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Continuous Continuous Assessment Assessment *The Context for *The Context for Continuous Continuous Assessment: Assessment: Student Inquiry Student Inquiry

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Page 1: Continuous ass

**The Essence of The Essence of Continuous Continuous AssessmentAssessment

*The Context for *The Context for Continuous Continuous

Assessment: Student Assessment: Student InquiryInquiry

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*The Essence of Continuous *The Essence of Continuous AssessmentAssessment

Continuous Assessment (CA)Continuous Assessment (CA)

Continuous Assessment is Continuous Assessment is listening closely to students, listening closely to students, observing students as they are observing students as they are engaged in learning, as they are engaged in learning, as they are engaged with materials, and engaged with materials, and trying to understand what they trying to understand what they understand.understand.

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The best way I can describe The best way I can describe continuous assessment is the continuous assessment is the process of learning to be with process of learning to be with children in such a way as to children in such a way as to understand their thinking so understand their thinking so that you can continually that you can continually expand, challenge, and scaffold expand, challenge, and scaffold each childeach child’’s experiences.s experiences.

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Teachers see that they donTeachers see that they don’’t t have to wait until the unit is have to wait until the unit is done and the test is given done and the test is given and graded to find out how and graded to find out how their students are doing. their students are doing. They can gather the They can gather the information right then and information right then and there while the students are there while the students are exploring their ideas.exploring their ideas.

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Naturalistic assessment – evaluation Naturalistic assessment – evaluation that is rooted in the natural setting of that is rooted in the natural setting of the classroom & involves observation the classroom & involves observation of student performance in an of student performance in an informal context.informal context.

Documentation, is a process of Documentation, is a process of classroom observation & record classroom observation & record keeping over time, across learning keeping over time, across learning modalities, & in coordination with modalities, & in coordination with colleagues.colleagues.

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In the inquiry-based classroom, CA is crucial In the inquiry-based classroom, CA is crucial to student learning. Studentsto student learning. Students’’ understanding & skills unfold naturally as understanding & skills unfold naturally as they work with materials & explore their they work with materials & explore their ideas through investigations & discussions, ideas through investigations & discussions, it is it is important that you be presentimportant that you be present..

Being there to interact with your students Being there to interact with your students both as a facilitator & an assessor, you can both as a facilitator & an assessor, you can gather important information while the gather important information while the students are engaged in inquiry. students are engaged in inquiry.

Keeping track of this information & Keeping track of this information & analysing the data can help you to analysing the data can help you to understand your studentsunderstand your students’’ thinking, & to thinking, & to monitor their growth in the concepts, monitor their growth in the concepts, processes, & dispositions of science.processes, & dispositions of science.

When students become When students become ““stuckstuck”” & need & need guidance, your intervention can help them guidance, your intervention can help them delve deeper & move forward in their delve deeper & move forward in their understanding.understanding.

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What we value (in science learning)What we value (in science learning)What you want students to know What you want students to know

and be able to doand be able to do The dispositions of scienceThe dispositions of science – e.g. being able – e.g. being able

to use evidence to propose explanations, being to use evidence to propose explanations, being willing to revise explanations as a result of new willing to revise explanations as a result of new evidence or discussion, being open-minded, evidence or discussion, being open-minded, being able to persevere, etc.being able to persevere, etc.

The processes of scienceThe processes of science – identifying – identifying questions, observing systematically, measuring questions, observing systematically, measuring accurately, controlling variables. Etc.accurately, controlling variables. Etc.

The concepts of scienceThe concepts of science – properties of – properties of matter, diversity and adaptations of organisms, matter, diversity and adaptations of organisms, the earth in the solar system, etc.the earth in the solar system, etc.

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Techniques for Continuous Techniques for Continuous AssesmentAssesment

Sitting and listening CloselySitting and listening Closely. . Teachers watch the behaviour of the Teachers watch the behaviour of the students at work and listen closely to students at work and listen closely to their conversations. At times, they their conversations. At times, they may ask questions during may ask questions during conversations to clarify details about conversations to clarify details about what students are doing and what what students are doing and what they are finding out, but otherwise they are finding out, but otherwise do not interfere.do not interfere.

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Purposeful QuestioningPurposeful Questioning. Teachers . Teachers ask open-ended questions that ask open-ended questions that enable students to reflect on, enable students to reflect on, clarify, and explain their thinking clarify, and explain their thinking and actions and give their point of and actions and give their point of view during investigations.view during investigations.

Sharing New Material/InformationSharing New Material/Information. . Teachers give students new Teachers give students new materials or information to help materials or information to help them move deeper in their them move deeper in their inquiry.inquiry.

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Tools for Continuous AssessmentTools for Continuous Assessment

TeacherTeacher’’s observation notess observation notesVideotapeVideotapeAudiotapeAudiotapePhotographsPhotographsStudent science writingStudent science writingArtifacts and products of student Artifacts and products of student

sciencescience

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Why use continuous assesment?Why use continuous assesment?

Serves instruction while monitoring Serves instruction while monitoring growthgrowth – immediate; or helps you – immediate; or helps you decide what to do the next day.decide what to do the next day.

Enhances student learningEnhances student learning - - catalyse deeper thinking and catalyse deeper thinking and understanding as students reflect understanding as students reflect on their own investigative on their own investigative processes and experiences.processes and experiences.

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When you work with your students in When you work with your students in their science investigations, you can their science investigations, you can help them see that what theyhelp them see that what they’’re doing re doing is considered is considered ““good science.good science.”” They They begin to realise that when begin to realise that when they make they make a careful observation, when they a careful observation, when they make a table to organise their data, make a table to organise their data, when they communicate their findings when they communicate their findings to the groupto the group, they are doing the same , they are doing the same things that scientists do. Pointing things that scientists do. Pointing these things out helps students these things out helps students recognise what is valued so they can recognise what is valued so they can work toward concrete learning goals work toward concrete learning goals and identify their own growth.and identify their own growth.

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Enables teacherEnables teacher’’s professional s professional growthgrowth – become more reflective – become more reflective about your own practices and refine about your own practices and refine your teaching strategies.your teaching strategies.

Provides information to report Provides information to report studentsstudents’’ progress progress – Over time the – Over time the documentation of the evolution of documentation of the evolution of studentsstudents’’ understandings, skills, and understandings, skills, and science dispositions can be science dispositions can be accumulated and can provide a accumulated and can provide a wealth of data for reporting student wealth of data for reporting student progress.progress.

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**The Context for Continuous The Context for Continuous Assessment: Student InquiryAssessment: Student Inquiry

Students explore their ideas through Students explore their ideas through hands-hands-on experiences, analysing and interpreting on experiences, analysing and interpreting the information they collect along the way. the information they collect along the way. At each step, they communicate findings At each step, they communicate findings and discuss their ideas with others.and discuss their ideas with others. In In synthesizing their ideas to create synthesizing their ideas to create explanations,explanations, they connect what they they connect what they already know about the phenomena with the already know about the phenomena with the new knowledge gained from their new knowledge gained from their investigations, your explanations, and other investigations, your explanations, and other scientific resources. Throughout the process scientific resources. Throughout the process other questions emerge, and the inquiry other questions emerge, and the inquiry cycle begins again.cycle begins again.

CA, likewise, is CA, likewise, is an inquiry intoan inquiry into student student learning.learning.

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What is inquiry?What is inquiry? Is a multifaceted activity that involves Is a multifaceted activity that involves

making observations; posing questions; making observations; posing questions; examining books and other resources examining books and other resources of information to see what is already of information to see what is already known; planning investigations; known; planning investigations; reviewing what is alreay known in light reviewing what is alreay known in light of experimental evidence; using tools of experimental evidence; using tools to gather, analyse, and interpret data; to gather, analyse, and interpret data; proposing answers, explanations, and proposing answers, explanations, and predictions; and communicating the predictions; and communicating the results. results. Inquiry requires identification Inquiry requires identification of assumptions, use of critical and of assumptions, use of critical and logical thinking, and consideration of logical thinking, and consideration of alternative explanations.alternative explanations.

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The Foundation: Trust and RespectThe Foundation: Trust and Respect Teachers believe that their students come Teachers believe that their students come

to classroom with strongly held and well-to classroom with strongly held and well-developed (though not necessarily developed (though not necessarily scientific) ideas about the natural world.scientific) ideas about the natural world.

Practices likePractices like – uncovering students – uncovering students’’ ideas ideas about the natural world and using these as about the natural world and using these as starting points for investigations; building starting points for investigations; building on these ideas and setting up experiences, on these ideas and setting up experiences, such as student-directed investigations such as student-directed investigations and discussions, that guide students and discussions, that guide students toward particular learning goals; toward particular learning goals; work to work to engage students and support their engage students and support their learninglearning..

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The Cycle of InquiryThe Cycle of Inquiry

The initial phaseThe initial phase – the way students – the way students come to engage in the inquiry, is come to engage in the inquiry, is described as described as an invitation to learnan invitation to learn..

The explore, discover, create phaseThe explore, discover, create phase – – students explore the question, the students explore the question, the materials, and their ideas about the materials, and their ideas about the scientific phenomena presented to scientific phenomena presented to them.them.

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The Cycle of InquiryThe Cycle of InquiryPropose explanations and solutions Propose explanations and solutions

phasephase – They work to explain new – They work to explain new views they have constructed about a views they have constructed about a concept based on their observations, concept based on their observations, their data, their peerstheir data, their peers’’ data, outside data, outside resources, and your input.resources, and your input.

The final phaseThe final phase – students consider – students consider how to extend their new understanding how to extend their new understanding and skills, and and skills, and take next stepstake next steps. .

The cycle is not a lock-step The cycle is not a lock-step processprocess..

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Inquiry/ Standard-Based ScienceInquiry/ Standard-Based ScienceWhat Does It Look Like?What Does It Look Like?

Students view themselves as Students view themselves as scientists in the process of learningscientists in the process of learning

Students accept an Students accept an ““invitation to learinvitation to learnn”” and really engaged in the and really engaged in the exploration processexploration process

Students plan and carry out Students plan and carry out investigationsinvestigations

Students communicate using a variety Students communicate using a variety of methodsof methods

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Inquiry/ Standard-Based ScienceInquiry/ Standard-Based ScienceWhat Does It Look Like?What Does It Look Like?

Students propose explanations and Students propose explanations and solutions and build a deeper solutions and build a deeper understanding of science conceptsunderstanding of science concepts

Students raise questionsStudents raise questionsStudents observeStudents observeStudents critique their science Students critique their science

practicespractices

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Using Continuous Assessment Within Using Continuous Assessment Within a Cycle of Inquirya Cycle of Inquiry

How can you assess students without How can you assess students without uprooting them? CA allows you to uprooting them? CA allows you to capture a wide range of evidence about capture a wide range of evidence about your students while they are conducting your students while they are conducting and making sense of their investigations.and making sense of their investigations.

At each phase of the cycle of inquiry, At each phase of the cycle of inquiry, you are able to use CA techniques and you are able to use CA techniques and tools to collect, document, and analyse tools to collect, document, and analyse information about your students and put information about your students and put your findings to use. You are able to your findings to use. You are able to look for indicators of growth in your look for indicators of growth in your studentsstudents’’ science learning without science learning without interrupting them.interrupting them.

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Using Continuous Assessment Within Using Continuous Assessment Within a Cycle of Inquirya Cycle of Inquiry

Science inquiry leads to actions, and Science inquiry leads to actions, and new questions come up for new questions come up for investigation based on your studentsinvestigation based on your students’’ observations and findings; the same observations and findings; the same is true when you take action based on is true when you take action based on the findings you glean by observing the findings you glean by observing your students. You can determine your students. You can determine your next steps for teaching, and your next steps for teaching, and what the focus for your next round of what the focus for your next round of observations of students will be. observations of students will be. CA CA mirrors the inquiry process itself. In a mirrors the inquiry process itself. In a sense, inquiry demands this type of sense, inquiry demands this type of formative assessment!formative assessment!

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Just as gardeners, you need to be Just as gardeners, you need to be clear about the concepts, processes, clear about the concepts, processes, and dispositions you expect students and dispositions you expect students to develop throughout the inquiry to develop throughout the inquiry cycle.cycle.

Having this clarity will let you know Having this clarity will let you know what to plan, facilitate, and collect what to plan, facilitate, and collect evidence of, and what to analyse to evidence of, and what to analyse to determine student growth.determine student growth.

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You will find that the content You will find that the content standards become more internalised standards become more internalised as you use them both as goals to as you use them both as goals to plan your studentsplan your students’’ activities and as activities and as targets for assessment. The more targets for assessment. The more you use standards, the more you will you use standards, the more you will become clear about what they are become clear about what they are and the evidense to look for to and the evidense to look for to determine if students are using them determine if students are using them and growing in their understanding and growing in their understanding of them.of them.

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If you trust that students learn science If you trust that students learn science best through doing science, and if best through doing science, and if youyou’’re interested in promoting and re interested in promoting and honouring studentshonouring students’’ growth in the growth in the processes and dispositions of science processes and dispositions of science and conceptual understanding, you will and conceptual understanding, you will want to assess their learning want to assess their learning throughout their investigations. throughout their investigations. Student growth in these areas is Student growth in these areas is ongoing. All of these goals of science ongoing. All of these goals of science learning are reached while students are learning are reached while students are fully engaged in their investigations fully engaged in their investigations and discussions.and discussions. Why wait until the Why wait until the unit is finished before you start looking unit is finished before you start looking for evidence of learning?for evidence of learning?