Miss. Hillary Strain

Archive for the category “Assessment Weekly Posts”

Variety of Assessments

Looking back at my pre-internship experience I’ve realized how much more comfortable I am with assessment and how much of a variety of assessments I have been able to perform during my 3 weeks! I got the opportunity to complete the following types of Summative assessments:

Two Homework Checks – This was a mark out of 5 and the students were even given the rubric so they would know what to expect and have completed.  This was kind of difficult to mark believe it or not!  Some students would have all assignments handed in but not all the assigned questions completed so that affected the type of mark they got.  Also, some students handed everything in and had all the questions completed but didn’t show any work – so we have to give a lower mark due to the fact that they could have just copied the answers from the back of the book.

A Quiz – This was on the first three lessons that I taught. It was a short quiz and the questions covered the important questions that would demonstrate the students’ understanding on the content.  This was one of the assessments that took a bit of time to mark because these questions had multiple amounts of steps so I had to look into each part and determine from there how to grade.

A Unit Test – I got to create half of the unit test as my co-op teacher taught the first half of the unit.  It was interesting to choose which questions were out of how many points.  In one question there were sub questions a-d.  A-C all had the exact same points due to the fact there were only two steps to find the answer, however, D was out of 4 points because there was four steps the students had to complete to find the answer. Thus, the question overall was out of 10 even though there was only 4 questions.

In-class Assignment – This set up was the exact same as the quiz.  I chose to have a question from each section that we did and ensured that they covered the important aspects of each section.  This type of hand in assignment allowed me to see where the students were at with the material that we were learning and this is allowing my co-op to see if she needs to quickly go over something before she continues on with the unit.

I have been of course doing constant on-going formative assessment (which you can view in my previous posts) and adjusting my lessons and teaching strategies accordingly.  I have never realized that a teacher is always constantly assessing students all the time until I began teaching in my pre-internship.  As a teacher, I found that I was always trying to read my students and get feedback from them at certain points during my teaching so that I can adjust and re-explain things if needed.

 Here is a word document that contains my assessments and lesson plans for my last week of pre-internship Lesson Plans/Assessment

Easier said than done!

This week assessment is becoming a little more obvious for me.  I am starting to realize how I am constantly formatively assessing my students even though I am not actually recording anything down.  I have started to really take advantage of taking my time through examples and making pit stops to check for student understanding.  I will complete a couple of steps and ask the students “how are we up to here?” and depending on their answers (thumbs up/thumbs down/or just simply saying good or bad) I will continue on or take the time to go over the steps again.

I have also realized that while I am circulating the class as a teach or as the students work I can really see the students’ understanding or the students will be more willing to ask questions about the concept being taught.  This has aloud me to be more aware of all of my students’ understanding and not just the ones who participate/aren’t afraid to say anything during the lesson.     This week facial expressions have become a little more apparent when students don’t understand a concept.  You can see the blank look/look of confusion on their faces and without even having to ask I will take the time to go over the example again.  I have also realized that word choice and detail have become important while i’m explaining something.  It surprises me how creating a different way of saying something makes a big change for understanding.

This week I got to preform my 3rd type of summative assessment.  My Foundations and Precalculus 10 class had their Unit 4 exam yesterday and as the teacher, I get to spend the weekend marking their exams.  I have marked about half of my students’ tests today and I have found it quite challenging!  Not knowing what marks to give for what, if I should take off some marks for little errors that they should have known not to do, etc.  I thought grading tests and marking things would be so easy, put a check mark here and there and be good to go.  Was I ever wrong!  In math, if a student makes a silly little mistake it could affect their whole answer!   Please see the attached word document more my FPC10 lesson plans, different types of assessment I have used, and a sample of a test mark

Assessment everywhere!

I have complete my first week of pre-internship and I believe that I have been exposed to an ample amount of assessment thus far.  I have had the opportunity to not only spend time in my co-op’s room, but other teachers (with different subjects) classrooms as well.  What I have noticed, and I started to do while I teach as well, is that most all teachers take the time to paused during their lessons to check in with their students.  “How are we up to here?” “Thumbs up, thumbs down?” “Does this make sense to you guys?” Are some phrases that I have noticed that has been common amongst all teachers to see where their students are at with what they’re learning.  I have also noticed that the teachers all circulate their classroom while their students are working and watching them while they work.   These are two types of formative assessment that I have started to do while I teach as well. I circulate the class while they are working, I have noticed that the students are less afraid to ask a question or I can help a student more quickly as well.  I have as used the phrase “How are we up to here?” while I am teaching, this has allowed me to see how my students are doing and then I adapt my lesson accordingly.  If I ned to spend more time on a certain example or if I can speed through a certain topic quickly because they understand it well.

I have also completed my two types of summative assessment!  I got the students to complete a quiz on the three lessons that I have taught them (You can view the quiz in the document below). The quiz consisted of 4 questions each consisting of parts abcd.  Questions 1,2 and 4 were marked out of 8 (2 marks per questions), one mark for showing their work of how they got to their answer, and one mark for their answer.  Question 3 was out of 4 marks (one mark per question) because there was only one step the students needed to accomplish in order to complete the quiz.  The quiz total was out of 28.  The second type of summative assessment was a homework check.  The students will receive a mark out of 5 based on the completion of their homework, if it was in order, if they showed their work and if it was neat and tidy (you can see the rubric in the attached document below).

Something that I have found very helpful and I am happy my co-op was willing to share this with me was being able to look at her grade book!  My co-op has two copies of her grades, one in a binder and one online.  I have noticed that she split everything into categories and it keeps her very organized and all of her notes organized as well.  She has a section for each of her classes.  Within those sections there are sub-sections, where she has quizzes, assignments, homework checks, etc lined up.  She told me she ensures she includes the date it is assigned, the topic, what it is out of  in her categories when she assigns something to be assessed.  Once she gets her students’ work, she puts their mark under the category beside their name and highlights them once they are submitted online.    Since I have had my own opportunity to do some summative assessment, she has given me a page out of her binder so I can organize my own system of grading and how I would like to keep track of my students’ grades while I am teaching (You can see my copy on the document attached).

I feel as though in my first week of pre-internship I have been opened to an ample amount of assessment thus far.  I have viewed a grade book and have viewed many other teachers’, other than just my co-op’s, way of assessing formatively and summatively.  I cannot wait to see what the next two weeks bring because I’m sure I will be exposed to more ways of assessment as experience continues.   Please see the below word document that includes copies of the lessons I have taught thus far, pictures of the quiz/homework check rubric/marks recording, and types of assessment that I have used. 

Assessment examples/Lesson plans

Orientation

I spent Wednesday and Thursday hanging out at the high school I am placed at for my pre-internship.  These two days were kind of like an orientation for us to get familiar with the school, our c0-op, the students, the teachers and administrators.  I have never felt so welcomed at a school before.  Each teacher we passed in the hallway would greet us by saying hello/how are you with smiles on their faces.  One teacher gave us a mini-tour of the school as she was showing us our way to our co-ops room because my partner, Courtney, and I were lost due to the size of the school (over 1600 students).  As our co-op gave us an actual tour of the school, she stopped by different teachers’ classrooms to introduce us to them.  Each of the teachers invited Courtney and I into their classroom to observe their teaching or even teach at any time we want!  Everyone is so friendly, nice and inviting which is great to know and makes me feel so much better about the next three weeks.

When I met my co-op, Joni, I have never been so excited.  She was so friendly and welcoming to Courtney and I.  She greeted us with a big smile and seemed very down to earth and relatable. I found out that she was also a math major when she was in university and she actually had Rick (my main math professor/advisor) as a prof as well. She knows exactly what we are going through, experience wise and also back at the university class wise, which makes it so much easier for me to communicate and feel more comfortable around her.   I have only spent two days with her and I have came to the conclusion that I am going to have a great experience with her.  She has already given us a lot of tips about teaching/assessing/communicating and she is being very generous and sharing some of her teaching resources with us!

While I was observing her these past two days teaching her classes I noticed she is very explicit about everything with her students, particularly assessment! This stood out to me and I admire she does this. With my high school experience my teachers never let us know their expectations and how we were being assessed.  By being explicit with your students, like Joni does, it gives the students a sense of relief almost to know what they have to be able to do rather than being confused and in the dark about what needs to be met.  Joni’s first period class, WA 10, is doing a project on scaling.  On the handout of what the project consisted of, she included a break down on how the students will be assessed on their project.  The students can then work and create their projects accordingly because they now know what she is expecting their final creations to look like.   Her period four and five, both FP 10, classes have a quiz today. Yesterday she spent the day doing a review of the material that will be covered on the test.   She actually made a sample quiz and gave it to the students. She then continued to work with the students to complete these questions and explained to them that the quiz will be close to an exact replica of what they did today.  She also explained how each question would be weighted (whether they were out of 1 or 2 marks) and what she would be expecting (showing work/explanations/etc) under each question of the quiz.    The students seemed more relax after that review period because they knew what to expect the next day.  I want do this when I teach.

Also within the two days I was at the school I found out what class I would be teaching during my time there.  I have been given the opportunity to teacher Foundations of Mathematics and Pre-Calulus 10!  I will be finishing up her unit on exponents and radicals (starting this coming up week), which means by the end of the week I will have to create an assignment to get some evaluation/feedback on their understanding of the content, before their unit test which would occur the following tuesday. Perhaps I will be allows to partake in creating the unit exam because I taught the second half of the unit, time will tell!   After the unit test, I will then be starting and teaching most of Unit 5 which is on relations and functions.  We haven’t gotten that far yet but I’m sure there will be some sort of assessment that I will have to do, whether that is a quiz or assignment, to see where the students are at in their learning.   Joni’s major tip on formative assessment is observing the students’ work and to be constantly walking around the classroom.  She says that this way she can stop by and check in with the students who she feels is struggling and the students also seem more willing to call on her for help when she is circulating.  I am going to use this tip while I’m teaching, I think it will be a good way to see whether the students are comprehending the material and be able to adjust my teaching/lesson the next day if needed!

As stated above, I have never been so excited to be in such a welcoming school where I feel wanted, safe and comfortable.  I am looking forward to what the next three weeks will bring!

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