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Thomas Boczar EPSY 485 October 4, 2011

Assessment Assignment

1. Describe your school context a) The group of students in my physics class is very diverse. There are twenty-five students which consists of fourteen boys and eleven girls. About half the class is caucasian, and the other half is a pretty even mix between Asian, Hispanic, and African American. There is one student with white male student with ADHD. This class mostly consists of freshman with three sophomores. These are average academic achieving students, meaning they are on the general education track. The three sophomores are retaking this class, as they failed last semester with a different teacher on my team in the Science department. b) The demographics of the school are similar to that of my classroom. White makes up the majority with just over fifty percent, about twenty percent African American, fifteen percent Asian, and fifteen percent Hispanic. About three percent are special needs Most of these student come from a low-middle class family, with a family income averaging $55,000. This school is less well-off than several of the other schools in the district. The district average family income is $64,000. The demographics for the district are as follows: sixty percent white, fifteen percent African American, fifteen percent Asian, ten percent Hispanic, and ten percent other. The percent of students requiring special needs is about the same as the school. 2. Unit of Study a) The title of the unit I will be working on is One-dimensional and motion. Like mentioned above, the majority of my classroom is high school freshmen, with a few sophomores retaking the course.

Thomas Boczar EPSY 485 October 4, 2011

b) Some essential questions are: What is displacement, velocity, and acceleration? What does it mean to have a negative velocity or acceleration? What is the difference between displacement and distance/ speed and velocity? What are the mathematical relationships between displacement, velocity, and acceleration? What is gravity/is the acceleration constant or changing? c) Learning objectives: -The students will be able to find displacement, velocity, or acceleration if two variables are given in the problem. -The students will be able to graph the three variables as a function of time for a given situation. -The students will be able to decipher the difference in displacement/distance, and speed/velocity -The students will be able to graph displacement, velocity, and acceleration vs. time -The students will know the difference between average and instantaneous velocity and acceleration -The students will know what a positive or negative displacement, velocity, or acceleration is. There are six stages to Andersons Revised Taxonomy: remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating. Although I have several learning objectives, some of them are very similar, just very specific. Having students be able to graph displacement, velocity, and acceleration vs time, falls under the creating stage of Andersons taxonomy because they will have to go through the first five stages to get to that sixth stage. Having students solve problems with mathematical equations requires the analyzing stage because they have to see what they problem is asking for, and what information they have, and analyze this to figure out how to solve the problem. However, the objective that has students deciphering the difference between

Thomas Boczar EPSY 485 October 4, 2011

displacement/distance, and velocity/speed falls under lower cognitive skills, ie. remembering and understanding, because they have to remember and understand the definitions, but then they will apply what they know to a specific question or problem. d) To start the lesson, I will write a couple warm-up questions on the board like, If a runner in a race speeds up, what will happen to the time compared to him not speeding up? or a trick question like, There are two runners- one has a constant velocity and the other is accelerating. Who wins the race? We dont know enough information about this problem to answer that. After this, I will dive into a short lecture about displacement, velocity, and acceleration. I will derive some mathematical formulas and define the terms. After this, I will ask the students if they have any questions, and then split them up into groups to work together on a worksheet I formulated. This should take up most of the fifty minute class period. The following day, the procedure will be the same at the beginning, where they have a warm-up questions such as What does it mean to have a negative velocity that has an increasing slope? I will not directly answer this question, but have them work on a lab with motion detectors dealing with graphs that show the relationship between distance vs. time and velocity vs. time. I will pair students that I feel have a good grasp on the material with students that are struggling a little more, so they can help them out. At the end, I will have them discuss their answers for a few minutes with a different random partner, and then come back together as a class and call on students to draw the thirteen graphs on the board. While all this activity is going on, I will walk around as a form of informal assessment. I will randomly call on people to draw their graphs and explain it, which will also be used to assess

Thomas Boczar EPSY 485 October 4, 2011

the students understanding of the concepts. This lab and discussion may take two days to complete, but it is valuable to the students achieving the learning objectives. 3) Assessment during instruction activity A) a) See attached b) The first item on my quiz that I formulated is multiple choice question that deals with free fall, and the thing that I really want to see if the students understand is that gravitational acceleration is constant. Im assuming most of the students will be able to realize that the velocity will increase, but I really want to see if they know that acceleration is constant. This is probably the easiest question on the quiz to get the students into physics mode thinking about kinematics. This particular multiple choice question requires a low cognitive skill as you they simply need to understand that gravity is constant. The second item on my quiz is drawing a graph of velocity vs. time and acceleration vs. time of the free fall. This item links to the objective that states the students should be able to draw graphs of velocity and acceleration vs. time. Only problem with this item is that if the student got number one wrong, they will most likely get this one wrong. However, if they drew what they got for number one, Id at least give them partial credit. This question requires a high level of cognitive skill as the student will need to create a graph. The third item is a problem that tests whether or not they know how to use the equations we derived in class, when given two of the three variables. I would give points for writing the equation, and getting the right numerical value. This falls under the analyzing stage of Andersons Taxonomy. The fourth item was true/ false. These three statements covered a couple objectives including knowing the difference between distance and displacement, average and instantaneous velocities, and what negative/

Thomas Boczar EPSY 485 October 4, 2011

positive displacements, velocities, and accelerations mean. Item four was similar to item one in that it requires low level of cognitive skill because the students need to remember or understand the concepts. The last item is matching where the change (or lack of) velocity and acceleration, and match it to the corresponding graph. I decided to use this objective again because I think seeing the relationships graphically can really help them understand the content conceptually. This item requires high level cognitive skill as the students will need to analyze and evaluate the situation with the appropriate graph. However, they are not creating because the graphs are already given, which makes the problem simpler than item two. c) See attached d) This assessment will be reliable, valid, and fair because these questions get at the same concepts as the lab packet, and worksheet. If the students did well on the worksheet and lab packet, and not well on the test, then obviously the quiz is not valid. To see if the quiz is reliable, I can administer the same quiz several weeks later and see if the scores are the similar. If so, then it is safe to consider the quiz reliable. Also, if I have several classes on the same topic, the average score from one class to the others should be very similar. If not, then I probably didnt do as good of a job presenting the material to the class with the lower average. They wont be identical, but they should definitely be within about five to ten percent of each other. This will measure the fairness of the quiz. B) Administering the Test a) I will conduct this activity by having the students sit at their seats, and this task will be completed individually in silence. I will give fifteen minutes because with the exception of number three, this test is very conceptual so fifteen minutes should be plenty of time if they

Thomas Boczar EPSY 485 October 4, 2011

know the material. If not, the amount of time I allot wont make a difference. This will not be a pop quiz because I want to give them time to prepare for it. They wont be allowed to use notes on it so they will have to memorize equations for number three, but the rest they either know it or they dont. I do plan on grading this quiz because it will motivate them to give forth an effort, and I will return it as well because it is important they learn from their mistakes. I can go over the quiz with them and explain the concepts of each question, briefly. For the student with ADHD, I may give a few extra minutes so they can focus and finish the quiz. a) I would definitely grade this quiz because it keeps the students motivated to give an effort. I know from experience when I knew something didnt count for a grade, if I wasnt sure of an answer, Id just say whatever, and guess. Id try a lot harder if I knew it was graded. I was a good student in high school too, so I could only imagine how hard itd be for the students that struggle to be motivated if its not even graded. It will be worth twenty points, which isnt significant to their grade, but its enough for them to care. C) Performance Criteria a) If the students do well on this quiz, they obviously understand the material. Again, the quiz is mostly conceptual so if they get the right answers, they know the material. Items two and five require a significant understanding of velocity and acceleration, and if they dont know it, they wont guess right, which is exactly what I want. Also, for true/false, I have them explain why it is false, if it is false. I imagine that a decent number of students will get item two wrong, because they have to draw their own diagram. They have to get item one correct, and know

Thomas Boczar EPSY 485 October 4, 2011

how to show the answer graphically, so if they dont get item one correct, they will only get a maximum of half credit if they drew the graph for their wrong answer from number one. b) To get an understanding of how many students get it or dont get it, I will look at the class average. If it is below an eighty percent, I may spend an extra day talking about onedimensional kinematics before moving onto two-dimensional kinematics. Also, Id go over the quiz the following class period on the board. Id ask some students to explain how they got their answer. I would also make sure to make myself available during lunch, study hall, or after school for students to come in and get extra help. D) Next Steps If the students seem to meet the learning objectives, I will move onto two-dimensional kinematics. The terms will be the same, but I will have to teach them how to break the three variables into x and y components. From there, the math is pretty much the same. I feel like this quiz will be enough to decide if I can move on because if the average is high, they obviously understand the concepts, and again, I structured it so they probably wont get lucky guessing, so if they got right answers, they know it well. I would be forced to re-teach only if my average was like sixty percent. There may be a few students that did very poorly while others did well, so the median is also important to look at. If its just a few students that dont get it, I will be available after school for additional tutoring or help. I probably wouldnt change my strategies too much because I use visual, auditory, and hands-on learning; group work and individual work; so I would have to really consider how much more I can differentiate my instruction. However, I dont think they will do poorly enough that I would

Thomas Boczar EPSY 485 October 4, 2011

have to change my teaching strategy. If they did, I would probably ask one of my colleagues for help because I used various techniques already. 4) Reflections In doing this assessment, I have learned the importance of using various items for an assessment, rather than an all-multiple choice assessment, for example. Different types of questions can get at student understanding from different angles. One type of question may show that a student knows the material, whereas a similar question, getting at the same topic, will show that maybe the student doesnt know it as well. I also learned informal assessment is probably the most important type of assessment because often times students may get lucky on a quiz, or memorize information right before a test, so it seems like they understand it where really, they just stored information in their short term memory. Observations on the other hand, dont lie. I think these assessment methods are generally effective in helping students learn depending on how they are used. If a teacher does the same type of assessment every time, the students may get used to it, and just learn how to study only for that certain type of assessment. In this lesson(s), I used many different types of assessment ranging from labs, worksheets, and quizzes, to observation and peer evaluation/explaining. Realistically, I wont use all these for a two day lesson, but I will make sure to cover these throughout a whole unit or semester, forcing students to be ready for anything. They will learn best this way. The one thing that I may have done differently if I had more time was maybe make my lesson geared more to apply to the great diversity I had in my classroom. Even though I differentiated my lessons pretty well, theres always new things I can try. I would definitely communicate with my colleagues and see how they run their classroom, and try to implement

Thomas Boczar EPSY 485 October 4, 2011

some of their ideas into my instruction. I feel like I did a good job at choosing my assessment items. Each of the items require different levels of cognitive skills, and that is important. One thing I could have done better was use a broader range of topics. However, since this assessment only covered about two days of a lesson, there wasnt much more I couldve tested them on. Normally, I may wait a couple more lessons for a formative assessment, and in the meantime use informal assessment by observing and having group discussions. Exit slips also work great. Some of the obstacles I had to overcome while doing this was being able to find my assessments that wouldnt bias against anybody in my classroom. I think I did a decent job at picking assessments that wouldnt be biased. For example, my lab was designated for the visual and hands-on learners, as well as my student with ADHD so they can move around without getting anxious. I also lectured and asked questions for the auditory learners. The most important thing to me when doing this assignment was picking a variety of assessments that were all different, but would show me any gaps in student understanding. Obviously this is a little difficult do since my class is fictitious, but it would a lot more clear when I try this combination of assessments in my own classroom someday.