Tuesday marks the beginning of Finals Week at my school. I’ve been teaching for nine years, and each year I change the way I have administered and developed my midterm and final exam. I have rarely been required to follow a particular format by my administration, which was a joy but also could be taxing. I have utilized objective assessment formats: multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, and matching; subjective and project-based have also served as my culminating assessments. I have reflected on the merits of the multiple formats and have determined a list of pros and cons for each.
Trends in comprehension (number correct/incorrect) efficiently identified
Format can parallel standardized tests which allows for students to be more familiar and comfortable when assessed (ACT, SAT, state tests)
Only assesses one type of learning/interpretation
Creating questions that truly align with objectives/standards can be difficult
Leaves little room for students to express themselves and their understanding
Little-to-no creativity or individuality allowed
Objective Assessments (Short Answer, Short Essay, Essay)
Students able to express themselves and their understanding in their own way
More room for individuality
Questions can be more easily created because they can encompass more ideas/skills
Takes longer to grade
Some students are not strong writers
Addresses one learning style
Usually there are fewer questions (sometimes only one), therefore if it is interpreted incorrectly, students’ responses may not fully encompass their full knowledge
ESL/ESE students may struggle
Extensive rubrics required
Allowance for multiple interpretations and approaches to answering the prompt
Creativity is encouraged
Application of classroom content to a real-world issue
Students are allowed to connect to the content in a real way
More learning styles are addressed
Collaboration is an option
Requires outside of class time – teacher has little control over if it is completed
Developing the project requirements is more complex
Multiple aspects need to addressed when grading
Students need strong support in developing presentation skills; scaffolding required
Multiple days required for presentation
Extensive rubrics required
Ultimately, there is no one proper way to assess students; all formats present their advantages and disadvantages. A good teacher who wants to truly assess their students’ complete understanding and skill level will not choose just one format, but will allow for multiple assessment formats.
Loving…that the weather is beginning to turn towards Spring, at least in Florida. My poor family and friends up north are still suffering the Winter Blahs.
Reading…Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage I just finished this book on Saturday; you can read my review here. I’ve decided to return to The Goldfinch, but only so that I can read another Murakami novel next.
Watching…too many TV shows. My DVR is full of trashy Bravo shows, but the thought of deleting them makes me sad. Maybe I really do have an addiction.
Enjoying…Fresh Fruit Crepes from First Watch.
Preparing…my list of goals for the month. I don’t want a repeat of ambiguous goals that may or may not be moving towards an endpoint. These will be tangible and measurable, per the S.M.A.R.T. Goal assignment I require of my students.
Learning…about another form of rhetorical analysis for my AP Lang students via Mrs. Anderson at YA Love.
Feeling…grateful for an awesome mom who helped me prepare 14 crock pot/freezer dinners for March. Each recipe made two freezer bags/crockpots-o-dinner
Cream of Celery Pork Tenderloin
Reading: Complete The Goldfinch and begin 1Q84
Financial: No takeout lunch/dinner for the month of March
Wellness: Gym time five days a week
Professionally: Finalize my ESOL endorsement paperwork
If you could have one superpower to use in the classroom, what would it be and how would it help?
In my mind, there are several ways that one could apply a superpower in the classroom.
There are days that I wish I could be the Flash, dashing from my classroom to the restroom between classes, to the copy machine, and back before anyone noticed that I was gone.
I’ve day dreamed about having superhuman endurance/energy so that I am not subjected to the afternoon lulls or the ability to stay up late preparing for the next day’s class, not feeling the effects throughout the next day.
According to List25.com, having superpower of Invulnerability is, “Invulnerability grants heroes immunity to one or more forms of physical, mental, or spiritual damage. If you possessed this power, you would never have to worry about getting beat up by bullies, mending a broken heart, or suffering from depression.” I definitely could utilize this ability on the days in which flippant comments from students, hostile parents, and unsupportive administration gets to me. We’ve talked in the past that educators are some of the least appreciated, underpaid/overworked professionals. Talk about some of the most deserving of the superpower of Invulnerability!
Omnilinguism is the ability to understand any form of language, and assuming that I could add the stipulation that I could also speak any language, this would be probably the most effective superpower because of the high percentage of ESOL students that I worked with.
The ability to predict the future would be an interesting ability to possess. I would use this talent in accordance with my teaching by predicting how well students would perform on assessments. Before you start yelling at me, I want you to understand me clearly: I want to know if I’ve taught them, supported them enough so that they will be able to confidently complete assessments that I CREATE, NOT those standardized tests.