Assessment: 11

“Nathan developed many quizzes and unit exams, mainly for Math 20-2.  Not only did he use the assessment data to guide his teaching, but he also used each assessment tool as a learning device for himself – figuring out how to write good tests, and how to score them fairly.” – PS3 Mentor Teacher

“Throughout practicum, Nathan utilized a variety of formative assessment strategies, including personal whiteboards, game-based assessment applications such as Kahoot, and verbal question and response.” – PS3 University Consultant

#11: Student Assessment
Know how to assess the range of learning objectives by selecting and developing a variety of classroom and large scale assessment techniques and instruments. They know how to analyze the results of classroom and large scale assessment instruments and how to use the results for the  benefit of students.

I love the concept of assessment, and one day I hope to do some post-graduate studies into the field. While I recognize the importance and necessity of summative quizzes and testing, I also try to incorporate my assessment practices into my classroom in a multitude of other ways.

When doing my Physics by Inquiry-inspired notes in the classroom, the way that I check my students’ understanding is by verbally testing them in small groups. This way students need to be able to answer my questions (which are deeper than the ones given on the worksheet) and I can check their understanding and give feedback immediately. If a group of students answers my questions successfully, then they get a check beside their names for that section of the notes and they can move onto the next part. Personally, I love this form of assessment because it makes it personal. Unlike checking a right or wrong answer on a quiz, I need to actually interact with my students, and as a result I strengthen the bonds there and they get better feedback more quickly.
Here’s an example of my Physics by Inquiry notes:
Power Notes

As a type of formative assessment, I will give my students checklists which they can use on their own to check their understanding of the concepts that we’ve covered before an assessment. Here’s an example of one from the Quadratic Functions unit of Math 20-2:
Quadratic Functions Checklist

Also as formative assessment, I try to incorporate entry or exit slips into my classroom. These consist of simple questions which the students have only a minute or two to answer. They’re not for marks, but for me to check the level of the class’s understanding and for the students to recognize if they understand a topic well enough or not. 2015-12-06 19.53.13

In my second and third professional semesters, I’ve learned a lot about creating fair tests, making the connections between what I’m assessing and what I’m teaching, and making my expectations clear to my students through both examples and non-examples. In the end, my students found that I was a fair marker, that I was asking just the right amount of them on their summative assessments, and that I was getting their tests back to them in a reasonable amount of time. This last point is especially important to me because I believe that getting good feedback as quickly as possible helps learners immensely.

Here’s an example of a summative quiz that I’d developed for a Math 20-2 class.