Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Assignments, Assessments, & Evaluations (Student Teaching Summary Post 1)

Through the course of my student teaching experience, I had several ideas & epiphanies. Here are those that apply to assignments, assessments, & evaluations. 

- Provide homework/practice before and after giving an assessment/evaluation for any given unit/standard

- Use the following table to put variety in student practice and assessment:

(only one correct response)
something easily memorized
recognition (t/f)
medium to memorize 
recognition (matching), recall (fill in the blank)
difficult to memorize
cold recall
apply out of context
(likely one correct response)
simple practice problems
mid-level practice problems
high-level practice problem
apply in context
(potentially multiple correct responses)
simple scenario/ story problem

(ala 2A)
mid-level scenario/story problem

(ala 2B)
high-level scenario/story problem

(ala 2C)
(infinite possibilities for correct response)
making something simple

(ala 2A-2B)
making something with moderate complexity

(ala 2C-3A)
making something with high complexity

(ala 3B-3C)

This table probably doesn't make a lot of sense if you're not me. So below I've put in a table that has some examples of what I'm thinking about. Let me know, in the comments,  how it doesn't make sense, if it doesn't make sense, and I can further clarify. Also let me know if you want examples that are more specific to your needs.

(only one correct response)
true/false, or multiple choice questions
Provide the definition for _________
apply out of context
(likely one correct response)
solve for x:
apply in context
(potentially multiple correct responses)
Johnny has five apples before giving some to Tammy. Afterwards, Johnny has two apples. How many apples were given to Tammy
My backyard has a fence. The fence is 30 feet long and encompasses the whole yard. If my yard is a regular geometrical shape, what shape might it be if each side is > 2 feet? 
Our school website says the school grounds covers 3,000 sq. ft. Prove that this is either correct or incorrect. 
(infinite possibilities for correct response)
create and solve an algebra problem 
create a problem that requires the distributive property to solve
write a story problem to go with the equation y=3x-2
find an example of the concepts we've been covering in class from your life; write a story problem describing what you come up with

- Hold office hours everyday to help with assignments:
  + Monday    = for A-level students
  + Tuesday   = for B-level students
  + Wednesday = for C-level students
  + Thursday  = for D/F-level students
  + Friday    = Peer tutoring sessions
  + Alternatively, provide some other meaningful structure for who should come and/or what is going to happen during the office hours. 

- I really like an article by Margaret Schwan Smith and Mary Kay Stein called "Selecting and Creating Mathematical Tasks: from Research to Practice." It breaks all work that's done in a math class into four levels of demand: memorization, procedures without connections, procedures with connections, and doing mathematics. Their thoughts & ideas in this paper really guide my thinking about assignments, assessments, & evaluations. I find myself asking, 'What is the level of demand for this task? What ought to be the level of demand for this task? What level of demand are my students ready for at this point in the unit/semester/year?' 

That pretty much sums up my thoughts about assignments, assessments, & evaluations. This was a long post. If you made it all the way through, FIVE STARS for you! Yea, STARS! 

1 comment:

  1. Great post. Thinking deeply about appropriate tasks and questions is an under-appreciated feat of empathy. The teachers who took great care with this were always the ones that I admired (and learned from).


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