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Before assessing my students' learning, I make sure I have a clear plan by defining learning goals, selecting my assessment methods and developing my assessment. I then communicate to both students and families about the assessment and how to best prepare. Once students take the assessment I then need to analyze the results, communicate the results to students and parents and reflect/revise when necessary. “Assessment links student performance to specific learning objectives in order to provide useful information to students and instructors about learning and teaching, respectively” (Fisher & Bandy, 2019). We all know that kids learn in different ways so it is up to educators to make sure that they are also evaluating students learning in different ways.
I would assess students with a variety of learning styles by assessing what a student knows, what he/she can do, how the child learns and what struggles they have. “Assessment practices may need to focus on adapting instruction to include the different ways a student learns.” (Jenntly, 2022). Students benefit from when both the instruction and assessment is varied in a way that it meets the needs of the diverse learners in a class. For example, I would meet the needs of a visual learner by providing maps, flow charts and webs on an assessment. For my auditory learners, I would engage the student in a conversation about the subject/material. For my kinesthetic learner, I would have students show some form of body movement to test their understanding of the material.
Both summative and formative assessments are two ways to evaluate students' learning. “Formative and summative assessments are among the most common types of each with its own distinct purpose” (Derrell, 2015). In formative assessments the goal is to monitor student learning and also provide ongoing feedback. Teachers use that feedback to improve their teaching which will result in improved student learning. If formative assessments are designed well, it can help students identify their strengths and weaknesses. “The evaluation takes place during the learning process. Not just one time, but several times” (Renard, 2017). An example of a formative assessment that I do with my third grade students is a variety of activities in NearPod. When students were learning about multiplication and division, they worked on several problems in Nearpod on the whiteboard. I was able to see all students working independently in real time. I was then able to provide immediate feedback. This also helped me in planning future math lessons based on students' knowledge and understanding during the lesson. I also would have a variety of lessons within NEARPOD to fit the needs of the students in my class (matching, fill in the blank, collaboration board, white board with open ended questions, drawing and more) I would give ongoing and immediate feedback that aligned with the learning goals.
Summative assessments are used to test students' understanding of content and material usually at the end of a unit. Sometimes summative assessments are compared against a standard or benchmark. “When you use summative assessments, you assign grades. The grades tell you whether the student achieved the learning goal or not” (Renard, 2017). An example of a summative assessment that I give to my students is called a “CBA”. (Curriculum Based Assessment). I meet with students one on one and test their knowledge on the unit. They do receive a letter grade for the CBA. For a Math CBA, I give them a variety of problems on the whiteboard in the live lesson room and watch as they work through each problem checking their understanding. This also allows me to see what strategies they are using to solve the problem (arrays, pictures, number lines, commutative property).
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