Demonstration of Learning

Describe your philosophy of assessment and evaluation. In describing your philosophy, you are expected to address the theory and practice studied this semester.

  • Students do not all learn at the same pace. If a student has a concept down, there’s no reason not to summatively assess them, and let some students take a little extra time.
  • Poor performance on assessment is not likely the student’s fault. Adjust teaching and communicate with the student to find out where you went wrong and help them.
  • We want students to succeed, find assessment that will do that.
  • Tests assess environmental and emotional variables as well as content and understanding. They are not always valid forms of assessment. It is okay not to utilize testing in your classroom.
  • Students need to learn to assess themselves to ensure they are doing their best work possible. Assessment as learning is also assessing peers. This is a valuable way to teach students to be mindful of criteria, as well as giving constructive and meaningful feedback.
  • Let students know your expectations. Whether it’s through a rubric or exemplars, students deserve to know what you expect from them.
  • Assessment for learning can be as simple as quick understanding checks (thumbs up/down) throughout a lesson.

Describe how you used assessment and evaluation in your field experience. Consider how you used formative and summative assessment, what assessment/evaluation tools you used, how you involved students in the assessment/evaluation process, differentiation and accommodations you made for equitable assessment/evaluation, etc. What worked well? What didn’t? What would you change and how?

  • Tests/Quizzes – went through two tests with the class after they were written, as well as facilitated a test.
  • Supplemental – redid a section of the test most students did poorly on (Summative)
  • Homework Check – people cheated, we gave them a chance to redo it (Formative/Summative)
  • Thumbs Up Check – only select students responded in class, in Pre-Calc 30, almost no one responded. The thumbs up check was the only way to see if they knew what was happening (Formative)
  • Inquiry Assignment – in Social Studies, I did an inquiry assignment that I used to guide the lecture I did the next class (Diagnostic). In Math 9, I did an inquiry assignment that we took in at the end of class, gave no marks for, just looked at what information the students came up with (Formative)

How closely did your assessment and evaluation practices in the field align with your philosophy? If there were discrepancies between your philosophies and practice, describe the barriers that prevented you from realizing your vision. Describe how you might address/overcome these barriers in your internship.

  • The only part that does align with my philosophy is the fact that I got to experience the idea of student “failure” on assessment is a reflection of the teacher, not necessarily the student.
  • I got to validate my opinions on testing.
  • Other than that, I didn’t get to try much assessing, or have many varied assessment tools. My biggest barrier was that the school preferred tests, and I didn’t want to upset the status quo too much.
  • I can break these barriers by simply having more time with the students.
  • I’ll get to know them and how they learn.
  • I will have more time to fix any mistakes I make, as well as more autonomy in my own classes.

Based on ECS 410 and your field experience, what are the 3 key learnings you have taken away from this semester about assessment and evaluation? Why will these 3 things be so important to your teaching practice?

  • Don’t try to trick your students – your goal is to ensure that all students can be fairly assessed. Assessment and evaluation are techniques used to gauge student knowledge and understanding. An assessment that does not accurately measure student understanding is ineffective and is not helping a student to grow.
  • Formative assessment can be marked occasionally, but its main purpose is as an assessment for learning, meaning that it should be used to help guide teaching and shape student learning so that they understand the content before they are graded on it.
  • If an assessment fails, or a student, or multiple students do poorly on an assessment, do not look to immediately blame them. Look to yourself and your own teaching first, to find what you  can do better to help your students. But don’t wear yourself out.


Assessment in Math Classrooms

What I want to focus on today is the class discussion we had about our pre-internships. During the discussion, it sort of seemed as if I was an outlier in many of my experiences and take-aways from the time spent in the school. But, after leaving class sort of confused about what had happened, and why everyone seemed so surprised with what my findings were, I went and spoke to a few of my other math major people about what their opinions were on my experience.

And we have definitely discussed before in my other classes with the math majors. But the consistent theme that comes through is that my pre-internship experience is not that much different than theirs. I did get to go to a lot of diverse classrooms, but, to be fair, most of the observation I did was in the mathematics classrooms in the school.

And in math, it seems that the only assessment really is quizzes and tests, with a few projects sprinkled in between. So I just wanted to mention that so that no one had any misconceptions about my pre-internship. The teachers were awesome and friendly, and very hard working.

The discrepancy with assessment comes from the fact that it really is the easiest in math to assess through tests. It is a way to make sure every type of skill is shown by students and it is easy and efficient for teachers to mark.

I will not be a teacher who uses tests in the classroom. I sort of see their merit, but they are of little to no use to me as an educator. I believe there are other ways to assess understanding that rely less on other variables and more on students’ abilities to understand and relay that understanding.

But having that discussion in class was very useful, it helped me see how a lot of other subjects are very quickly moving forward. It just seems like it’s math that is lagging behind in the innovation.