Friday, April 24, 2009

Standardized Tests

In my personal experience with standardized tests, I have found that I do better in school than I do on standardized tests. In elementary school I always made First Fonors; in high school I always Received Distinguished honors; and in college I am on Dean's List. I have always gotten good grades but for some reason my standardized test scores were not up to par with my school grades. My SAT scores were just average and they did not reflect the type of student I really was.
I understand that there are state-mandated standardized tests and that they are important to use for appropriate purpose only. But personally, I would not like to look at students' standardized tests scores as a means of assessment. I would rather look at my students' overall progress during the school year to assess them properly.

Report Cards

Report cards are a great way to keep records of students' progress. It is a great way to communicate students' achievement to parents and guardians as well. In my personal opinion, I do not think that letter grades are capable of showing students' progress. I like the idea of narrative reports because they give detailed written accounts of what each student has learned in relation to the school's curriculum. It also allows the parents or guardians to see what exactly is going on instead of just seeing a letter grade. For example, if a student receive a C for a certain subject, that does not really tell the student or the parents/guardians why he/she received that grade. A narrative report would explain in detail why a C was given and provide unique information about the student.
In my elementary school and high school, we did not receive letter grades. We received number grades and on the back the teacher would write any additional comments that were necessary. I liked this method of report cards because all the information was not condensed in a letter. The students were able to see a number grade and read any comments.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Le Book

I though Le Book was very funny!! I love how it was making fun of people now who ask simple questions about computers and the Internet. It reminded me of my mom a little bit. She had to create a webpage for the eighth grade at her school and every month she has to update it. I've shown her how to save a picture and insert it onto the webpage many times and every month she forgets and I have to show her again! To me and other people who are technology savvy think certain things are so easy but to others it really isn't.


I like the idea of keeping a portfolio of students' work as a form of assessment. Portfolios are a good way to see students progression over a certain period of time. It allows teachers, students, and parents see a complete, well put together collection of a students' work. One problem with portfolios is that some students may not include their best work so it would be hard to assess their performance. The work that some students make think is their best may not be the best to the teacher. Also, some schools are not equipped with the right resources in order to properly assess portfolios. They are also very time consuming.
I probably will not use portfolios in my future classroom as an assessment tool. I still prefer traditional tests for assessments. Because portfolios only contain students' best work, it is hard to decipher what the students are having trouble with. Tests let teachers see what students know and what they do not know.

Essay Tests vs. Multiple Choice Tests

Personally, I feel that essays tests and multiple choice tests are both great forms of assessments. Essay tests allow students to write down everything they know in essay format. This allows the teacher to see if the students are able to answer the question in a clear and concise way. Mulitple choice tests are give students options instead of having them think of an answer on their own. Multiple choice tests give students option so that they can use process of elimination in order to get the correct answer. The choices should not be too easy though. There should be some distractors that seem to be the correct answers to throw off the students.
In my future classroom I would use both essay tests and multiple choice tests. I would probably use essay tests more though. I feel that essay tests are an easier way to assess a student's work. For example, if a student chooses the wrong answer on a multiple choice test, it is completely wrong and the student gets no credit for his/her work. If the student writes an essay and can back up his/her answer with examples, the student will receive partial credit.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Power Teaching

I have mixed feels about the concept of power teaching. I have never heard of power teaching until I watched that video. It seemed like a good concept because the students looked like they were having fun and they were also very engaged. While watching the video, I observed a few problems with the technique. It could have just been how the desks were arranged, but the teacher did not have room to walk around the classroom and see what every students was discussing. Because of this, it is hard for the teacher to see if the students actually understand the material that was previously taught. Another problem is that even though the students are talking to each other, it is difficult to see if the students are talking about the material that was taught or if they are just talking about nonsense.
If i were to use the power teaching technique in my future classroom, I would arrange the desks in rows and the students can turn to the child next to them so that everyone has a partner. It will be easier for me to walk up and down the rows to see if the students are discussing the correct material. I like the idea of power teaching because it gets the entire class involved and it seems like a new, fun way for them to learn. I would just imporve the minor details.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Homework and Teacher Expectations

Homework is a formative assessment technique. It is important for teachers to give students homework. This type of paper-and-pencil assessment lets students practice and extend their learning. It is important to review the results of homework not just for correctness, but for what the work reveals about students' thinking. Formative assessment is not used for grading. It is used before instruction, to find out where students are, and during instruction, to find out how they are progressing. Students should keep learning even after they leave the classroom. Homework allows students to progress toward achieving learning targets. One problem with homework is that parents or an older sibling might be doing the student's homework for them. The problem with this is that there is no clear way to assess a student's ability because the teacher is not sure if it's the students own work. If students do not do their own homework, in the end they are only hurting themselves. On the day of the test they're are going to have to do the work themselves.
In my future classroom, I will expect my students to complete their homework themselves. I want my students to have fun so that they will want to do their homework and learn outside of the classrom. In order to know if my students know the material I will give them tests an quizzes to monitor their progress.