Skip to main content

Assessment Ideas




A couple of days before Spring Break I gave students a quiz focusing on the characteristics of cold blooded and warm blooded vertebrates. I wanted them to match up characteristics so I made a cut and paste assessment. Students had to cut out different types of characteristics on one sheet and glue them under the right heading on another. At the bottom of each heading I had them draw (and label) a picture of an animal in that category. This turned out to be a good thing because several students drew pictures of reptiles under amphibian and vice versa (I took points off if they didn't put a label only because it is very hard to tell what some students drawings are).

While students were doing that behind their privacy shields, I called students to my desk and had them sit and explain the difference between a cold blooded and warm blooded animal. I don't do these verbal assessments very often but I wanted to see if the majority of the class understood the difference and could put it into words.

My cut and paste assessment was more time consuming then a multiple choice one so I had the time to call them back to my desk. I treated that question like an essay question when grading. I made some word searches (front and back) for the students who were done early.

I liked both assessments and will attempt to add more in this year and next (the assessment would also work as a notebook assignment).

The biggest thing I had to contend with was not enough glue sticks/bottles, too much glue, etc. I got the idea to use soda bottle tops and fill them with glue and give students a Q-tip to use an applicator. This made things go so much smoother. Each child had their own bottle top with glue and applicator. If they ran out, they just let me know and I came around and squirted more glue into their top. I had no fussing or complaining from the students and they got right down to work. Some student's lost the words they were cutting out and rather then have to do a massive search I told them they could write in a fact and I would accept it. WARNING - The floor was a giant MESS after this activity with scrap paper. I sent one of my chatty, but helpful, homeroom students on a scavenger hunt for our custodian to get a broom and dust plan and had them sweep the floor.

I did have one SUPER chatty class that I had to stay on top of and sadly I wasn't able to to give them the verbal essay question. I sort of expected it from this group so close to Spring Break so I didn't loose sleep over it. I figure I will try it again with the question after the break.

Comments

karebearbg said…
I just wanted to tell you how much I have enjoyed reading your blog. I just discovered your site and it has given me some really great ideas on how to use notebooks next year. I am a 6th grade teacher and will be switching to science next year and have been at a loss as to how to incorporate notebooks into my class, but your site has given me so many great ideas. THANK YOU!

My one question is how many units do you usually cover throughout the year? I'm trying to put a curriculum map together for next year and want to use the notebooks and units as the map. Thanks again!
Eve Heaton said…
I'm glad you are enjoying the blog. I feel a bit slack recently but promise I have more to post!

As to how many units I cover throughout the year....I cover five (Inquiry, Weather, Astronomy, Light/Electricity/Magnets, and Organisms and their Environment).

There are two ways that teachers generally map this out (1) by the number of standards in the unit or (2) by the amount of time in the year.

I map by the amount of time in the year. Generally my inquiry unit starts off the year with about a 3-4 week time period (since inquiry skills get worked into the other units it only gets a small period of time and it serves to get students interested in science at the beginning of the year and familiar with scientific vocabulary and notebook set up). Then I divide the rest of the year among the remaining four units (minus time for MAP and end of year testing and review). This equals out to approximately 7 weeks per unit (give or take).

I am on the district’s curriculum mapping team this summer so this is something we will be looking at. The district is working toward getting all schools on the same map so that when students transfer within our district we will all pretty much be in the same unit.

Probably the best suggestion I have heard on the mapping team is moving our light/ electricity/ magnet unit to the Thanksgiving and Christmas time period because it can be broken up into three smaller units so it can be picked up easily after the holiday breaks. This might be something to consider when looking at your units (does one unit allow itself to be broken up into mini units?).

After inquiry we start into the Weather unit (so we can touch on weather throughout the year as it is happening). The end of the year is Organisms and the Environment (which allows us to take advantage of growing things in Spring).

Hoped that helped!

Eve

Popular posts from this blog

Moon Phase Box

I happened to walk into a fourth grade class the other day and they were hard at work making moon phase boxes. They were totally adorable and the kids were completely into it. The teacher very kindly let me take some pictures (thank you Mrs. Parker!) and add to my blog.


Students would need a shoe box and they need to cover the inside and inside lid with black construction paper. Using fishing wire they would hang a ping pong ball in the center of the lid so it is suspended in the center of the box. They then take a flashlight and trace the light end on one of the short ends of the box and then create viewing flaps in the middle of every side (including the one with the light bulb (but that might be slightly off center). It is important that the viewing areas are flaps and not cut directly out (you need to keep the light coming into the box blocked as much as possible).


The teacher used a box cutter to cut the flaps and flashlight hole for the children. I probably would have had studen…

Google Classroom Headers (and Bitmojis)

I recently taught a class on how to use Bitmojis in the classroom to increase student engagement and help with classroom organization and management.

One fun idea was to use them to make custom Google Classroom headers. The idea came from Alice Keeler's blog and she even provided a template for her header.


My computer settings weren't the same as hers so I had to tweak my version.

This got me thinking about how the headers could be changed out frequently, as something new for students to look forward to, when they opened up Google Classroom. In my head I was thinking they could be changed out weekly (38 total headers needed) if time permitted. 



I have several other ideas, templates, and instructions linked in this presentation.



I would love to see other custom Google Classroom Header ideas! Please feel free to post a comment or tag me on Twitter at @techcoachlife.




Cookie Moon Phases

I've seen these cookie moon phases before (click here for a description of the activity on Science Bob's Blog) and wanted to share my "Moon Phase" cookie story.


After seeing these online I thought it would be fun to do it in class as part of our Astronomy unit. I decided to make these at home. They turned out adorable. Then I decided to eat them (justifying that I would let my kids eat them in class :) It quickly became apparent that 8 Oreo cookies was way too many to eat (I definitely felt queasy). I went back to the online directions and found out that I was suppose to use "mini Oreo cookies" (which made much more sense).


A note of caution, the mini Oreo cookies may not be as cost effective with large groups of children (when I taught middle school I had 80+ children). It is definitely cheaper to buy the generic chocolate sandwich cookies. I would just provide a snack or sandwich baggie so the kids could take the leftovers home.