Foundations and Assessment of Education/Edition 1/In Today's Schools Table of Contents/Assessment

Observations and Reflections from Today's Classrooms

Type Responses Here In the school that I work at I have observed many methods of assessments. Some methods that I have observed and done are the Jeopardy game, the SmartBoard, the computer and hands-on assignments. All of these are great tools for assessing students.

I have done assessments myself, not knowing that I was doing it. When the teacher I worked with would have something else to do,a meeting or getting caught up on grades for the gradebook, she would get me to get work together for the students, so I would make worksheets on the material they would be going over in the classroom. Now that I know a lot more about assessments I will be looking for what students know and what they are having trouble with.Msmhobbs04 (talk) 21:37, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Throughout my observation hours, one of the things I saw very little of was formal assessments. I think this is due to the fact that the school year was very close to ending. Many of the teachers were completing grades and were not administering any more formal tests; however, I saw many assignments and activities that tested the children's knowledge and skills in other ways.

In a third grade class in Virginia Beach, the students were working on creating "Flip" books. These were little books that they were writing and illustrating to discuss a topic of their choice that had been covered during the school year. It was so amazing to see the variety of topics that were chosen and how each child found interest in something different. A large portion of my time in the classroom was helping students edit their work. Although this was not formal testing, they really were being tested on their writing skills, knowledge of topic material, etc. It was a fun and exiting way to let the children voice their opinion about the most interesting topic learned but it was done in an organized way. The teachers really liked to see what the children had to say and in a way this was summative in allowing the teachers to see (at the end of the year) the most frequently chosen topics and why children enjoyed them. It was a fun and exciting project and I'm so glad I was able to be a part of it! Khedl002 (talk) 14:38, 1 August 2009 (UTC)khedl002

I have not yet completed my 30 hour observation, but I will speak about assessment from my prior years in school. During most of my school career, teachers viewed assessments as giving tests and grades. This was not a good practice for the students who performed poorly on tests but showed other evidence of learning.There was not much understanding of assessment in a dynamic and success-oriented classroom, and some teachers even ignored assessment and only did it when they had to. There were not assessments conducted while learning was taking place, and most assessments were formal and took place at the end of a chapter or unit.

Through the lectures and readings, I have found that the current practices of assessment that many teachers are implementing in the classroom are much more effective than the past practices I witnessed. For example, assessment is not just about tests, and students can be given multiple ways to express their learning. More students become engaged in this processa and more students learn. It is also not necessary for assessment to always be formal. Some of the most valuable insights from students come from moments that teachers do not typically associate with assessment. Informative assessment can occur anytime during the learning process and does not always have to occur at the end of the chapter or unit. These insights that I have learned about assessment will greatly help me in my future teaching career. Afett001 (talk) 22:45, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Throughout the summer we have talked about using formative and summative assessments. During my observation I was not able to see these actually in the works. I feel teachers are still in the state that summative assessments are what is still being used which i do not totally agree with and i believe there are many more ways to assess a students achievements. And, I would say that by using formative assessments is a great way for teachers to see how they are teaching. It is something that is desperately needed for a classroom so the teachers holds themselves accountable for a students progress.

I wish there had ben more formative and summative assessments used..not for grades necessarily. Just to see the students progression. I think overall the teacher was doing a great job with the students and it was interesting to see the testing format used in the classroom and how each teacher formatted their tests differently. Sston008 (talk) 17:00, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

I really like the idea of formative assessments. I don't remember seeing it when I was a student but I do see it in my children's classrooms. I believe formative assessments really help a teacher "fine tune" their teaching and help the students understand their own strengths and weaknesses. I particularly like that assessments don't have to be formal to be effective. That takes a lot of pressure off some students and helps them focus on what they need to work on. Assessments need not always be quizzes either. Using Bloom's Taxomony is a great way to check student's understanding of concepts. (talk) 00:31, 31 July 2009 (UTC) Sciaston (talk) 23:02, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

I know that during this class we have learned many things about assessment, but none of these things seemed to apply at the school where I completed my observations. I suppose this entry could also go under "Classroom Management" but the problems really were the students' faults and not the teacher'. I observed chorus class at a middle school in Suffolk. The sad thing was, since students are required to take some kind of arts class, most of the students were only taking the class for the "easy A". Also, and equally as unfortunate, the school board does not value arts classes as much as "core classes" so the arts teachers are told to "take it easy" on their students. The final exam that the students received was about the movie West Side Story. Since the students refused to watch the movie because it was a "stupid musical that made no sense" they obviously had a difficult time with a very simple test about it (the test had questions like, "describe maria in three words" and "what were the two gangs called?"). I was shocked at the classes' reaction when they received the test: the entire class began to exclaim that the test was "way to hard" and "totally unfair" and that the questions were "made up" and "stupid". Despite constant demands from the teacher for the students to stop talking during a test, they all kept talking louder and louder until many of them were yelling. Like all schools, this school has a policy that states that students are not allowed to talk during an exam because of obvious reasons. Because of this, many of the students failed the exam for yelling during it. It was unbelievable and completely unacceptable. Sbutl016 (talk) 00:56, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

The classroom that I conducted my observation in made plenty use of assessments! She would have reader worksheets that she would send home with the students to check their understanding of the readings. She would then require the students to compile all of their reader worksheets together, so that they could use them as a study guide for the SOLS, quizzes and tests. She had quizzes frequently as a method to prepare the students for the SOLS, and also to refresh information that they learned so they would constantly be repeating the information from the beginning of the school year to the end of the year. She valued assessments because it enabled her to give the students feedback, and also for the students to receive feedback from her. I feel that assessments are a great tool, and many of my teachers in the past not just my observation teacher have used assessments as well. I feel that she made a great use of assessments by constantly refreshing the students' minds with information. Even if it were just for ten or fifteen minutes at the beginning of class as a bell ringer exercise, which she often did, it allowed the students to keep the information fresh so they could remember it more efficiently. Rburt005 (talk) 02:53, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Formative assessments were not used very often throughout my education. Occasionally we would use very broad rubrics in high school to grade one another and sometimes teachers would ask us what we thought of a test. Often, this resulted in the changing of one or two multiple choice questions and that was it. I think my former instructors would’ve been much improved by the use of formative assessment rather than focusing upon numerical values, and I hope that formative assessment has caught on more in recent years especially with the lower grade levels. BitterAsianMan (talk) 15:39, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

I have not yet completed my 30-hour observation and I am sure assessment methods have changed since my time in school. However, after completing a lot of reading on this particular topic, I understand that almost anything can be used as a method for assessing students. I specifically remember writing samples used as formative assessments during my early years of school. I also remember many multiple-choice exams (which I do not agree with) and open note quizzes. Most of my experience with assessment as a child came from the “set you up for failure” mentality. I remember teachers not giving great reviews, guessing what I had to study, and then hoping and praying I learned the right material. This is not the school of thought I will abide by in my teaching career. I will make more of an effort to have my students all achieve their highest potential. There will be no guessing in my classroom. Abitt002 (talk) 19:49, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

During my observation i noticed that the director used a couple different types of assessment. One of the main assessments were the playing tests. These consitted of the entire section or the individual players to play a selected passage from the piece of music they were preparing in front of the rest of the ensemble. This is a way for the director to tell who knows their music and who is grasping the concepts that are being taught. Another form of assessment that i noticed was a more traditional paper format. Once or twice during my observation the director passed out workshhets that contained questions that related to the music they were playing. For instance, he had them define certain terms that appear in the music. I think that this helps in the learning of the music. Rcoll029 (talk) 04:34, 11 August 2009 (UTC)