Meeting Standard Five: The student teacher demonstrates knowledge of a variety of approaches to assessment and evaluation. Assessment is seen as integral to the curriculum and instruction process and employs a repertoire of formal and informal methods. “Traditional” tests and essays, as well as performances, exhibitions, and portfolios which allow students to demonstrate what they know in a variety of media and technology are used. Students are also given various opportunities to self-assess progress and their classroom work is guided by known criteria and standards developed by the student teacher with the class (or with the class’ knowledge). A focus on continuous student improvement in skills and content knowledge is emphasized and grading reflects that objective.
Students should be aware of the assessment criteria prior to being assessed. I explicitly told my students what they would be assessed on prior to assessing them. For the first unit I taught, I had an ongoing assessment and 2 summative assessments. My ongoing assessment was the character diary, which allowed me to assess how students engaged with the characters. The rubric had 3 main criteria: voice of the character; understanding the scene; and diary requirements. I reviewed the criteria with my students prior to the first entry in addition to giving them a model that I wrote. Students submitted their diaries three times and received feedback from me. The character diaries served as scaffolding for the summative assessment, the CD Project.
I administered formal quizzes and a summative test; however, I also designed an assessment that allowed students to demonstrate their understanding of the play using music. Each student completed a CD project in which they chose 3 songs that represent Romeo’s or Juliet’s feelings at 3 different moments in the play. In addition to scaffolding the assignment by playing various songs in class and discussing them, I also provided students with the rubric and model of the assignment. The students really enjoyed this assignment because it gave them the opportunity to connect the play to their lives.
The students also wrote a persuasive essay. In a series of scaffolded assignments, students received feedback from their peers through participating in a peer review session and from me on their rough drafts. I structured my feedback, so that it was related directly to the rubric and would not overwhelm students. Each student received feedback on 2 things they did well and 2 things they need to work on. This structured, specific feedback really helped students focus their revisions.