Friday, February 1, 2013

Chapter 14

(14.1) Think of a lesson plan from your licensure area. Knowing that assessment is an integral part of teaching, explain at least four informal and formal assessments that you will use in your lesson plan to provide you with feedback and involve the students in assessing their own learning.


If I was conducting a lesson in third grade language arts, we might cover the topics of analogies. In teaching this, I would really want to consider the elements of informal and formal testing to assess my students understanding. Informal testing consists of spontaneous and unplanned observation while formal testing consists of preplanned and systematic attempt to assess a student's understanding.

I would teach the topic of analogies as a whole group, giving many examples and asking for class feedback.  After my explanation and while still in a whole group setting, I would give examples for the class to complete on the board. To informally test during this time, I might randomly call on students and see what they believe the answer to be. If there are students who get stumped or are not sure of the answer, I will know that I may need a little extra help. Another way to informally assess my students would be to break them up in partners to complete a worksheet pertaining to analogies. I could walk around and check their progress and accuracy to see if they are grasping the concept.

After the children had a chance to practice their knowledge of analogies, I may want to formally test them to gain a better understanding of their individual knowledge. I could pass out a small sheet of paper to the students individually, and put an analogy to complete on the board. On their sheet of paper, they could write what they believe to be the answer and set it on my desk as they leave the classroom. This way, I could see how each student is doing. Another example of a formal assessment that I could implement in my classroom is a standard end-of-unit test. They could individually complete a test assessing knowledge of the topic of analogies.

(14.2) Consider norm referenced assessment and criterion referenced assessment. Are there advantages to both? Are their disadvantages?


Criterion-Referenced assessment indicates mastery or non-mastery of specific topics, while norm-referenced assessment compares performance to that of peers. I believe there are both advantages and disadvantages to both types of assessment.

A main advantage to criterion-referenced assessment is that you know immediately what student's know and don't know, as well as which students are not performing as well as others. This way, teachers know that they need to reconstruct the lesson to better understand or that that they need to pull certain students away to further develop their understanding. Criterion-referenced assessment also gives a standard assessment so that all children are being tested equally. On the other hand,  a disadvantage of criterion-referenced assessment is the fact that there is no way to test all concepts so it isn't a completely accurate portrayal of student's knowledge.

A main advantage of norm-referenced assessment is that it shows which students are continually falling behind the average of the class. This would help teachers come up with a plan for a struggling student and have documentation of progress. Standardized tests, for example, show which school systems, classes, etc. are not performing the way that they should be. Norm-referenced assessments are really beneficial when collecting data. However, norm-referenced tests can be really stigmatizing. If a student doesn't perform well compared to other classmates, that student may feel uncomfortable and categorized. Norm-referenced assessment can also create pressure and stress within a class or school because they are being compared against someone else.

1 comment:

  1. I really like what you said about using norm referenced assessment to help the kids who are falling behind! I don't really see the point of it otherwise. And I like what you were saying in class today about the multi-grade classrooms. I wonder if testing would be different in a setting like that.