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Pugsley 1 Assessment Philosophy The purpose of assessments is to measure whether or not students have achieved the set objectives

for a given lesson or unit plan. When it comes to creating an assessment to measure learning success it is important to recognize the meaning of the word. First off, assessment does not mean test. A test is a certain type of assessment that helps serve the purpose of measuring the success of completing the objectives but it is not the only way. Another thing to remember is that assessments do not need to be formal and they do not need to be saved for the end of a lesson or a unit. A successful teacher is one that is regularly assessing their students understanding of the topic and even the instructions given. Informal assessments, or those done throughout the day/lesson, are essential in gauging student understanding and success. For example, when I give students directions it is good to ask them to repeat what they are going to do before they do it in order to assess whether or not they understood the directions. If they are not able to repeat the directions the teacher knows that they need explain it in a different way. The same can be done during lectures or independent assignments in which the teacher can consistently ask review questions or observe student work to make sure that they understand what they are learning, and that they are on track to fulfilling the days objectives. What I had described above are examples of informal and formative assessments. Usually what people think when they think of assessments are the end of the unit tests or projects. Those are important tools when it comes to measuring what students have learned but I believe that it is the consistent formative and informal assessments that prepare students for those final summative assessments. When a teacher is consistently assessing student learning throughout the lessons and units they will be better prepared to meet their students needs and help them accomplish the final objectives or do well on the final assessments.

Pugsley 2 Another important aspect about assessments that I feel is important, especially when it comes to final summative assessments is variety. As I mentioned above, assessment does not equal test. A summative assessment does not need to be in the format of a traditional test with multiple choice answers or fill in the blanks. Summative assessments can also be performance based assessments in which students complete a task as a way to demonstrate their knowledge and completion of the objectives. This is not to say that final exams are a bad idea but rather they should not be the only form of assessment used. The reason for this is that giving a variety of assessments is one of the best ways to meet the different learning needs of the students in the class. Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners Assessment plans, as well as lesson plans, should not be done on a one size fits all basis. That is not to say that you need to plan a different lesson or assessment for each of your students (that would be time consuming and immensely impractical) but that lessons and assessments should be modified to meet the needs of different students or groups of students. The key to successful assessment modifications is being aware of your students strengths and weaknesses. One reason to modify an assessment may be to meet the needs of those students who will finish early or need an extra challenge. An important aspect about modifying assessments and lessons is that the modifications do not need to be complex. A technique that I like to use is to require all students to complete a certain task and then adding on to it for those who finish early. I do this often when I create graphic organizers for my lessons. For example, I created a graphic organizer in which students would compare the three regions of the 13 Colonies. That was something that all students were required to complete and on the back I included a bonus critical thinking question that I wanted all students to attempt if they had finished early. The critical thinking question would not count against their grade but rather would serve as a formative assessment for me as a way to gauge their critical thinking abilities

Pugsley 3 and their abilities to make connections from the information they had just learned. That type of modification was a simple add on that served to help those students who would finish early but at the same time it did not add pressure to those who needed extra help. The second reason to modify an assessment is to address the needs of those who may need extra help, whether it is linguistic support or support for those who may receive special education services. Once again, this does not need to be a complex overhaul of the assessment plan. For example, in an informal assessment a teacher can ask students to recite information that they have learned instead of writing it out or the teacher can provide a word bank if they want students to be able to write a paragraph using key vocabulary words. One thing that I feel helps students is to provide opportunities for group work/assessments in which they are assigned specific tasks but all have to work together. Less complex tasks can be assigned to those who need extra support which would still allow them to participate while the teacher observes to check for understanding. When it comes down to it I feel that the biggest way to reach the diverse needs of the students is to use a variety of assessments and recognize that tests or quizzes are not the only way to prove understanding. Teachers should observe students working, review their assignments, use verbal informal checks for understanding and provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their mastery of the content through other means such as performance based tasks. There are many tools and methods available for assessment and it is important to use them according to the needs of the students. Sample Assessment Plan: Unit on the Constitution Unit Learning Goals: Standard 5: Students will understand the significance of the American Revolution in the development of the United States. o Objective 4: Examine the effects of the Revolution on the United States

Pugsley 4 b. Determine the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation Standard 6: Students will understand the structure and function of the United States government established by the Constitution o Objective 2: Analyze the compromises that led to the ratification of the Constitution o Objective 3: Examine the basic structure of the Constitution Explore the role and functions of the three branches of government. Examine the Constitutional principles of separation of powers and checks and balances.

Performance Assessment Example The first unit that I will be teaching as a student teacher is on the Constitution. This is a very complex topic and one that will be difficult to cover in a matter of days. However, I do have some key points that I have picked out and some specific learning goals that I want my students to be able to accomplish. My final day of this unit plan is all about how the Constitution is used today with a specific focus on how laws are created and passed as a way to explain the roles of the branches of government. The following are the learning goals for that days lesson: Students will be able to demonstrate the rights, powers and responsibilities of the three branches of government in creation of new laws. Students will be able to recall the process in which a new law is created

The way this will be assessed will be through a role-play activity in which students will play the role of members of Congress in order to create, propose and pass a new classroom law (procedure or rule). Procedures for the Performance Assessment: Students will be divided into committees (groups of 4-5) Roles will be assigned within the committee o Committee chair (group leader) o Scribe o Committee support members (will help come up with ideas and assist in other needed tasks) o Committee spokesperson (will share the proposed bill with the other groups/class) Students will have 2-5 minutes to brainstorm a list of any changes or rules they feel that the classroom needs o Guidelines will be given about what will be an acceptable rule-it cannot violate the school Constitution (policy)

Pugsley 5 After brainstorming in their committees they will decide on one and will draft a bill o The draft (in writing) will explain what is going to be added or changed in the classroom and the reason why o It will also include articles defining the bill and procedures for enforcing it o All committee members will sign their names to the bill After writing the bill the committee spokesperson will share it with the class After all bills have been shared the Senate members will vote for the best one (slightly different than in real life) President (teacher) will either sign the bill into law or veto it Performance Assessment Rubric: Participation: (based on teacher observation of groups and possible group evaluation) 3 Points-Fulfills Assigned role-actively participating in the group writing and discussion 2 Point- Participates but needs one or two reminders from the teacher to do so 1 Point-Consistently needs to be reminded to participate

Proposed/Chosen bill: 2 Points-Students will include their brainstorm list that includes at least five ideas. Students choose a change that is plausible (a change that could actually take place in the classroom) and does not go against school policy 1 Point- Brainstorm list includes less than five ideas but proposed law is still plausible 0 Points-No law chosen or law chosen is one that violates school policy

Writing the bill: 5 Pointso The bill has a title o Includes two sections that are clearly labeled (one for the definition and one for the procedures of how it will be enforced or implemented) o Each section is at least 3-5 sentences in length o No spelling or grammatical errors 4 Points o the bill has a title o the two sections are included and labeled o Each section is at least 3-5 sentences in length o No more than 1-2 spelling or grammatical errors are allowed 3 Points: o The bill has a title o The two sections are labeled but are less than three sentences each o No more than 3-4 spelling or grammatical errors 2 Points

Pugsley 6 o The bill has a title o Sections are labeled o At least one sentence for each section 1 Point: o The bill has a title

Oral Presentation of the bill 3 Points-Spokesperson reads the bill to the class Bonus 2 points added if your bill receives the most votes or all group members can answer orally why they think the bill would be good for the class.

Total points possible: 15 Journal Writing Assessment As a follow up to the performance assessment above each student will either write a paragraph that explains the roles of the three branches of government and how they are different, or, they will write a paragraph explaining the process in which a bill becomes a law. The purpose of this assessment is for them to demonstrate knowledge obtained from the previous days lessons, including the role-play activity/assessment in which they acted out a condensed version of how new laws are created. This will also help me to know that each individual student understands these concepts which can be difficult to gauge sometimes from group work. The assignment will be worth 5 points for answering one of the questions or the students can answer both for an additional 5 points. Other Examples of Assessments The role-play assessment explained above will serve as the final assessment on the unit about the Constitution. However, there will be several other examples of assessments used throughout the unit plan and each individual lesson plan within it. The following is a list and explanation of the other assessments that I will be using as evidence for student understanding. Class oral review/assessment: This will be used on the first day after students will have categorized the powers granted by the Articles of Confederation on a graphic organizer. I will mention several powers granted by the Articles and students will raise their hand and state

Pugsley 7 whether it belonged to the states of national government. A similar assessment will also be given after students have completed a graphic organizer about the three branches of government defined by the Constitution later in the unit. Brief written quiz: This is similar to the oral quiz but students are responsible for working on it individually and it can be used to determine if individual students understand the topic. Oral reviews/assessments given to class as a whole are a good way to check for understanding but it often ends up being that not all students respond so a more individualized assessment needs to be given such as a brief written quiz. In this particular unit plan the quiz will ask students to define the word confederation and to list one power granted to the states and one granted to the national government by the Articles of Confederation. Role-Play/Debate: In this assessment students will demonstrate their understanding of the two opposing sides that debated about the need for a new Constitution. The two sides are the federalists and anti-federalists. Students will be placed into groups and assigned one of the sides and after reading a handout about their arguments will debate with the other side about whether or not the Constitution was needed. This will allow students to demonstrate their understanding about the conflicts in ratifying the Constitution. Observations: One thing I will consistently do throughout my lessons is observe students when they are working in groups and independently to check that they are doing the assignment correctly and also that they understand the material and provide support as needed.