Standard Five: Assessment
Overview of the Standard: Standard Five: Assessment is about the student teacher knowing a variety of approaches to assessment and evaluation as well as integrating assessment into classroom practice. The standard says that “a focus on continuous student improvement in skills and content knowledge is emphasized.” In particular, the standard asks student teachers to use a variety of formal and informal assessment strategies to support the continuous development of the learner. (RIBTS #9)
How do you determine where you are in regard to this standard? To see where I am in regard to this standard I need to look at the ways I exhibit a varied repertoire of evaluation methods, employ evaluations which are not graded but are used for comprehension checks and student feedback, use evaluation projects which teach as much as they test, use grades in the classroom, provide opportunities for self-assessment, and use information from assessments to reflect on the effectiveness of his/her own teaching – and modify instruction accordingly.
Where you in regard to this standard? I believe I am approaching standard five.
What have you attempted and practiced? This summer at Brown Summer High School I believe my co-teacher and I did a lot to approach this standard. We used a variety of methods of assessment and engaged students in directly talking about the skills and content knowledge we were building with them.
From the first day we did engaged in both formative and summative evaluation. On the first day I did a direct teacher presentation on the difference between historical artifacts and historical documents in preparation for the students homework to bring in a personal historical artifact. I asked the students to complete an exit ticket that day giving an example of a historical artifact and a historical document and explaining why the item fit in each category. This provided me with a great way to see almost immediately that they understood the difference between the two and I could move on. Then for homework the students completed another assessment by bringing an a personal historical artifact, which showed they understood what a historical artifact again.
Then the next day they began the first of three parts of their personal historical portfolio, a personal history timeline. This was another formative assessment as they were required to write sentences and a paragraph from which my co-teacher and I could assess their writing abilities and their ability to pick out the important historical events from their life. The second and third piece also allowed us to assess their writing as well as other historical thinking skills. The second piece focused on applying historical research skills (which we should have taught more of) and the third piece focused on applying understanding the importance of global citizenship.
There were also many other in-class assessments. I asked the students to complete two comprehension checks to ensure they understood the text we were reading. Students also worked on ordering the events of Sierra Leone’s post-colonial history which helped me assess whether they understood causality and historical timelines like the ones they created of their own lives. I also had them complete understanding checks during a DTP on primary and secondary sources and the “L” of the KWL charts they worked on about colonization in Africa. The KWL was done in groups, as was many other assessments we did in class such as skits on the causes of the Sierra Leone and a summative assessment in jeopardy on the last day.
What have you learned? I have learned that assessment can be used both in a cumulative manner that I had traditionally thought of it and as a formative tool to designing lessons and individual student goals.
What are your goals? My goal is work on recording and tracking informal assessments that take place in the classroom, like contributions to discussion, group presentations, etc.