Archive for October, 2011

The integration of the latest technology into the classroom is central to our students’ technological proficiency in the world after high school. Our students must be informed of and familiar with the latest networking technology so that they can carry that proficiency with them into college and their careers. In addition, new technology improves the learning of individuals in the classroom and provides opportunities for deeper engagement, as well as for new assessment practices. As Shermis and DiVesta (2011) write, “The purpose of applying technology in classroom assessment is threefold: to collect information with greater reliability and validity, to collect it more efficiently, and to provide a mechanism to feed into instructional efforts resulting from the assessment” (6611-6613). A good example of technology that would improve learning in a classroom would be the use of Gmail and Google Documents. Using Google documents, students could collaborate on PowerPoint presentations or an essay and wouldn’t have to limit their collaborative work to class time. This would mean that group projects would require less allotted time in class for group work which would free up time for instruction and engaging learning activities and allow for more group projects to happen throughout the year.

References:
Shermis, M., & DiVesta, F. (2011). Classroom Assessment in Action (Kindle Locations 6611-6613). Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

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Effective standards-based assessment will always include more forms of assessment then the unit test. All summative assessment components of a unit must be accompanied by several formative assessment practices and several self-assessment strategies. According to Shermis and DiVesta (2011), “Assessment of student progress occurs on a day-to-day, even moment-to-moment basis; it is not simply a grade assigned at the end of month or marking period; all methods of assessment provide key information about student progress” (pgs. 83-84). Formative assessments are the unofficial ‘checking up’ practices that teachers use to gauge student learning during a unit. Examples of formative assessments are asking students questions in class, listening in on small group discussions, asking your students to write down their thoughts about the lesson (this could be an entry or exit slip), giving pop quizzes, homework assignments, or communicating directly with the student to gauge how much they understand. Formative assessments improve learning because they provide teachers with a clear picture of their students’ understanding so that they can modify their lessons accordingly. Formative Assessments also help students solidify the information that they learn by providing opportunities for them to recite what they understand before they are asked to do so on the test.
References:
Shermis, M., DiVesta, F. (2011). Classroom Assessment in Action (Kindle Locations 2454-2455). Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. Kindle Edition.

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Reaching individual students requires planned and researched assessment practices that gauge individual student understanding and provide for further learning. Successful planning for assessments involves deciding what you will be attempting to infer from your student’s responses; how and when you will administer these assessments; and how it will change your instruction (Shermis and Divesta, 2011). In order to best infer what you can from student work, you must have a firm understanding of your students through intentional inquiry. You must make the effort to get to know your students so that you can plan your assessments appropriately. Because your students will vary in their intelligences and in their motivations, you must be prepared to assess what they know through multiple forms of assessment. Where one student may not perform well on tests but excels in projects, you may have another student who performs the opposite. This is why multiple and varying assessments are important. Your goal should be to help your students become proficient in every form of assessment you give them. By giving them multiple forms, you’re helping your students to understand that they can be successful especially if their strengths are not the typical focuses of your subject.
References:
Shermis, M. D. & DiVesta, F. J. (2011). Classroom assessment in action. Lanham, MD: Rowan & Littlefield.

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