Saturday, December 18, 2010

December solutions

Formative assessments are good. Lots of feedback on who knows what when.

Issue: Students needing to take and re-take quizzes and assessments to show mastery as it happens-they get lots of feedback and want to DO something to improve!

Solution: Google docs form that lets students sign up for what they are ready to do and when. Can't take credit for the idea, it was K.C. who came up with it. We put a button on our blackboard page with "quiz/test scheduler" that takes them to the form. They fill it out, it notifies us in email and then we can get a list and get things done in an orderly fashion.
It has been pretty miraculous. When you have multiple preps and students at different checkpoints, this is the way to individualize and at the same time puts the student in the driver's seat. On the form, they must indicate what they've done to prepare for the evaluation and also the date and time that they will complete it. So I can have a file with the materials ready at the right place and time and then grade it while they are sitting right there so they get the immediate gratification. Also, they watch while I plug it in to the grade book and they see how the new score changes their grade (or not) and we can set new goals, too.

Sure beats the mayhem of before!


tech guy said...

I love it! You have to read Wormelli's book Fair isn't Always Equal. Similar to the type of work that he does!

This really puts the student in charge of their learning and makes them responsible for improving (or at least allows them the ability to play along)

I'm curious if you average the two grades or replace the grade with the newer retest.

I want to hear what the mayhem of "before" was....perhaps that is what our school is doing right now.

Merry Christmas!


Andrea Weis said...

When it is a true formative assessment (what we are moving toward in our grade books) the original grade has a "0" weight if it does not show mastery and then when the student begins showing mastery, the grade is weighted. It's taking time to transition and adjust our grade books so that they really are recording how a student performs with each essential objective. We are not at the optimum level on this-it's a work in progress.

Tests have been trickier. We have to be very mindful in their construction, in that each question is tied to an objective and if an objective is not mastered then we reteach and re-eval for that specific objective. In tests, since we can pretty accurately determine what the minimal mastery will be from the previous assessments, we allow only partial points to be "earned back"-a way of rewarding enduring learning, but not horribly punishing students for taking a little longer to get to the finish line. Since we are dealing with some time constraints, we have to be realistic.

Mayhem: 14/22 students lining up before class to tell you, or "sign up" for what they need to do on what day, and me scurrying to make a list, get the copies made and check with each student to make sure that they have the prior work completed. Then have it ready before school/after school/during lunch/at the beginning of Braves time/at the end of Braves time for them to take. (hair pulling)

Merry: I get a spreadsheet with a time stamp and it tells me what to have ready for whom when and what they've done to prepare.