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Learning Journey Week #3 January 30, 2014

Posted by jennienorgaard in Learning Journey.
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In this class we talk about assessment and how it is continual feedback that teachers provide their students with that inform them how well they are doing. However, from this I am struggling to understand different ways in which we can assess our students in a math classroom apart from the traditional homework checks, quizzes, exams, and projects. To an extent, I believe that this isn’t a fair way in assessing our students at all because not all students are good at writing exams; there should be more appropriate ways in which students can express their knowledge and what they have learned in the class than through exams. It is one thing to be able to memorize the process/steps in how to do different problems as opposed to actually understanding how to do it on your own. In this class, we also emphasize the importance it is to have an ongoing assessment instead of a one-shot assessment at the end of each unit through exams.

From my EMTH 200 class, Rick always emphasized the importance it was to teach to the bottom 2/3 of the class and monitor/look after the top 1/3 of the class. This is important because we want to ensure that all of our students understand the knowledge they need in the appropriate grade level they are in so that they don’t just get pushed through the system in the end. In saying this, it is also important to make sure to give the top 1/3 of your class material that they can work on that both challenges them and increases what they already know so that the class isn’t a waste to them. This goes along with the quote we were given in ECS 410, “When a teacher tries to teach something to the entire class at the same time, chances are, one-third of the kids already know it; one-third will get it and the remaining third won’t. So, two-thirds of the children are wasting their time.” -Lillian Katz. So from this we can see how important it is to know where each and every one of our students are at when it comes to learning so that we can make our lessons based on all our students and not just the majority of them.

In this class, we talk about the importance of ongoing assessment and providing our students with feedback to help them understand what they are doing well and what areas need improvement. So my concern to this is how does this happen in a math class if the only forms of assessments are through homework checks, quizzes, exams and the occasional project?

Apart from doing ongoing assessment, we also learned the difference between formative and summative assessment throughout this class. Formative assessment aims to discover what the learner knows, understands or can do with intent to inform our teaching or learning as a result. Summative assessment aims to discover if the learner knows, understands, or can do a predetermined thing.

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