M5U2A2 Planning Formative Assessments

The purpose of this blog entry is to detail three formative assessments that could be used to evaluate one of the educational objectives or performance objectives I have created for the educational standard I plan to teach.  The educational standard I have chosen is one of the English Language Arts Common Core State Standards.  I will be adapting it to a Grade 6 class.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.4

Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

 

Performance Objective #2:  I have chosen to detail herein formal assessments for the following educational objective:

Students will be able to identify the literal meaning of selected phrases containing literary devices.

 

Formative Assessments

I will use the following formative assessments with my sixth grade class.  These assessments would be useful for a double period of English Language Arts (where each period lasts 45 minutes).

  1. Random Register Roll Poll: Students will be given a text containing twenty highlighted and numbered literary devices. Their task will be to rewrite each of these devices into “plain English”.  [Time allotted will be 15 minutes.]  The teacher will provide the class with one example and the top of the worksheet will contain another example of how this can be accomplished, successfully using the modelling strategy “I Do – You Do”[1]E.g. Literary Device: She could talk the hind leg off a donkey! (hyperbole); Meaning: She talks so much that even a stubborn animal like a donkey would find it unbearable and wish to run away (or his legs might wish to run away).  Since the class contains twenty students, we will use equity sticks[2] with students’ names on them to go down the register roll until all students have been called upon to give their answer to one of the questions.  After each student answers, students will be asked in a poll whether they think this is the correct meaning of the literary device as used in the text.  The poll can be accomplished using individual whiteboards[3], folded pieces of paper[4] or simply orally as a whole class with hand raising or a noisy shouted out response (the latter of which children love).  E.g. All those in favor say “ay”, all those against say “nay”; or a show of hands by those who agree.
    • An extended exercise for high achieving students could be to also write the name of each literary device used. E.g. Zoomorphism.
    • An even more extended exercise could be to also write the definition of the literary device used and perhaps give another example of that device.
    • For low-achieving students, they might be paired together at the start of the lesson to complete the worksheet as a pair. (Two heads are better than one!)

Rationale:  The rationale for using this type of assessment is to ensure that every single student in the class must respond.  In this way the teacher can verify that every student in the class in fact understands this particular concept.  I find that equity sticks only work if you have the same number of questions as the number of students in the class.

  1. Think, Pair Share[5]: Students will be given a three paragraph short story written without the use of any figurative devices. Their task will be to rewrite it using figurative devices of their choice, limiting their use of similes and metaphors to only one of each throughout their version of the essay (because they are much overused by students).  [Students will be allowed 10 minutes to read the short story and write down their figures of speech.]  Students will then be paired up and asked to share their suggestions with each other.  As a pair, students will rewrite the whole story using agreed upon figures of speech.  [This should take about 7 minutes.]  Each pair will then read out their story to the class.  [This part of exercise should take about 20 minutes and it should be quite entertaining for students.]

Rationale:  The rationale for using this type of assessment is so that students can help each other to do the assignment faster and can also supplement each other’s learning.  The fact that students know they will then have the opportunity to share their work with the rest of the class is also good motivation – for the most part I have observed that elementary school children love to share their achievements with everyone else and receive praise for it.  Working in a pair also decreases some of the stress that a student might feel from presenting individual work to the class.  In addition, pairs are easier to manage that groups (for the teacher).  This activity will demonstrate mastery of the objective to the teacher because students are creating something[6] not only analysing it.  Furthermore, hearing the imaginative literary devices and the different versions of the story each pair comes up with should be entertaining for all in the class.  This latter is also a learning device for them because they will all see the pleasing impact literary devices can have and they will see how much they change the nuances in the text.

  1. Examples and Non-Examples[7]: Students will again be given a text containing twenty highlighted and numbered phrases. This time they will need to state whether each phrase is an example of a literary device or not and if it is, what the literal meaning is.  [They will have 13 minutes to complete this exercise.]
    • An extended exercise for high achieving students could be to again provide the name of each literary device used.
    • Low-achieving students could again be paired together to complete the worksheet as a pair.

Rationale:  This exercise is more of a final formative revision to catch and remediate any students who have not completely grasped the lesson on literary devices.  Being able to differentiate literary devices from non-literary devices should eliminate any remaining confusion students may have and it should also prevent them from over-generalizing and thinking that everything is a literary device.

 

End Notes

[1] Teaching Channel, The.  (n.d.).  Modeling Strategy: I Do, We Do, You Do.  Retrieved on January 20th, 2017 from: https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/modeling-strategy-getty

[2] NWEA.  Dyer, Kathy.  (2012).  Classroom Techniques: Formative Assessment Ideas 2 through 6.  Retrieved on January 26th, 2017 from: https://www.nwea.org/blog/2012/classroom-techniques-formative-assessment-idea-number-four/

[3] NWEA.  Dyer, Kathy.  (2012).  Classroom Techniques: Formative Assessment Ideas 2 through 6.  Retrieved on January 26th, 2017 from: https://www.nwea.org/blog/2012/classroom-techniques-formative-assessment-idea-number-four/

[4] Pinantoan, Andrianes.  (2014).  Introduction To Teaching Strategies.  Retrieved January, 24th, 2017 from: http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/teacher-resources/teaching-strategies/

[5] NWEA.  Dyer, Kathy.  (2012).  Classroom Techniques: Formative Assessment Ideas 2 through 6.  Retrieved on January 26th, 2017 from: https://www.nwea.org/blog/2012/classroom-techniques-formative-assessment-idea-number-four/

[6] Integrating It.  (n.d.).  Using Bloom’s Revised Domains to Improve Instructional Practice.  Retrieved on January 19th, 2017 from: http://farr-integratingit.net/Theory/CriticalThinking/revisedcog-creating.htm

[7] NWEA.  Dyer, Kathy.  (2012).  Classroom Techniques: Formative Assessment Ideas 2 through 6.  Retrieved on January 26th, 2017 from: https://www.nwea.org/blog/2012/classroom-techniques-formative-assessment-idea-number-four/

References

Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Initiative.  (2017).  English Language Arts: College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading, Grade 6.  Retrieved on January 19th, 2017 from http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/SL/7/

Davis, Vicky.  [The CoolCat Teacher]  (2015).  5 Fantastic, Fast, Formative Assessment Tools.  Edutopia.  Retrieved on January 31st, 2017 from: https://www.edutopia.org/blog/5-fast-formative-assessment-tools-vicki-davis

Glossary of Education Reform, The.  (n.d.).  Backward Design.  Retrieved on January 19th, 2017 from: http://edglossary.org/backward-design/

Integrating It.  (n.d.).  Using Bloom’s Revised Domains to Improve Instructional Practice.  Retrieved on January 19th, 2017 from: http://farr-integratingit.net/Theory/CriticalThinking/revisedcog-creating.htm

Lemov, Doug.  (2010).  Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques That Put Students on the Path to College.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc Pub.

Literary Devices.  (n.d.).  Literary Devices and Terms.  Retrieved on January 17th, 2017 from: http://literarydevices.net/

McTighe, Jay.  (2012).  Common Core, Big Ideas 4: Map Backwards From Intended Results.  Retrieved on January 20th, 2017 from: https://www.edutopia.org/blog/common-core-map-backwards-jay-mctighe-grant-wiggins

NWEA.  Dyer, Kathy.  (2012).  Classroom Techniques: Formative Assessment Ideas 2 through 6.  Retrieved on January 26th, 2017 from: https://www.nwea.org/blog/2012/classroom-techniques-formative-assessment-idea-number-four/

Pinantoan, Andrianes.  (2014).  Introduction To Teaching Strategies.  Retrieved January, 24th, 2017 from: http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/teacher-resources/teaching-strategies/

Regier, Natalie.  (2012).  Book Two:  60 Formative Assessment Strategies.  Regier Educational Resources.  Retrieved on January 31st, 2017 from: http://www.stma.k12.mn.us/documents/DW/Q_Comp/FormativeAssessStrategies.pdf

Stokes, Lori.  (2015).  Creating a High Performance Learning Environment.  Retrieved January 20th, 2017 from: https://learnerlog.org/acrossthecurriculum/creating-a-high-performance-learning-environment/

Teach Thought.  (2013).  10 Assessments You Can Perform In 90 Seconds.  Retrieved on January 25th, 2017 from: http://www.teachthought.com/pedagogy/assessment/10-assessments-you-can-perform-in-90-seconds/

Teaching Channel, The.  (n.d.).  Daily Assessment with Tiered Exit Cards.  Retrieved on January 26th, 2016 from: https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/student-daily-assessment

Teaching Channel, The.  (n.d.).  Modeling Strategy: I Do, We Do, You Do.  Retrieved on January 20th, 2017 from: https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/modeling-strategy-getty

Teaching Channel, The.  (n.d.).  SWBAT: Communicating Learning Goals.  Retrieved on January 20th, 2017 from: https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/making-lesson-objectives-clear

Teaching Channel, The. (n.d.).  Think Alouds: Unpacking the Standards.  Retrieved on January 20th, 2017 from: https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/understanding-the-common-core-standards

Wiggins, Grant (2010).  What is a Big Idea?  Retrieved on January 22nd, 2017 from: https://authenticeducation.org/ae_bigidea/article.lasso?artid=99

Wiggins, Grant.  (2005).  Understanding by Design.  Retrieved on January 19th, 2017 from http://www.grantwiggins.org/documents/UbDQuikvue1005.pdf

Wormeli, Rick (2010).  Formative and Summative Assessment.  Retrieved on January 24th, 2017 from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJxFXjfB_B4

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