so I cut the unit short a few days. I already cut out activities I had wanted to do. I might add these in as extension activities and continue pass this course’s deadline. I know I have said in previous blogs, that flexibility is important but it was very hard for me to budge on the flexibility of the amount of time spent on this unit because I already shaved out activities I was wanting to try–so I struggled and created a state of panic for myself. Nonetheless, I realized I would have to began teaching the unit regardless of much feedback, because I was on a strict timeline. Luckily, Dr. Graham responded in such a timely manner to inform me I was approved to go forward with my unit. Phew!

 

I should have known I would get a quick response but I panicked because with the past week’s mishaps you never know if you have the time.  In my initial panic, I quickly scanned through other students’ blogs for ideas on how to improve my unit. I was fortunate enough within my initial browsing to run across Kendra’s blog who provided an example of her approved unit. I was happy to spend a few minutes looking over hers. One thing I realized, it it is a lot harder to be a critique of units, because we are not the ones creating it (so I am glad that this isn’t my job). Kuddos to Kendra for providing such detailed work! I appreciate her and found it inspiring that so many of you fellow educators care about all your children. You all rock!

 

While reading through the blogs, I love that it appears we all care about our students and will help them reach their fullest capacity though DI. Mariah and Chelsea were also both inspirations. I found that when reading through Chelsea’s blog I realized I forgot to add flexibility into my 5 components of differentiation. I had a hard time with describing 5 components at first, but after spending some time researching and organizing all my ideas into 5 broad categories I was able to include all my passionate ideas about teaching into them. It also tremendously helped me to read others’ blogs that stated their 5 components. In general, I think we were all saying the same thing, just wording things differently.

 

Another important idea that resonated with me this week was the fact that both Kendra and Jules referred to The Zone of Proximal Development. It is something I agree with and in the future I would like to make sure that I am more aware of this term. In general, I find the brain fascinating and if anything I would like to spend more time checking out The Zone of Proximal Development so that I can apply it to DI. I have some awareness of this, but I know I need to spend more time on just this concept.

 

I’d like to end this week with, saying that the fact we use technology to differentiate really resonated with me. I love how we used technology to differentiate instruction. I have always been a fan of technology, but have come to love it even more recently. I truly believe that without it, I am not sure I would be so apt and able to differentiate. Technology is a tool that really helps me to reach all students. Lastly, I look forward to using technology this week and reading what others’ have discovered this week in their blogs.

Week 10

How does my Ubd unit reflect my understanding of differentiated instruction?

Within my UbD I tried to incorporate elements of differentiation so that all students were able to benefit to their fullest capacity from the lesson within the unit. I have identified 5 components of DI as: pre-assessment/Individual differences, environment, content/standard, process/instructional strategies, and product/post-assessment. All of these components interwoven together within the unit help to ensure that all students are able to gain the most learning. Currently, there is an increasing need for DI as current educational trends indicate the homogeneity of the past has been replaced with widespread diversity in the student population (Subban, 2006).  Furthermore according to Eric Jensen (2005) because students are growing, they have different bodies and brains with different hormones and a unique body clock which will at any given time be at a high or low. We need to always be able to reach students regardless of this high or low and DI instruction is the answer. Bobbie Dunn (2010) also states, “These complicated organs called brains all develop at different rates, and there are some students who are far more ready than others.” To deal with this fluctuation Jenson suggest educators have: tolerance, activity shifts, movement and thoughtful scheduling. In other words we DIFFERENTIATE a principle behind UbD units.

The first component of differentiation, the driving force of the learning needs, that I will discuss is pre-assessment/individual differences. In the modern classroom you will find tremendous differences among your students.  I decided to discuss this component, because for me it is the heart of the unit.According to Tomlinson (2001),  “In a differentiated classroom, the teacher proactively plans and carries out varied approaches to content, process and product in anticipation of and response to student differences in readiness, interest, and learning needs” (p.7). In order to discover the learning needs of my students, I needed some initial data. I used NWEA Skills Navigator as a pre-assessment to gauge what my students needed to learn. I found that students had many missing skills ranging from 2nd-6th grade in the strand of Coordinate Geometry. It was apparent I needed to have a differentiated unit in order to allow all students to grow in this strand. Once I had my pre-data I used some authentic pre-assessments and pre-assessment tests. I used the same pre-assessments as my post-assessments. I decided to throw in a test because I wanted some hard data to prove that learning did take place, but I also made sure to have authentic tests so that students could all show what they learned within their range of skills.

Another very important component of differentiation that I included in the unit, but did not talk about every detail was the environment. This component, I find very critical to the success of the unit because of how the brain responds to perceived threats. In order to help students, I made sure to have their preferred lighting arrangement available, preferential seating based on the activity, students were given choice so that they could work on something that suited their learning preference, multi-sensory instruction that included the use of song, videos, visuals, interactive notes, heating that was adjusted to students’ likings.  Choice was one of my major focuses in this unit as it allows for students to take ownership of their learning. Weselby (2017) supports the use of choice in DI in his statement that when , “Students are given more options on how they can learn material, they take on more responsibility for their own learning.” My goal is to get students engaged and choice helps considerably. Thus, it is my opinion that environment really helps set the stage for engagement a critical component to getting are students on the road to learning.

Both pre-assessment/individual differences and environment were at the foundation of my unit. These two components, in my opinion, guaranteed the success of my unit from the start. The third component of differentiation that I identify in my unit is content/standard. For this unit, technology based assignments were key to differentiating instruction. IXL a web based program allowed me to differentiate coordinate geometry skills from 3rd-7th grade. Students were able to decide if they needed to level up or level down based on their progress because the goal was growth among all students. I found that when students started at their own level they eventually would fly through the higher levels. The key was meeting them at their level first and bridging any gaps. IXL provides a smart score and allowed me to monitor my students’ learning needs. I sued this information to correctly place students if they did not do it on their own and as an opportunity to give individual mini-lessons.  The content would also be approached by allowing students to practice on art projects using the coordinate plane that varied based on their abilities. In this unit technology allowed for differentiation to happen more easily due to the leveled skills while still reaching for grade level standards. Although, not all will meet grade level standards, my goal is that students show growth towards meeting them.  

Process/Instructional Strategies is the 4th component of differentiation that I identified within my unit. To meet this component, I tried to vary the instructional pieces and assessment tools. Instead of direct instruction being the primary method of delivery, I found songs, videos, visuals and used interactive notes, art projects, digital math games, and interactive notes to help deliver instruction.  I also opted to allow students to use voice recording when written work was an option, as I was looking content not the process. With that being said, I found flexibility to be a key factor in the process of learning. According to Hurst (2013), “The very nature of differentiated instruction demands flexibility.” I had to understand that things would not always go according to plan and I would use assessments to help drive my instruction. Daily instruction was assessed by both the teacher and students. Students were to perform a daily checklist assessing what they learned. I used Kahoot to gauge learning and direct instructional needs. Exit slips that involved kinesthetic learning were performed to informally assess students knowledge. Both forms of assessments were used to allow students reflection time, an essential need of learning new content.

The final component of differentiated instruction I identified was product/assessment. This component greatly helps me prove that all my students made progress. Authentic post assessments such as varied journal prompt responses and written short essays with teacher/student rubrics, or a a creative poster product with a teacher/student rubric allows students to be individuals performing real life tasks while still showing what they learned. It does not limit students to a limited range of learning questions, insteads allows them to explore the whole spectrum while working at their individual levels. Authentic assessments are important in that they provide multiple solutions for students to demonstrate mastery while allowing them to display their creativity and innovation and are most effective when they resemble real life situation (Burns, 2015). I also plan to use NWEA skills navigator as a post assessment tool which will allow me to show growth from grades 3-7th if applicable among all students. My goal is growth. Lastly, I will use a post-assessment test on some basic coordinate geometry skills as hard data students did learn the basics, however, the unit was not limited to these basics. Although I can do without the tests as forms of assessments throughout the unit, I prefer them for my own assessment of the success of the unit for data. However, I also believe that with a well thought out unit that embeds the principles of differentiation will ensure success on these tests.

Without all these critical components of differentiated instruction, it would be highly problematic for student success. All these component work together to ensure all students are making progress towards educational goals.  According to Tomlinson (2001) by differentiating what students learn, how they learn it, and how they demonstrate what they have learned encourages substantial growth in all students. I look forward to testing out my UbD units effectiveness in the near future.
Resources

Burns, V. (2015). 53 Interesting Ways to Assess Your Students. [N.p.]: Frontinus Ltd. Retrieved from http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2051/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=1017975&site=ehost-live&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_Cover on March 19, 2017

Dunn, Bobbie. “3 Techniques for Brain Based Differentiation.” 2010. Web. 02, March 2017 <http://www.weteachwelearn.org/2010/05/3-techniques-for-brain-based-differentiation/>.

Hurst , S. (2013, August 8). Six Necessary Components of Effective Differentiated Instruction. Retrieved March 30, 2017, from http://www.readinghorizons.com/blog/six-necessary-components-of-effective-differentiated-instruction

Jensen, Eric. Teaching with the Brain in Mind (2nd Edition). Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD), 2005. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 5 April 2015. Retreived from:http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2051/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=141347&site=ehost-live

Jensen, Eric. Teaching with Poverty in Mind : What Being Poor Does to Kids’ Brains and What Schools Can Do About It. Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD), 2009. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 5 April 2015. Retrieved from:

http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2051/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=301969&site=ehost-live

Subban, P. (2006). International education journal. [Differentiated instruction: A research basis] Issn 1443-1475, 7(7), 935-947.

Tomlinson, C.A. (2001). How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-ability Classrooms.

Weselby, C. (2017). What is differentiated instruction? examples of how to differentiate instruction in the classroom. Retrieved 2017, February/02, 2017, from http://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/teaching-strategies/examples-of-differentiated-instruction/

 

Week 9 Reflection

This week was my Spring Break and it was anything from a break, but that is life with kids of your own. Do to a few things that have arose I am struggling to get things turned in on time. However, I am going to make as many deadlines as possible. Although, I am not quite finished with my UbD unit I decided to get my reflection finished while I have time. God knows this is a rare occurrence lately with illnesses and a toddler.

 

To begin with what I have learned this week, one of the most shocking parts for me is that I was way off on my transfer goals, essential questions, and understandings. Currently, that is the part that I am struggling with. However, for the most part I feel like my unit is reflective of nice well designed unit, but now I need to get the wording down so that my  transfer goals, essential questions, and understandings meet the requirements. That is something I planned to work on into the later hours of tonight if I have to, even if I am running on fumes.

 

Both my boys have ended up in the emergency room back to back. I spent most of my time watching my infant and nursing my kids back to health. Any spare time I have used reading others’ blogs. I enjoyed reading Mariah, Kendra, Jules, and Chelsea’s blogs. Although, everyone did a fantastic job with their planning of their assessments, I really feel like Jules and Mariah taught me something. Or maybe it was Chelsea in terms of her ability to make authentic assessments and her passion and dedication to it. I found it inspiring and I plan to springboard off of her drive to be a better teacher.
Most importantly this week I learned the importance of knowing how to assess and why I should be assessing. I am feeling better about assessments and even a little eager to be better at assessing my students. I look forward to reaping the benefits of the intelligently planning assessments and using them to guide my instruction so that students are benefitting the most.

WK 9 Assessments

I decided to start this unit based of an NWEA Skills Navigator report. I the data from NWEA Skills Navigator to help guide my initial unit design. I only used this data to see what areas in general my students needed work in and again at the end to see if there was any improvement. It was not to guide my everyday instruction because as a norm reference test it did not cut it in terms of supporting instructional decision (Popham, 2014).

 

Once realizing my students needed help in plotting points on the coordinate plane with a wide range of abilities among my students, I knew differentiation and the use of assessments were the key to successfully planning this unit. “Teachers’ responsiveness to data is a key factor in determining success (Shores & Chester, 2009, p.39).”

 

In planning my assessments, I tried to balance what documented student learning or contributed to their learning. According to the Edutopia article Why Is Assessment Important? (2015) assessments should provide diagnostic feedback, help educators set standards, evaluate progress, show students’ progress, and motivate progress. With that being said, I knew I needed a mix of assessments in a given amount of time and I needed to do them more than at the beginning and end of assessments. I also felt it was important students did not feel like all they were doing was assessing and not learning. To do help accomplish this I integrated technology I planned some initial performance assessments that were just short and brief. I was not looking for an extensive assessment, but rather a shorter quiz that contained the key points. However, those were not authentic and did not tell me much more than data to prove my unit was a success. In order to have authentic assessments, I allowed for students to show their work in either a journal response with multiple open-ended options or an informative poster. Also in the journal responses they had the option of recording their voice and emailing it into me. I also wanted to add assessments that helped contribute to their learning and allowed them time to reflect. However, due to a lack of time in a class period I had to make sure they were quick and reflected the daily learning targets. I created short 2-minute student checklist to allow them to reflect on their learning or exit slips in which I assessed their knowledge on how they performed. I also mixed in formal assessments in the form of Kahoot. I found this as a great tool to assess and use as review. I could use the information at the start of class to adjust my instruction. “Formative assessments provide the teacher with practical information used to alter instruction for increased student learning” (Shores & Chester, 2009, p.39). I also plan to assign IXL assignments based from their assessment information. I will further use IXL to assess their learning as this program has built in graphs into the system showing what students are getting what and where they are struggling. This form of assessment is supported by Shores & Chester (2009) who state, “Feedback that is genuine that is related to the stated goal is necessary and can be provided in the forms of graphs clearly illustrating student progress (p.39).” This statement also helped me realize students needed a simple rubric attached to the larger authentic performance assessments that allowed students to self reflect and understand their final grade. So I made a rubric with two columns for entering grades one for the student and one for the teacher.

 

In this unit I struggled with authentic assessments because I found it hard to relate coordinate geometry to real life. Authentic assessments are important in that they provide multiple solutions for students to demonstrate mastery while allowing them to display their creativity and innovation and are most effective when they resemble real life situation (Burns, 2015). I struggled with this task tremendously because within a week with my specific targeted group, because they are already a struggling group. However, to ensure I was offering multiple solutions I created 3 platforms in which they could turn in their final assessment. One in which was a poster. They were also able to turn in any written work in the form of a voice recording on their computers or phones and turned in via email. To allow students a chance to express their creativity I created open-ended questions that required them to explain their thinking. In example, please explain to your mom in detail everything you have learned about coordinate geometry and how it applies to real-life situations. To tie it to real life I added into the prompt or directions.

 

Although I ended the unit with authentic teacher and student assessment, I also plan to use NWEA skills navigator to see if any improvements were made. This will only be used for data purposes and nothing more. My goal is to see improvement because I used authentic carefully planned teacher and student assessment. I chose not to use this as an final result as it would be considered a low-stakes test in which it might not show students performance accurately as they were less motivated to show their true knowledge (Samzir, Martinez, Rutherford, Domina, & Conley, 2015).

 

  • YES! I tried to balance the two based on time and effectiveness. I also left time at the end of each unit for short student assessment in the forms of checklists so students could have some self-reflection time.
  • I had a mixed of open-ended and closed response. For the most part the closed response were quick reflections in the form of a checklist. This was done to reinforce key points, show what students thought they learned, and allow some reflection time. The open-ended responses were used more for performance projects at the end of the unit.
  • My performance assessment is the final project of the unit and it is the key to the unit. Students are given the same assessment at the beginning of unit to see what they know but also as a way to teach them what they need to learn and the procedures to finish the project.
  • The grading criteria is very transparent as they are given a rubric in which they are required to self assess before turning in. I kept the rubric simple so that they can be creative and innovative. If students are struggling on daily activities they are allowed to move to a lower level or vise versa using a computer based program.
  • They are a combination of both with the majority being low stakes. The high stakes testing will be used just for data purposes only to test the effectiveness of the unit. The low stakes test will be graded –mainly because it is easier to differentiate and easier for students to earn partial credit for their knowledge they have learned.

 

Edutopia. “Why Assessment is Important?” 2008. Web. <https://www.edutopia.org/assessment-guide-importance>.

 

Shores, C., & Chester, K. (2009). Using RTI for School Improvement : Raising Every Student’s Achievement Scores. Chapter Two: Selecting and Implementing Ongoing Assessment. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Corwin. Retrieved from: http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2051/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=473693&site=ehost-live&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_34

 

Burns, V. (2015). 53 Interesting Ways to Assess Your Students. [N.p.]: Frontinus Ltd. Retrieved from http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2051/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=1017975&site=ehost-live&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_Cover on March 19, 2017

 

James Popham, W. p. (2014). Criterion-Referenced Measurement: Half a Century Wasted?. Educational Leadership71(6), 62-68. Retrieved from: Egan Library http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eft&AN=94925708&login.asp&site=ehost-live

 

Simzar, R. M., Martinez, M., Rutherford, T., Domina, T., & Conley, A. M. (2015). Raising the stakes: How students’ motivation for mathematics associates with high- and low-stakes test achievement. Learning and Individual Differences, Vol 39: 49-63. Retrieved from http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2066/10.1016/j.lindif.2015.03.002