Course Introductions and Assessment Assessment

 

We are going to kick off the course by having each of you tell us about yourself as a teacher an assessment about your practices with different types of assessments. 

Here is what you should include in your self assessment:

1. Facts about your teaching. Where do you teach? How long have you been teaching? Whom do you teach (grade, content area)? 

2. What kinds of assessments you do most commonly? Be specific. For example, don't say exit ticket, talk about the way you use them and what you intend to accomplish with them. You could also give us some examples of ones you think particularly work or not.

3. What would you say your strengths are in terms of assessment? Again, be specific and use examples.

4. What would you say are your areas for growth in terms of assessment? Again, be specific and use examples.

5. In what ways have you used data to improve either your instruction or student learning? Once again, be specific and use examples.

5. What are you hoping to accomplish in this course? What would you like to walk away with when we are done?

I expect your responses to be thorough and thoughtful. 

You are not required to respond to anyone. That being said, we are building a community here, so why not reach out.

You can participate in this discussion by posting a reply below. This is due no later than Monday June 3rd.

    • Mashfiq Ahmed

      By Mashfiq Ahmed

      Hello,

      I am a first year teacher at John Dewey High School in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. I am currently teaching chemistry to students ranging from 9th grade all the way to 12th grade. My classes have a mix of general education, English language learners, and students with disabilities. 

      I use a variety of assessment strategies in my classroom. Each class begins with an initial activity where students are posed with questions that they have to answer. Depending on the lesson for the day, these questions can be open-ended and have them warm up to today's topic or it could be a review of the previous lesson. If it is the latter, I am assessing their content knowledge from the prior lesson. Students are expected to retain this knowledge shown in the initial activity as it will segue to the current lesson. Similarly, exit tickets are also used to assess students' content knowledge on the current lesson. The data from initial activities and exit tickets are used to inform my instruction. If students are doing well, then I know I can move on to the next topic. If they are still struggling, then I will most likely have to reteach the material that they got wrong or have misconceptions about.

      Another formative assessment strategy that I utilize is mind mapping. With this, students are tasked with creating a concept map of a specific topic or unit. Students are able to visualize their understanding a topic and show how it can connect and link with other topics within that unit. Often times, when students are done, they are asked to combine their concept maps within their groups to create one giant concept map linking their smaller ones together. Mind mapping helps me assess a student's understanding of the concepts within a given unit. This is typically done in preparation for an exam, which is considered to be a summative assessment. With exams, it is usually a mix of multiple choice and short answer responses that follow the format of the Chemistry Regents exam. Based on the data analysis from exams, I hope to understand which New York State Standards are students struggling with the most so I can revisit these heavily during Regents review. 

      One of my strengths for assessments is protocol and procedures. When students walk in, they understand procedures of assessments after doing it the first time. Initially, students were very confused by mind mapping. However, after showing them some examples and modeling one for them, they are now able to do them on their own. Another strength for my assessments is data analysis. Specifically with summative assessments, I am able to successfully use technology such as GradeCam to provide an accurate data analysis. For instance, I can pinpoint which question students struggled with the most and what was the most common answer choice that they selected. Since these are Regents-based questions, each question is aligned to a specific standard. This will help me address any misconceptions as well as create a plan of action where I can create an instructional shift to help my students improve.

      One area for growth that I have is definitively feedback. Students have rubrics with their projects and lab notebooks, but it is still necessary to provide detailed feedback. In the case of projects, I currently circle/highlight what level they meet on a rubric and provide one or two comments where they can improve. For lab notebooks, since students have over 20 laboratory experiments done, I try to have at least one lab that is fully covered with feedback. In turn, students can use these as a guide for future writing in their lab notebooks. However, I would ideally like to provide detailed feedback for every single student on every lab assignment.

      I always use data to inform my instruction and student learning. At the end of each exam, I create a unit analysis where I tally up the percentages of students who passed. These percentages are also done for the different groups of learners: general education, ELLs, and SWDs. Next, I analyze the questions in relation to standards and target which are the highest performing standards and which are the lowest performing. Afterwards, I pick a few students from each learning group and identify the specific standards they are doing well in and also struggling with. I reflect back on what teaching strategies work best on them and then create an action plan and instructional shift to better cater to their needs. For example, if a student learns better through hands-on learning, I might incorporate more hands-on activities and labs to explain chemistry concepts. If they are a visual learner, I might utilize more graphic organizers instead. 

      I am hoping to learn new forms of assessment that I can use in my classroom. In particular, I am interested in learning about assessment strategies during review lessons since I am about to start Regents review with my students. I would like to walk away with being more open minded to trying out new strategies and breaking past the monotony of the assessment strategies that I currently use. 

      • Gerald Ardito

        By Gerald Ardito

        Mashfiq,

        I really appreciate the depth and quality you brought to this assignment. And I have some questions for you.

        You said:

        If students are doing well, then I know I can move on to the next topic. If they are still struggling, then I will most likely have to reteach the material that they got wrong or have misconceptions about.

        I was wondering if you had a benchmark that you use to determine whether to move on or not. Is it 75% of the class? More? Less? 

        Also, I would love to see any tracking systems you use to keep track of this data.

        Lastly, we are going to be spending a lot of time dealing with providing effective feedback in your course. 

        Thanks.
        Dr. A.

        • Kevin Walker

          By Kevin Walker

          Hello classmates and Dr. G. Ardito,

          My name is Kevin Walker, and I am a first-year chemistry teacher at Flushing High School in Queens, New York. I currently teach five different classes, each having an average of thirty students. The students range from 9th grade to 12th grade. I have one class that is made up of 9th-grade students, however, the other classes are a mixture of different grades. 

          I use powerpoint in most if not all my classes. I usually start the lesson with a do now activity; this is an assessment of the previous lesson taught or an evaluation of what the students currently know about the topic that will be discussed today. The do now activity is a brief assessment which takes about four or five minutes to accomplish. While the students are performing this activity, I would be walking around to find out which student is struggling, who have some idea and who understand fully. Following the do now exercise I would spend a few minutes clarifying any persistent misconceptions that I see. If more than six students are struggling, I will end up paying additional time clearing up misconceptions followed by asking a few of the struggling students to the board to work similar questions. While on the board, the student would be expected to explain the different steps they are taking. 

          Another assessment that I use a lot in my classroom involves the showing of fingers after hearing a sharp "fingers'. This process is a check for understanding after a concept is taught. The students are given regents type questions and are given 30 seconds to answer, except in cases where more time is required. The questions take the form of multiple choice questions, with answers 1, 2, 3 or 4. the students would put up the same number of fingers as the answer choice that they think is correct. The students will not raise their fingers until I give the sharp 'fingers' command. I would then get a chance to see how many students choose the correct answer so I could determine if I need to go over the topic or move ahead. The students love this kind of assessment because they view this as a game, and it helps to increase the pace of the lesson. 

          This check for understanding assessment is a vital tool for my classroom, it gets all the students attention, and I get a chance to see where the class is at in real time. These check for understanding questions usually comes in sets of three questions, multiple choices. The limitation of this type of assessment is the time constraint that the students have in which to answer, and lack of written responds. The exam has a section that requires written response and the use of multiple choice questions can lead me into believing that the students fully understand, while in fact, they know enough to select the right answer correctly but cannot explain why a particular answer is the best one. 

          From this course, I am hoping to learn of different pedagogies that I can employ in my classroom to foster greater understanding and love for chemistry. I anticipate sharing ideas and teaching experiences that we can all learn and benefit from.

          (Response to feedback)

          Thanks for spending the time and providing the feedback given. In regards to keeping track of the fingers game, I have not devised or employed any specific scripted method. However, I do keep a mental check of specific students who frequently have a misunderstanding. I also tailor my later lessons based on questions that students in my first period may have gotten incorrect. If in my first period I find more than15 percent of students raise the wrong finger in response to a question, then in my subsequent periods, I will offer further clarification so a reduce this number. I, however, will work on devising and scripting an effective tracking process to use alongside the finger game.

          The Do Now activity is usually given as soon as the students enter the room. It usually takes the form of 2 or 3 questions and it is designed to address the lesson taught the previous day. The Do Now activity should take the students about 4 or 5 minutes and require very little prompting or explanation on my part. The question will be projected on the screen and also on the top portion of the daily hand out that each student receives. The students will be told that the questions should be done independently and quietly. A typical Do Now question. 

          How many joules are absorbed when 50.0 g of water is heated from 30.5 C to 57.9 C?

          How many joules of heat energy are released when 30.0 g of water is cooled from 70.0 C to 60.0 C? 

          The students would be given those two questions are 5 mins to complete them. While the students are working, I would be walking around at and checking in to see if they are using the correct formula to solve the problem, using the correct units, and solving the problem correctly. I would stop and ask students why are they choosing that formula? What clues in the question that you are using to help you solve it? If students are struggling I would ask them the three different heat energy formula, then ask them which one do they think would be the most appropriate formula for this question and why? When the 5 minutes alarm goes off I would tell the students to finish their sentence then put their pencils down. I would then ask for a volunteer to come to the board to work one question out and explain step by step as they work. 

           

          • Charli Frankel

            By Charli Frankel

            Hello everyone, 

            My name is Charli and I am currently teaching Chemistry at the Urban Assembly School of Music and Art. UAMA is located in Downtown Brooklyn. I have been teaching for almost one year now. Currently I am teaching Regents Chemistry to 11th and 12th graders. I teach two general education courses and two ICT courses.

            There is some form of assessment every single day for each class that I teach. Many times, for exit tickets a problem regarding the day’s lesson is displayed on the board. Students use an index card to write their answer and then they are passed to the front of the room. Exit tickets (unlike worksheets and activities) are done silently and independently to ensure that I can get a better understanding of how much each student knows and what they can do without my or a peer’s help. When the content is not too heavy on the calculations but rather the concept, I use something called the traffic light exit ticket. I have a large poster of a traffic sign by the door – students are given a small post-it note and are instructed to write down something they feel they understand completely (green light), something they still have some clarifying questions on (yellow light), and something they are still really struggling with (red light). Then as students leave they post their post-it onto the traffic light. It gives me a good understanding of 2 things: 1) how many students really understood the topic/how many have not grasped the lesson and 2) questions/points of the lesson that need to be revisited. Both of these exit ticket strategies allow me to gauge whether or not I can move on to the next topic. If 80% of the class demonstrates understanding of the topic, I will move on. The remaining students who do not fall under the 80% are encouraged to visit me during free periods. Other forms of assessment are worksheets, weekly deliverables, and end of marking period exams and projects. An exam and project are given at the end of every single marking period (exams focus heavily on the content and the projects focus on the real-life applications of the topics we’ve covered). Weekly deliverables are particularly useful for me – these are given on Fridays and ask students to perform calculations and conceptual questions regarding the content that was covered during that week. I also have students use a self-assessment and reflection when they participate in discussions. We typically have discussions for our unit projects to help support their writing and arguments. I use a modified four-corner discussion protocol for discussion.  

             

            I think one of my strengths is using the data from assessments to inform instruction for the next day. If I do need to reteach a lesson I will not use the same lesson or method that I used the previous day. I will then provide students with a larger variety of sources in order to understand the content or steps for calculations/problem solving. Another strength I have is using very detailed rubrics to guide the grading process.

             

            I think an area for growth in terms of assessment would be the use of worksheets. I often have a hard time controlling the issue of students copying other students’ work. For this reason, I would like to incorporate more technology into the process. I would love to use a platform where the same types of questions are asked of each student but the actual numbers are different so that students can’t simply just ask “what you got for number 5” and copy down the answer. It would also be useful if students weren’t allowed to move onto the next question unless they completed the one they are working on as well as not being able to go back and revisit questions they have completed (although this may present new issues). I would also like to learn how to better differentiate exams for students in my ICT classes. I also think another area for growth would be to provide better feedback on assessments. It takes an enormous amount of time to just grade and analyze the data and I often find it difficult to find the time to provide good feedback to my students on all assessments which I know is extremely important to their learning and mastery of the lessons.  

             

            I use data from the previous day’s exit tickets to improve my instruction because I will make sure to revisit the topics again before moving on to the next topic. Very often chemistry builds on previous topics and so it is easy for things to snowball – if you are stuck on one topic it is likely you will have difficulty with the next one. It is important that I do not move too fast through topics for this reason. When grading exit tickets, I separate them into three piles: 1) correct answers 2) answers that are almost there but have some technical problems (correct setup but plugged into the calculator wrong, etc.) and 3) incorrect answers. I count how many are in each pile and come up with my percentages. If piles 1 and 2 comprise 80% or more of the papers I will move on and if it is under I will generally decide to revisit the lesson. There have been a few times where instead of re-teaching the lesson I posted videos of full length lessons on google classroom. I also use data from unit exams where I calculate the percentages of those in the following ranges: 0-64%, 65-79%, 80-89%, and 90-100%. I also do analysis to find the questions that are most commonly answered incorrectly (these will be reviewed again). The same procedure is done for weekly deliverables.

             

            I am hoping to improve upon the kinds and quality of assessments I am giving to my students to ensure that they are truly capturing my students understanding and abilities. I am also hoping to walk away with more ways to incorporate technology into my assessment and data analysis process. I believe being able to incorporate technology would allow for more variety in the type of questions being asked and would also make the grading portion of assessment easier as it does become difficult when you have over 100 students.

            • Anees Mohammad

              By Anees Mohammad

               

              Greetings,

              I am a first-year science teacher at John Dewey High School, a district 21school located in South Brooklyn. This year I taught two sections of Anatomy & Physiology to our school’s sophomore pre-med students, and three sections of Health Careers to the freshmen pre-med class. This was an exciting first year for me because I was responsible for developing the curriculum for both courses. As we conclude the school year I look back at it all as a rewarding experience because I grew tremendously in regards to my planning, pedagogy, and management as a teacher.

              This year I have utilized a plethora of assessment strategies, some which engage student interest and learning better than others. At the start of every class, I pose open-ended journal prompts which are intended to tap into student prior knowledge of the topic of the day. An example of an open-ended prompt is, “Describe a time when you had a cold or flu. How did you feel? What were your symptoms? How long did they last? What type of homeopathic remedies did you try?”. The purpose of journal prompts is to get students to think about what they are going to learn through a lens of personal experience. This practice of cultural pedagogy has proven itself effective throughout the course of the year compared to initial activities that require specific responses. After the initial activity, I have students perform a minute long turn and talk. This practice allows students to discuss and share their ideas in a low-risk setting. Further, the open-ended journals have no wrong answers, therefore, the students share what they know and engage in conversation. Following the turn & talk, I do a quick classroom share-out and record popular responses on the board and then move into the lesson.

              Two of my favorite and most effective tools of formative assessment are concept mapping and science text cards. Concept mapping is something I was able to introduce to my students very early on in the school year. The response from students was positive; students were able to make visual representations of learned concepts. This engaged my low-achieving students as well as my high-achievers (see below for student work). In my class, I have utilized concept maps on an individual level where students are responsible for creating their own map. However, next year I plan on having groups create maps together. I know that when Mashfiq (who works with me at Dewey) uses them, he has students create maps for sub-topics and as a group, they connect everything together. Science text cards are another effective tool of formative assessment. Very often they are confused for flashcards, however, text cards have distinguishable features. Science text cards include concepts, definitions, statements, functions, and ideas. Students make cards on large 5” by 8” index cards. On one side they write the name of the topic and on the back, they write down definitions, statements, and sometimes drawings. With the cards, I have students come up with true or false statements. Students then test their groups by asking true or false statements. Groups then review all the terms that they incorrectly identified. This allows me to distinguish student misconceptions and students re-teach when necessary. This is one of my favorite practices because students take accountability for what they should know.

              My strengths in regards to assessments are that I utilize different forms of summative assessments such as team-based quizzes and exams as well as student-curated portfolios. Team-based quizzes create a low-risk environment and students engage in dialogue that allows them to assess what they do and do not know. I typically have students individually complete a quiz or exam before I have them complete a team-based quiz. This practice allows me to analyze which individual questions students got wrong and which topics teams got wrong. Then I re-teach using concept maps or text cards. This last semester students in my Anatomy courses created a portfolio for everything covered. Each student was responsible for completing his/her own portfolio. Deadlines and expectations were made clear and I was able to hold conferences with each student throughout its completion.

              This year I struggled with providing timely student feedback. I do a good job providing informal feedback, which is feedback at the moment. However, I would like to work on providing formal feedback through one-on-one conferencing more often next year. Further, I would like to be able to create trackers that I can use and trackers that students can use. I know that doing this will hold students accountable and will also allow me to pinpoint areas where students are struggling and provide appropriate scaffolding and differentiation.

              I use data collected through grade cam and surveys all the time. Gradecam is very intuitive; it analyzes the data for me and I get to see statistics and identify student misconceptions. Once misconceptions are identified I review and reteach. As great as grade cam is,  it is only useful for identifying misconceptions after a unit is completed. To identify misconceptions I hand out student surveys at the end of lessons, in which they rank their level of understanding for a topic. This practice is very useful because it guides instruction throughout the unit rather than when it ends.

              My goal for this summer is to learn new forms of assessment strategies and improve my current practices. Specifically, I am interested in learning new formative assessment practices because well developed formative practices will produce higher levels of student understanding. I want my students being able to leave my classroom daily with something new that they can reflect on.

              Yours truly,

              Anees Mohammad

               

               

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              • Christopher Colella

                By Christopher Colella

                Greetings! My name is Christopher Colella and I teach at Union Square Academy for Health Sciences, a small CTE school located in the busy Washington Irving Campus by Union Square in Manhattan. I’ve been teaching for one year now, although I have three years total experience working in a classroom setting if we include tutoring and student teaching with the DOE through CUNY. I teach Chemistry and Physics to students ranging from 10th to 12th grade.

                When exit tickets are used as a formative assessment, they are used to assess student understanding of the topic at hand in the lesson. When using exit tickets, I tend to ask three types of questions:

                1. Define or explain the topic we learned today in your own words

                2. Apply the concept we learned today in a question set relevant to the lesson

                3. Expand application of the concept to questions relevant to the unit as a whole.

                    The purpose of these types of questions are to connect these topics to the entire curriculum, assessing students’ comprehension on several different levels and to see what exactly the students need help with. For example, if most students have trouble with the first question, then this can be seen as a reflection of the teacher’s lesson not landing as opposed to the students’ misunderstanding. The strength behind these types of assessments are meant to inform teaching in future lessons and which topics need to be reviewed or reworded. Although these exit tickets can be informative on a lesson-lesson basis, it may not give a clear picture as to how students comprehend and connect the lessons and can apply them in different types of problems.

                    Other formative assessments I have found effective include weekly or biweekly quizzes. This creates a more immediate urgency for students to study and I find that these quizzes prepare students for performing on exams and inform teachers on problem areas in the class across an entire unit, while the exit tickets mainly work in terms of a single lesson. Quizzes are used mainly to assess student learning and determine the test-based portion of their grades. I believe students take the quizzes seriously which is a positive, but it can also bring stress to other students and may not reflect students’ understanding in the class (for example, I know many students who are poor test takers but are very hard workers. Is a quiz really the best way to assess their understanding and performance in the classroom?)

                 

                    My strength personally would be finding trends within assessment data. Using scantron systems and online quizzes and forms has made my data analysis and tackling of specific problems significantly easier. I have used data many times throughout my first year to return to specific topics and questions and correct student understanding in the specific areas they have the most trouble or confusion in. My areas of growth would likely be balancing assessment time with class time. Often I may decide to skip a summative exit ticket and make it the next day’s do now because students’ questioning on certain topics during practice may be more extensive than expected. Timing the classroom’s progression can be difficult in Chemistry in my school, as our students have chronic absence issues and generally require some reteaching from time to time of relevant skills in a unit.

                 

                Next year, I plan on making students more accountable for their progress and attendance by offering more informal style quizzes and “pop” quizzes. I find that students may come in for a quiz and then miss the next day- by making students accountable for their learning every day, I would expect more students to make the effort to come in daily and on-time. I would also be more timely in formal assessment feedback and returning student assignments- however, I feel reluctant to return assignments immediately as the students feel compelled to share their assignments with other students who copy the assignment and turn it in late. Unfortunately, many aspects of the school culture are hard to break and our students have no trouble thinking twice about cheating and copying work verbatim, despite the ramifications of these behaviors when or if they are noticed.

                    This class seems like it will be very helpful for my needs to create better, more time-sensitive and relevant assessments for students for the NGSS standards as well as for the Regents examinations. As much as I get good data from the students to inform my teaching on a lesson or unit basis, I do not yet know how they will perform on the regents or how effectively I prepared them for the culminating assessment this current batch of students will do. Through more critical analysis of the Regents and their questioning, I believe I can integrate Regents level thinking for my students who generally struggle with finding context in questions or maintaining strong study habits for a full school year.

                • Christopher Willem

                  By Christopher Willem

                  Greetings,

                              My name is Chris Willem and I am a first year teacher at PS/IS 180 Hugo Newman in Harlem, New York. There I teach Science in grades 6-8, and Forensic Science. In each class I have about 30 students; all varying in learning levels and languages. I teach students in the general education, special education and English language learning demographics.

                             

                  Typically I try to incorporate formative assessments into my daily lessons. I use a “WALT and WILF” tracker each day. The WALT is We Are Learning To…, which establishes the purpose of the lesson. The WILF is What I’m Looking For…, which determines the target the students are aiming for that day. Both trackers have a 1-4 scale, with 4 being exceeding mastery, 3 being mastery level, 2 being approaching mastery, and 1 being needs improvement. These assessments take place during do-now’s, student engagement/student work, and exit tickets. I believe that the WILF Tracker  is a solid tool to use to assess student engagement, but sometimes falls short with assessing student learning. This tool does allow the teacher to assess students on a daily basis however.

                   

                  These daily assessments allow the teacher to see an organized and measurable means to see student performance. In particular, this method determines which students are actively doing work and comprehending it, and which students are disengaged and off task. I can track these students and assess their learning and work habits leading up to any summative assessments. I can track to see which students are mastering the learning targets and which students need additional conferencing, or if I need to reteach any material. It is typically difficult to determine how engaged students are, but by creating a rubric and assigning a number to assess students, this measurable tool has helped me discover which lessons work and entice students to stay engaged, and also where I need to differentiate or find an alternative to my planned lesson.

                   

                  The trackers I use for formative assessments sometimes fall short detailing how much a student is learning. For example, a student might be answering questions on the exit ticket correctly, but even if the student makes an educated guess and is correct, they show up with the same number as a student who correctly answers and understands the question. The tracker does not always allow an accurate measurement for how much a student has learned. Alternatively, a student may have comprehended the lesson earlier, but made a small mental mistake and answered the question incorrectly. This student would receive the same score as a student that did not understand or is approaching that level. In the future, I need to create more “why?” questions that could measure their comprehension on a deeper level. Developing more rubrics and more planning ahead of time will allow me to have a broader assessment for each student.

                   

                  Typically, before the summative assessment I check which students are under the mastery level and check-in with them to find what points I need to re-teach. I usually curtail any differentiation in my summative assessments based on the limitations I notice in my tracker data. For example, if I notice a lower overall tracker score during my mitosis lessons, I may take more time to teach and push back my test on that unit, or even provide some scaffolds for the students in the lesson or even embedded in the test. I also prefer to reward the students who excel and consistently exceed mastery levels. This data allows me to quickly find these students at a glance.

                              In this course I hope to learn new effective ways to elicit my students to provide feedback to me based on how they are learning. I am hoping to find effective ways to prepare my students for both formative and summative assessments, in particular state and regents exams.

                   

                  • Andre Barrella

                    By Andre Barrella

                    Hello fellow educators, I am a second-year teacher, with this being my first year in the Department of Education. I currently teach at Channel View School for Research, which is located in Far Rockaway on Rockaway Park. My current assignment is only Chemistry, and I service 170 students with four classes being ICT. I work with the same co-teacher for those four classes making the lesson plan very simple, as most students require the same differentiation. My students are in 10th, 11th, and 12th grade. 
                    The most common assessments that I employ are clicker based feedback system. Toward the end of the school year, I am developing more technology literacy and employing clickers in my classroom. This allows for my check for understanding to be anonymous when I ask the whole class the think and select the correct question. Immediately after the slide shows the correct answer, a bell curve of the class answer distribution displayed on the smart board, so I immediately am aware of the class understanding on the topic. Usually, I move on if 66-70% of the students understand and select the correct answer. When the majority of students get the answer wrong, I will reteach the given section and spend more time on the issue. This works wonders because when I am not cold calling or warm calling, I can get an idea from all the students to answer and gauge the classroom understanding. For my students, they really benefit because receiving feedback helps students not check for understanding, but gives them the opportunity to ask the right questions. Students tend to score higher on exams when they receive immediate feedback vs none at all. 
                    My strengths in my assessments are that I provide many opportunities for assessments. High school students in a disadvantaged neighborhood pose many different stressors on the students. Knowing this as a teacher, I am fully aware that they will not be able to keep up with the studies and the demands of a Chemistry course with 100% consistency. This is why giving weekly quizzes leading up to the unit exam is a great way to ensure that student has an idea of what they are looking at in Chemistry. At the end of the week, I will always give a 15min quiz so I can spend the remainder of the period going over the answers. I am a firm believer that feedback produces results so rather than a full period quiz, and the students forget, I can go over the material with them.
                    My areas for growth in assessment would be grading consistency. Assessments are two Way Street where the teacher provides what they believe is important and students then provide a solution. However, if the teacher does not create good enough material as an assessment, it will not represent what students should be prepared for by the end of year objectives. In the beginning, I was going based off science scope and sequence as my science standards for chemistry. What science scope and sequence does not tell you is how important some topics are over others in terms of testing on the regents. Therefore, I would make exams and quizzes that technically covered the chemistry standards, but not all the material that was tested on the regents.  What helped me out was castle learning, which shows teachers the most frequent material based on the unit for the regents. This helped change the course of my class, as I was able to focus more on tested material, than material that was irrelevant.
                    The main ways I receive data from my students are from the clicker programs or the question analysis from our scantron. From the scantron machine, once I grade the whole class a separate sheet tells me the percentage of the class that got a specific question right or wrong. Then what I can do, because I can not spend too much time on one topic, is repeat the same questions on the next quiz or give it as a Do Now question. The two benefits that the students get from this is testing and spacing. Humans are designed to forget unmemorable material, but when the content shows up around a period when the student will forget, it will become anchored into their memory. This helps students who learned and approaching mastery of the topic.
                    With every class I take a Pace, I am hoping to learn a skill that I can bring back to my classroom. Assessments are extremely important, and one of the most contested aspects of schooling. I hope to further my craft as a teacher and learn different ways to improve and implement assessments that can allow each student on different levels to obtain the same outcome. 

                    • Germa Dubois

                      By Germa Dubois

                      Hello Classmates,

                       

                      My name is Germa Dubois and I am a first year General Science and Earth Science at the Margarette Douglas I.S 292 Junior High School in East New York, Brooklyn. Currently, I teach five seven grades classes. Three of those classes, I teach General Science and the other two, I teach Earth Science. Each class consist of an average of 30 students

                      My daily instruction is usually broken down into different segments. I always start my lesson with a do now activity where the students have five minutes to answer an open-ended question from the previous lesson. I do this in order to assess my student’s knowledge on this particular topic. This gives me insight on whether I need to reteach this lesson or if I am able to move on the next lesson. If from the exit ticket I gave the previous day, shows that my students have a great understanding of the lesson, my Do Now will be centered around the new topic in order to assess how much my students know about this particular topic. Most times, my do now are open ended questions that leads into classroom discussions, where my students lead the discussions.  My only job would be to probe my students thinking in order for them to elaborate, explain and justify their answer. This technique gives me a great sense of if my students have a great knowledge on the topic that we are about to learn.

                      For my instruction, I use power point slides, videos and text, as I think that these three strategies combined target all the different learning styles of my students. During the lesson, I do several informal assessments to check for understanding as I go along. One of my favorite informal assessment is “thumbs up if you understand or thumbs down if you don’t.” This gives me immediate feedback on which student that I need to focus on more and which student understands. If more than five students’ thumbs are down, I know that I cannot proceed with the lesson and that I need to use a different technique to deliver this lesson.

                      After my instruction, I give my students independent work which I use for assessment as well. Usually, I would give a text with some critical thinking questions, whether they have to compare and contrast or analyze the text. This is will give me a more in depth understanding of if my students can think critically in regard to this topic or if their understanding in only straight forward. In this moment I circulate the classroom, checking each student work. This gives me the opportunity to work with my students one on one and give them immediate clarity on the topic. After independent work, my students get to share out their work. I use this practice, so I can clear up misconception in the class and other students can benefit. The last assessment that I do in the lesson is an exit ticket where I allow my students to answer the Aim of the lesson. This gives me an idea of which of my students are really struggling and what I need to focus on in the next lesson.  

                      I would say that my areas of grown in terms of assessment is to give immediate feedback. As a new teacher who has to learn the content as I go along, especially in earth science, I sometimes delay the feedback or clearing up misconceptions. Most times it is difficult to do so when I am not that certain myself. However, I have enrolled in more earth science workshops so that I can be much more knowledgeable next year in regards to earth science.

                      I use my data especially from the exit ticket to know how to proceed with my next lesson. If more than half the class is struggling to answer the Aim, then I teach the same lesson the next day before moving on to the next lesson. I do this because all my lessons usually go hand in hand, so it is important that my students understand the previous lesson before we can move on the next lesson.

                      Assessment is not my strongest. From this course, I am hoping to find different and more effective ways that I can implement different assessment technique in my lesson. Which will me help my students to grasp the concept of science and grow to love this complicated subject.

                      • Yassine Mouaddab

                        By Yassine Mouaddab

                        Hello

                        My name is Yassine Mouaddab and I am first year teacher at the High School of Telecommunication Art and Technology in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. I currently teach chemistry as well as physics to 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students. I teach 3 sections of NEST ICT Chemistry and I work very closely with many students on autism spectrum disorder. I am also part of the STEM program at my school, which is designed to increase minority participation in the STEM field.

                        I work with a diverse student body that have different academic abilities and needs. I employ different assessments that allows my students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of different concepts. I predominantly use on going formative assessments to quickly check for understanding and address common misconceptions. One common formative assessment that I utilize in my classroom is the 3,2,1 card. Students are given an index card and are presented with three questions. Students have to select and answer one question of their choice including showing all work, formulas and units. The index cards are then passed up to the front of the classroom, where they are projected on the smart board. Students have the opportunity to see how their classmates are thinking and answering questions. Students also see certain patterns and common misconceptions that students have about a specific topic. For example, during the last unit students were learning to name unsaturated hydrocarbons. The 3,2,1 card result showed that most students were accurately naming unsaturated hydrocarbons by using the appropriate prefixes and suffixes to indicate the number of carbon atoms and the type of unsaturated hydrocarbon. However, most students were forgetting to indicate the location of double or triple bonds in an unsaturated hydrocarbon. I used the information from this formative assessment to reteach naming unsaturated hydrocarbons with emphasizes on indicating the location of double and triple bonds.

                        My strength is designing assessments that test students conceptual understanding of the subject.  I design assessments that emphasize critical thinking and problem solving, instead of rote memorization and regurgitation of facts. I design assessments with open ended questions that have multiple answers. Students have to use prior knowledge, evidence, and reasoning to answer these questions. Students receive credit based on the strength of their answers, not if they are right or wrong. For example, during our unit test on chemical equilibrium, students had to predict the direction a chemical reaction will shift when disturbed by external factors such as temperature, pressure, or concentration. Students not only had to predict the direction of shift, but they also had to explain their answers and connect it to the theories that we learned in class.

                        As a first-year teacher, there are many areas of growth, especially when it comes to assessments. I teach multiple sections of ICT chemistry and I struggle with designing differentiated assessments that gives all my students the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the subject. I think that most assessments that I design reflect my understanding and how I think about the subject. I tend to focus on concepts that I think are important or that frequently show up on regents exams. Many of my students perform poorly on summative assessments such as unit tests and midterms, especially students with disabilities and English language learners. I struggle to meet the needs of these students and create equitable summative assessments where all my students can be successful.  

                        I use many software and computer programs equipped with statistical analysis to gather and analyze students' data. For example, I assign homework on google classroom to check for students' understanding and identify specific questions that students are struggling with. Based on the data provided by google classroom, I am able to see certain patterns and design instruction to go over specific problems and reteach content related to those questions. Google classroom also allows me to provide students with immediate feedback. After students complete a homework assignment, they can see the questions that they got wrong and read provided feedback. I also gather data from midterms and unit test to identify topics that students find challenging. Questions are broken down by topics and I use SigmaPlot to analyze raw data. I am able to see how students preformed overall and also how they performed in certain topics. In addition to identifying specific topics or concepts, I also use data to identify struggling students. This allows me to target these students and provide them with necessary support that they need.

                        As someone that comes from a non-traditional teaching background, I have very limited pedagogical knowledge, especially in the area of assessments. I am hoping to learn more about the structure and function of various assessments. I am interested in learning how different assessments are designed and how I can use it to improve my teaching practice. I am hoping to learn how to create assessments that align with certain standards such as common core and NGSS. Most importantly, I hoping to learn how to create differentiated assessments that allows my students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding without compromising rigor.

                      EDG 605 Summer 2019

                      EDG 605 Summer 2019

                      This is the online home for EDG 605 Summer 2019